Turn me on

unisex perfumes

Sharing a perfume is nothing new, but somehow the charm has been lost: "marketed sharing" seems to kill the sneaky romanticism of sloshing on your partner's scent behind a closed bathroom door. Traditionally, men had their aftershaves and women their fragrances and never the twain did meet. His was musky and heavy, hers was light and floral. Times, however, have changed.

First we were given the duo scents, the "his" and "hers" versions. These scents for men and women go under the same name, have a similar bottle and a similar smell. The list is endless: Calvin Klein's Obsession, Eternity and Escape, Ralph Lauren's Safari, Paloma Picasso and Gianni Versace's Blue Jeans and Red Jeans. Only those with a sniffer-dog nose would notice the difference between the smells made for men and those for women.

So then we got daring: the bottles were shuffled, the labels were changed and, hey presto, confusion begins. Welcome to the world of unisex perfumes.

Those in the know about designer scents choose their perfume by its name, exclusivity and the lifestyle it offers, regardless of gender. Women sport Fahrenheit, Polo Sport, Kouros and Jazz - all designed for men. And men have been known to opt for the fresher female scents such as Issey Miyake, with the more extrovert chaps going for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Angel by Thierry Mugler. Traditionally, those men doing the "scent swap" would choose a light cologne such as Guerlain's Jicky, created in 1889 for women but sported by such beasts of masculinity as Sean Connery.

The new way, however, is that of one scent for all. It is a very Seventies idea and comes with the naff connotations of the sort of woman who wears a man's dinner jacket to cocktail parties. Except that the new concept is busy masquerading itself as impeccably modern.

Enter Calvin Klein and his new fragrance cK one (although, if the truth be known, Comme Des Garcons hit the British market first with a launch last Christmas of a unisex scent with an altogether richer, woodier feel). Klein developed the idea through observing his daughter with her friends; they swapped jeans, borrowed T-shirts; in his eyes, this was the "us" generation.

In theory, this a very sexy idea, living in perfect harmony with your partner with only one bottle on that bathroom shelf. But in practice, how boring. And just how sexy is it? The swapping of clothes is cute, but the sense of naughtiness lies in the fact that they belong to someone else. It is the same, surely, with scent.

Meanwhile, is your partner really going to be aroused by you smelling the same way? Whatever happened to sniffing out your future mate through the attraction of the senses?

cK one will be available from 21 August. Prices for body products start at pounds 13.50, the scent will cost from pounds 19.95.

Charlie Harrington

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

    SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

    Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

    £85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

    Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

    £55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering