Topic: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

For those of you who enjoy fragrances marketed toward the opposite sex, what reactions do you usually get from SAs? I've often used the "gift excuse", but I'm a little tired of that. Have you ever got weird looks from SAs when sampling/buying men's cologne (if you're a woman), or women's perfume (if you're a man)? Any experiences to share?

Where I live, even CK ONE, Mugler's Cologne, and other so-called "unisex fragrances" are kept in the men section, which makes it even more embarrassing for me when I want to buy them.

Last edited by anna.dkr5 (2013-09-26 14:06:53)

We only live once. As long as you harm no one - including yourself - be who you are, and wear what you want, when you want to.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

well, SAs don't usually approach me in department stores/sephora, but in the smaller niche perfumeries SAs usually don't bat an eyelash when i mention i want to try the men's colognes/fragrances. i think they're used to it from all the perfumista/os who like genderbending with fragrances...

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

I've received kind of shocked "oh" responses from SAs as a woman looking at men's scents. I've also had them assume extreme ignorance and try to help direct me to feminine scents, in case I was lost or something! It's funny, but also a bit annoying.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

I'm completely unabashed about telling them that I wear men's/unisex fragrances, and I have gotten comments. An SA at Sephora warned me when I had passed the female fragrances and made it to the men's fragrances...as if something truly horrible might happen to me if I unknowingly tested a men's frag and liked it. Dear God, think of the children.

I tested Spicebomb at Nordstrom, and the SA popped over with "oh that's a men's fragrance." Oh I'm sorry, I must've missed the tiny penises on cinnamon sticks, on peppercorns, on grapefruits, on lemons.

And then the other night I was on the men's side in a discount shop, and the SA asked, "Looking for something special for the man in your life?" I simply said, "No, the man in my life is spoiled enough as it is." And left it at that. She giggled uncertainly.

I say own it. Spread the word that women can own men's frags too. Liberate the masses!

Massive niche & mainstream sample/decant sale: http://www.fragrantica.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=106362

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

When SA's  try to act knowlegeable they often come accross either as snobs or incompetant.  They are only trained to push the most costly items, the most popular items, and to try push items that don't sell very well.  That's all they know.

SO, when dealing with SA's,  I politely ask them if they belong to FRAGRANTICA.   When they say NO, I act shocked, dismayed, and I tell them they SHOULD join if they want to really know ANYTHING about perfumes. Then  I give them a small piece of paper that says FRAGRANTICA.COM on it.    They usually leave me alone after that.   47

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

Here generally say that women and men wear what they like, I don't feel uncomfortable when asking at the men's sector. Nevertheless, I find CK One at men's section, along with most unisex, probably because the male sector has less perfume, I guess  superglad  But I never comment on anything in perfumery, just a few words.

~ Rose Absolue Eau de Toilette Fraiche 75ml for swap eu/ww ~

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

"Embarassed?" Wha?????

Sales associates are there to help you. Period. That is what they get paid to do. No need to be embarassed. I've had SAs say "that's for men" when trying men's frags. In my head I am thinking "well duh!" but I just say "that's ok" and keep on sniffing. I always try to keep a warm friendly attitude and I find that it disarms even the snootiest SAs.

Probably at least a quarter of the fragrances I wear are marketed to men. Just try what you like and don't worry about what the hired help thinks.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

joliecat wrote:

SO, when dealing with SA's, I politely ask them if they belong to FRAGRANTICA. When they say NO, I act shocked, dismayed, and I tell them they SHOULD join if they want to really know ANYTHING about perfumes. Then I give them a small piece of paper that says FRAGRANTICA.COM on it. They usually leave me alone after that.  47

hahahaha! That is awesome!!

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

No, I've never had so much as a glance from any sales associates. In fact, there is A*Men and Spicebomb stocked in the female marketed fragrance section at the Sephora near me.

Last edited by Hayven (2013-09-26 11:00:40)

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

I would usually tell the SAs that I did not care whether the fragrances were for women or men as long as I loved them. The smart ones would then usually recommend the ones for women as there were so many more compared to the few marketed to men. I guess they figured out that the chance I felt in love with at least one fragrance would then be much higher.

A die-hard-romantic-perfectionist with high expectations on life and living.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

BONJOUR.Whenever I search for new female perfumes to smell so as to know their aroma there is usually a girl telling me that it is for women.I reply to them that I know it and I want to smell it on a blotter.She does not say anything and she leaves me alone.If she makes the mistake to say anything to me and have a talk with me then I start explaining to her about perfumes and she never speaks again because she understands that she does not know anything.Next time she sees me she would avoid me and I can explore without any interruption the store about new perfumes.

Carpe Diem.

nikosculpture's Website

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

anna.dkr5 wrote:

For those of you who enjoy fragrances marketed toward the opposite sex, what reactions do you usually get from SAs? I've often used the "gift excuse", but I'm a little tired of that. Have you ever got weird looks from SAs when sampling/buying men's cologne (if you're a woman), or women's perfume (of you're a man)? Any experiences to share?

Where I live, even CK ONE, Mugler's Cologne, and other so-called "unisex fragrances" are kept in the men section, which makes it even more embarrassing for me when I want to buy them.

I almost totally ignore SA's these days. If I want advice or an opinion, I come here.

wesleyhclark's Website

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

Happiness is an unattended department store perfume counter, stocked with plenty of paper blotters and testers. Euphoria is one stocked with everything mentioned previously + empty drams.

I'm going to make this my signature!

Last edited by pollyjean23 (2013-09-26 11:52:33)

Happiness is an unattended department store perfume counter, stocked with plenty of paper blotters, testers, and empty drams.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

I usually use the gift excuse its some times just easier. Though usually when I'm testing "male fragrances" its at Sephora, the section are on the same wall and usual no one will say anything. Though I did try on Spicebomb one time and the male SA was amazed with how good it smelled on a women. Also when I bought Bleu de Chanel the guy at the counter had a puzzled look on his face once he knew it was for myself not a gift...

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

nikosculpture wrote:

BONJOUR.Whenever I search for new female perfumes to smell so as to know their aroma there is usually a girl telling me that it is for women.I reply to them that I know it and I want to smell it on a blotter.She does not say anything and she leaves me alone.If she makes the mistake to say anything to me and have a talk with me then I start explaining to her about perfumes and she never speaks again because she understands that she does not know anything.Next time she sees me she would avoid me and I can explore without any interruption the store about new perfumes.



This is probably the most effective way to avoid SAs glad

C'est Tout Est Noir.....

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

I just tell them "oh I know, I like these anyway" and try to ignore their looks. I generally try to go in Sephora where they give you a little more space.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

Every year again, when I want to sample the new CK One summer release. Because for some reason, every store I encounter puts this unisex fragrance in the women's section, and whenever I cross over to sample it on paper or my skin, I am told it's a women's fragrance. I tell them CK One and the summer editions have ALWAYS been unisex, they're even marketed this way by Calvin Klein. Every year again..

Recently I had an SA giving me strange looks when I tested the Jardin series by Hermès. Again the "sir, this is for women" remark. "Well, I suppose I better return my 100ml bottle of Un Jardin Sur Le Toit then", I replied. Another SA smiled a bit and offered me the consolation that some of her coworkers weren't as involved with perfume as we were. It restored my faith in SA's a bit. glad

Hosting splits of Creed Aventus, MDCI Invasion Barbare, Amouage Reflection, Costume National Homme & Odori Tabacco. See profile for details!

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

pollyjean23 wrote:

Happiness is an unattended department store perfume counter, stocked with plenty of paper blotters and testers. Euphoria is one stocked with everything mentioned previously + empty drams.

I'm going to make this my signature!

Hahaha! I love this! Isn't it true?  51 tummenupp

We only live once. As long as you harm no one - including yourself - be who you are, and wear what you want, when you want to.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

Deefit wrote:

Every year again, when I want to sample the new CK One summer release. Because for some reason, every store I encounter puts this unisex fragrance in the women's section, and whenever I cross over to sample it on paper or my skin, I am told it's a women's fragrance. I tell them CK One and the summer editions have ALWAYS been unisex, they're even marketed this way by Calvin Klein. Every year again..

Recently I had an SA giving me strange looks when I tested the Jardin series by Hermès. Again the "sir, this is for women" remark. "Well, I suppose I better return my 100ml bottle of Un Jardin Sur Le Toit then", I replied. Another SA smiled a bit and offered me the consolation that some of her coworkers weren't as involved with perfume as we were. It restored my faith in SA's a bit.  glad



Ha! Pretty much the opposite of what happens here, except for the Un jardin series - that's in the female section at Sephora.  roll

Oh, and when I told an SA that CK ONE is unisex, she didn't seem to understand. I feel your pain. Haha!

Last edited by anna.dkr5 (2013-09-26 14:00:44)

We only live once. As long as you harm no one - including yourself - be who you are, and wear what you want, when you want to.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

beaker90 wrote:

I'm completely unabashed about telling them that I wear men's/unisex fragrances, and I have gotten comments. An SA at Sephora warned me when I had passed the female fragrances and made it to the men's fragrances...as if something truly horrible might happen to me if I unknowingly tested a men's frag and liked it. Dear God, think of the children.

I tested Spicebomb at Nordstrom, and the SA popped over with "oh that's a men's fragrance." Oh I'm sorry, I must've missed the tiny penises on cinnamon sticks, on peppercorns, on grapefruits, on lemons.

And then the other night I was on the men's side in a discount shop, and the SA asked, "Looking for something special for the man in your life?" I simply said, "No, the man in my life is spoiled enough as it is." And left it at that. She giggled uncertainly.

I say own it. Spread the word that women can own men's frags too. Liberate the masses!

Word! superglad

We only live once. As long as you harm no one - including yourself - be who you are, and wear what you want, when you want to.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

Oh, and one time, I was standing by the male section, and a couple was testing fragrances. At some point, the guy clumsily sprayed a bit of *not sure what it was* on me, and his girlfriend readily apologised. She looked really embarrassed. The guy was trying to be a smartass, and said: "Well, she got some free fragrance!". His girlfriend let out an embarrassed chuckle, and told him: "Yes, but it's MEN's fragrance, you moron!".

Poor darling. She probably thought I was going to grow a beard or something on the spot.

We only live once. As long as you harm no one - including yourself - be who you are, and wear what you want, when you want to.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

I was sampling something rom a men's counter at, I think, a Macy's and the female clerk said "Oh yeah, that one's great -- I wear it!" When I first decided I wanted to wear perfume but didn't know yet what I liked, I thought I wanted FRESH, CLEAN, and NOT SWEET AT ALL. So I went to Nordstrom and asked for some masculine and unisex recommendations and they gave me a bunch. I've never gotten any weirdness about it.

I think like most gender-bending stuff, it's more socially acceptable for women to cross over to the men's side than it is for men to cross over to the women's (because men are degrading themselves with femaleness, while it's daring and sexy for women to try the exalted heights of masculinity, blah blah). Girls taking shop get less flack than boys taking home ec, girls can wear tuxedos but boys can't wear skirts, etc.

I respect a guy more if he doesn't live his life in terror that someone might think he isn't enough of a man. Have the confidence to enjoy what you enjoy, not cower before public opinion! How "manly" is it to be so scared people might think you're a girl?

Last edited by Thalia (2013-09-26 14:17:12)

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

My husband and I have a ball crossing gender lines.  We usually end up converting the SA to our point of view when they smell how delicious the fragrances are on our skin.  Having fun and killing them with kindness works a lot of the time. hjarta

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

MarillaV wrote:

My husband and I have a ball crossing gender lines. We usually end up converting the SA to our point of view when they smell how delicious the fragrances are on our skin. Having fun and killing them with kindness works a lot of the time. hjarta

That's great! glad

We only live once. As long as you harm no one - including yourself - be who you are, and wear what you want, when you want to.

Re: Buying a fragrance marketed toward the opposite sex vs SAs...

anna.dkr5 wrote:

Oh, and when I told an SA that CK ONE is unisex, she didn't seem to understand. I feel your pain. Haha!

It's probably a good thing they don't sell Acqua di Parma in 'regular' department stores. wink

MarillaV wrote:

Having fun and killing them with kindness works a lot of the time. hjarta

I can imagine! superglad

Thalia wrote:

but boys can't wear skirts

Except for Scottish boys. Though they'd hate the word skirt and might even toss you into a tree for saying it.

Hosting splits of Creed Aventus, MDCI Invasion Barbare, Amouage Reflection, Costume National Homme & Odori Tabacco. See profile for details!