The Subjectivity of Scent
A question that we get asked all of the time is: "Which scents are for men and which scents are for women?" Surprisingly enough, this question often comes from a woman who is shopping for herself for the first time with us because she's not sure what she is "supposed" to like. We as a society, especially women, have been conditioned to have someone tell us what we are supposed to like. Men often don't feel like they are shopping where they are supposed to unless "feel like a man" is written all over everything. As our scents are marketed as "unisex" we often follow up with "let us know what types of scents you like and we'll direct you from there". The customer is then surprised and happy because they finally have the permission they didn't even know they needed and wanted to freely think about what they truly love. I remember speaking with a female identifying customer about what scents she liked, and when she proclaimed, "WOW. I guess I never really thought about it! I always get floral scents gifted to me, you know, like lavender and rose which do smell fine...but I think I actually really love the smell of cedar chips you know?" I knew I had to write this post!
In the world of perfumery, descriptors such as "feminine" and "masculine" can help us identify a general family of scents. Scents described as feminine are typically light, floral, powdery and airy, while scents described as masculine are typically woody, dry, heavy, and spicy. Those descriptors can help you find what you typically gravitate towards, however, they surely do not describe what you should like based on your gender identity. This is very similar to the use of the word "oriental" in perfumery. While we don't typically use that outdated phrase, when I see it used as a descriptor in perfumery, I know that it's pointing to a scent that smells resinous, musky, spicy, and incense-like. This historically comes from the use of fragrant materials that were traditionally found and naturally grown only in Asia. (But let's try not to use that word, k? K!)
What exactly is a soap, or scent, for a man? We've been asking ourselves this for some time now. And like, if you prefer a "feminine" scent like Cucumber Rosewater, does that make you less of a man?
WE THINK NOT.
And SHAME on companies that think it should.
Scent. Is. Subjective. Simply put, this means, you like what you like! As a woman myself, I actually gravitate towards scents like fir needle, juniper, cedar, and other forest type smells. But sometimes, I really like jasmine! It just depends on how I'm feeling that day. I shouldn't feel as if I'm stuck inside some kind of floral box for being a woman. And if you identify as a man, it's totally ok to enjoy the smell of lavender, rose, jasmine, and other flowers.
These ideas are exactly why Soap Distillery does not sell "Man Soap" or "Soap for Women"...it's because it doesn't exist. There is no difference in how those soaps would be formulated outside of their smell, and no person should ever feel shamed to like a scent that a company is telling them they shouldn't. And on the other side of that, if you are a man that loves the smell of wood chips, motor oil, and gasoline, that's great! We just won't tell you that you should :) If you're a woman that loves the smell of happy butterflies, lace, and a field of flowers, more power to ya! Again, we'll never force you to like smells that we say you should like.
We want our customers to be happy with their purchases and we've found that it happens when you allow people to choose for themselves which we always will. Soap Distillery creates unisex scents because the last thing you need at the end of the day is a company telling you who to be and how to feel. It's just SOAP. Soap as you like!
Love, Soap Distillery. ❤❤❤