- The Washington Times - Monday, October 3, 2016

The vast majority of new fragrances hitting the department store cosmetic sections are being marketed as gender-neutral, just the latest sign of the cultural significance of the transgender rights movement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“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 on Monday, noting that 950 out of the 1,000 latest fragrances launched in the consumer market are being sold as genderless.

“We were trying to depart from the tired messaging of the fragrance category for the past 70 years, which was entirely laced in sex, the objectification of both genders, and an almost carnal misogyny,” THR quoted Eric Korman, CEO of PHLUR, which only makes unisex fragrances. “Traditional sexist messaging just does not resonate with younger consumers the way it has previously.”

In an interview with Mic.com in February, fragrance maker Frank Voelkl explained that making a gender-free scent is not merely labeling or marketing but involves incorporating scents that appeal to women with those which appeal to men.

“For women’s fragrance, the femininity is expressed through flowers and fruits and softer notes,” Mr. Voelkl said. “Men’s fragrances use a bit more woody notes, as well as leather and musk.”

Although “the idea of scents being inherently gendered is admittedly silly,” Mic.com explained, “according to Voelkl, there are scents that men and women tend to naturally respond to differently,” going on to explain that “science is learning what scents draw opposite genders to one another — theoretically because they embody hyper-masculine or hyper-feminine qualities.”

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