Does scent have a gender?

Brands make a distinction between feminine and masculine scents with a whole range of perfumes adapted for one or the other gender. It is naturally that researchers in scent marketing look at these differences and try to see if they were relevant to this industry.

Spangenberg conducted an experiment at a clothing store with scents defined to be appealing to men: Rose Maroc and scents defined to be appealing to women: Vanilla.

When these scents were diffused throughout the store in matching areas, sales doubled for the corresponding gender. However, when the scents were reversed there were less sales. Spangenberg found that women bought less when the store smelled masculine, and men bought less when the store smelled feminine. This can be explained by the fact that the scents were not congruent.

If retailers want to benefit from the employment of ambient scenting, they should take care to tailor it to correspond to shopper characteristics to whatever extent that is practically feasible. This is why it is important to discuss of retailers’ targets and objectives to find the perfect signature scent.


At Scent Australia, we take time to understand you to offer you the best personalized solution. For a signature scent that matches your brand, contact us by mail at or call us on 1300 731 680.