Hot Trends In Unisex Fragrances To Watch Out For In 2023

Unisex, gender neutral, gender fluid – call it what you will, it’s a huge trend in the world of fragrances these days. After decades of perfumes and colognes being segregated and sold as separate products for women and men (even to the extent that the very terms perfume and cologne now carry gendered assumptions they never had originally), things have shifted markedly.

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Nowadays, fragrance manufacturers are falling over themselves to emphasise the appeal of their latest creations however you identify gender-wise. Back in 2010, just 17% of new fragrances launched were marketed as unisex. By 2018, that had rocketed to 51%.

Now we’re at the stage where a comfortable majority of all new fragrances are avowedly gender neutral. And that means that, whereas there once might have been a pretty narrow definition of what a ‘unisex’ fragrance was supposed to smell like, there’s now huge variety in the products vying for the attentions of all fragrance lovers.

So it’s no longer possible to talk about unisex fragrances in a meaningful way as a single, distinct category. Instead, we should be talking about different categories of unisex and emerging, evolving trends in what is now a vibrant, energetic market in its own right.

So with that in mind, what is going to be big in unisex fragrances in 2023? Here are some hot trends to watch out for.

Aquatic fragrances

Traditionally, the fresh, outdoors-y aroma of the aquatic fragrance family has always been associated with sportswear products, and therefore inevitably with men. 

But as women’s sport continues its long-overdue rise to prominence, symbolised by the huge national interest around the England women’s football team’s heroics in winning the European Championships in 2022, those outdated gendered stereotypes are being dismantled one by one. Sport is no longer a ‘man’s game’ – participation in sport is gender neutral, and products targeted at sporty people therefore having to catch up.

That’s one reason why we’re seeing a sharp rise in the number of unisex fragrances with distinctly fresh, clean, sea-scent characteristics. Another is the fact that these kinds of fragrances cre just so utilitarian – who doesn’t smell good wearing them?

For high quality examples of the type, check out the likes of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Celestia, Maison Margiela Replica Beach Walk and Le Labo Baie 19. 

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In fragrance making terms, aldehydes are a group of synthetic chemicals that are also prized for their clean, fresh aroma profiles, although they generally have a slightly different character to the scents we call ‘aquatic’. Many aldehydes have a citrus-like edge to them and almost metallic quality. Some people describe the effect as like the smell of ice or frost. Other aldehydes are more floral and have the breezy, airy quality of fresh laundry.

As with aquatic aromas, these characteristics make aldehydes extremely versatile and utilitarian. Perfume makers love using them in everyday fragrances because they aren’t too overpowering and nearly everyone can get along with them. Again, that’s a great quality to look for in unisex fragrances.

Check out A Lab On Fire’s Almost Transparent Blue, Byredo Blanche or Maison Francis Kurkdjian 724 to get a whiff of the aldehyde experience.


The cedar tree is an evergreen conifer in the pine family, which probably throws a whole heap of aromatic associations your way. Herbaceous fresh pine needles, camphor-like pine resin, the delicately spiced woodiness of pine shavings – yep, them’s some great smelling plants right there. And cedar is arguably the most prized of all.

As you would expect, the cedarwood fragrance is  very woody, but it also has a pleasing complexity to it that includes soothing balsamic qualities, a citrussy bite, even a hint of smokiness. It’s a very popular ingredient in fragrance manufacture because of this rich complexity, and because it tends to knit together other aromas well, especially at the heavier, more intense end of the spectrum.

As such, cedar has long been a staple of men’s fragrances. But just as with the ‘power suit’, the ‘power perfume’ is no longer a gendered notion – everyone can use a spring in their step and a fragrance that boosts their confidence from time to time. Cedarwood is excellent for just that.

Some standout examples of cedar-based fragrances include Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, By Kilian Straight to Heaven and Byredo Super Cedar.

Interested in finding out more? Well the only way to really discover a fragrance is to experience it. At Fragrance Samples UK, we stock thousands of unisex fragrance samples – including all the products mentioned in this article – which we post direct to your door to try out at your leisure.


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