Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Eau de Laptop, Jo Malone's New Book & Genderless Scents

This Week in Fragrance: Eau de Laptop, Jo Malone's New Book & Genderless Scents

10/05/16 08:20:03 (8 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Love the smell of a freshly unboxed Mac product? Juan Buis at has found the perfect solution:

Thanks to TwelveSouth, it’s finally possible to relive the unboxing of your Mac every day, at any moment. With their New Mac candle you can fill your house with the fresh smell of unwrapped plastic and cold aluminum for up to 45-55 burning hours.

What other unexpected items from around your home do you think might make intriguing scents? I do love the smell of an electric heater or toaster oven ; )

Mac Candle

The mission to de-genderize scent keeps on building momentum as discussed by Ken Shepherd for the

“At an age when one of the country’s most legendary male athletes became a woman, the White House unveiled its first ‘gender-neutral’ bathroom and Target proudly removed ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ signage from its toy departments, it should come as no shock that the line between male and female cosmetics is blurring, and gender-specific fragrances are starting to smell a bit passé,” explained THR [The Hollywood Reporter] on Monday, noting that 950 out of the 1,000 latest fragrances launched in the consumer market are being sold as genderless.

How do you feel about this trend in the market? Do you think the pendulum will swing back to "for men" and "for women" any time soon?

Gender Neutral chidlren's letter blocks

Rachel Felder at reports on the globalization of fragrance sales, travel retail and the need for companies to offer a variety of products better targeted to different cultures:

 “Now companies are understanding more and more what travelers are looking for, so they’re adapting more to the passenger mix at the airport.” For example, Armani/Privé, one of the brands Mr. Boinay works with, created a fragrance last year with Chinese customers in mind. Called Pivoine Suzhou, it has a scent redolent of peony (pivoine, in French), a flower that is a Chinese symbol of wealth and happiness. And the perfume’s box is detailed with lines about the flower by Liu Yuxi, a Tang Dynasty poet, written in Chinese calligraphy.

I'm all for this variety! If you could choose a brand to develop a fragrance for a culture you identify with, what would it be and what would it smell like?

Street sign pointing to different countries

Emily Dean,'s deputy editor, recounts her personal fragrance experiences and asks the question, "Is there such a thing as a feminist scent?":

It wouldn’t even have occurred to my grandmother the emancipated statement she was making with her perfume. But Charlie was in many ways the first feminist fragrance. It was launched in 1973, amid the biggest shake-up in women’s liberation since the right to vote. Bookshelves were lined with Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. Women were no longer on speaking terms with their bras, there were protests at Miss World pageants and the first female prime minister was on her way into office. These shifts heralded a rejection of beauty rituals. Germaine Greer roared that she was ‘sick of the powder room’. Feminism changed women’s attitudes irrevocably. And the fragrance industry needed to catch up – fast. 

Dean offers a thought-provoking read but what are your thoughts on the fragrance industry, marketing, personal choice and feminism? 

1973 Charlie ad

And the also reports this week that England's Jo Malone has just launched her first book:

As the founder of two fragrance brands, Jo Malone has been immutably associated with perfume for a couple of decades. So it’s not surprising that the print editions of her autobiography — “Jo Malone: My Story,” to be published in Britain this week by Simon & Schuster, with an American release due next month — have a fragrant twist: A page near the front is treated with Pomelo, a crisp, citrus-based scent from her Jo Loves collection, which will waft softly upward to the reader.

We'll have more info for you here at Fragrantica in the coming weeks! What other fragrance celebs might you hope to read about in the near future? 

Jo Malone's new book cover

Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.


Image of the author


Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting



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Gender Neutral?

Gender Neutered more like it.


There's A LOT of gay men behind perfume counters in LA lol


I wish more men would be hired for cologne /perfume counters.....


In making non-gender specific perfumes, they are only creating another category, no?

Wear what you want. Go and find the liquid stuff that smells and feels good, put it on your skin, enjoy. Repeat. Stop thinking so much. The first world peeps have way too much time on their hands.

Here's my movement. Wear the smellie-feel-nice stuff.


Seconding Calvini and lemozest with all my heart!!!


Making perfumes gender-nonspecific is actually a movement? I have always bought and worn whatever I liked. No one ever even blinked when I bought Yatagan or Aramis, and probably no one cared when I wore them. Sometimes when I wear men's fragrance it is for the scent itself, and sometimes it's to make me feel closer to my husband when we are apart. There have probably always been many women who did this. Such a non-problem.


Yeah it's really annoying when you go to a perfume counter and the first thing they ask is "Are you looking for a fragrance for men/yourself or women/someone else?"
I sometimes reply with "most fragrances are unisex, but I guess I'll start with the women's section (since they have a much wider selection)"
or I simply reply "anything" and walk away

It'd be interesting to read what Jo Malone has to say about the global brand that has become.. Too bad the rest of the world can't get too know what Jo Loves...


So excited to hear about Jo's book! She has such an interesting story (from the research I've been able to do online with articles and such) and I can't wait to read her official side of things!

And I'm glad people are starting to talk about perfumes and gender. I've insisted all the way from the beginning that the things called perfume or cologne are just LIQUIDS. They do not have genitals - anyone can wear them!

But advertisers make money by presenting a certain scent as feminine or masculine (And rarely, like in CK One's case, as unisex) and customers buy into that and I think it's way too complicated for me to just sit here and come up with a sassy one-sentence solution. It's a cultural problem.

I wonder if when Eastern cultures wish to import their perfumes to the west, do they go 'Shit, time to relabel all the fruity and floral stuff female and all the dry and spicy stuff male!' ???


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