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Article: Think Outside the Gender Box this Father's Day

Think Outside the Gender Box this Father's Day

Think Outside the Gender Box this Father's Day

Floral scents are for women; woody blends are for men. Who says? Gender barriers in the perfume world are being subverted and niche fragrance brands are leading the charge.

This month, we celebrate our fathers and the men in our life who have played a fathering role. As our thoughts turn to gift-buying, we can feel as though our options are limited based on gender assumptions. In the world of fragrance, gender bias has played a significant role. We associate floral notes with the feminine and woody oriental notes with the masculine. However, things are changing. According to market research firm, Mintel, gender-neutral fragrance has risen in popularity from a 17% stake in the market in 2010, to 51% in 2018.

Perfume is Personal

At STORIES Parfum we believe that perfume is personal. Creative Director and Founder of the brand, Tonya Kidd-Beggs, blends floral, citrus, woody and smoky notes to create Eau de Parfums that appeal to both men and women. She created packaging that is bold yet simple to allow the fragrance to speak for itself. Neither the boxes nor the bottles are designed to attract one gender over another. They act as an introduction to a story that reveals itself upon application of the fragrance.  Tonya wants to engage the imagination of her customers as they wear her products. She recognises that everyone brings preconceived ideas to fragrance, whether these are related to gender or to a bias connected to ingredients.

“If you have already decided that you don’t like citrus scents then you might write off an Eau de Parfum that contains grapefruit as an ingredient. However, you don’t know how the creator of that fragrance has blended grapefruit with the other ingredients to create something unique.”

Suspend Your Bias

Tonya’s advice is to suspend your bias and engage with fragrance on a deeper level. Inhale it as it adheres to your skin and think about how it makes you feel and what it reminds you of. When buying it as a gift for the father figure in your life, do not be distracted by packaging or marketing strategies designed to appeal to gender bias.

The fragrance you choose should tell a story; here is ours:


This blend is a testament to hope that rises in spite of hardship. It opens with fresh, uplifting notes of bergamot, grapefruit and orange blossom which give way to delicate jasmine and the warmth of cedarwood. The heliotrope and fig-tea bring a touch of sweetness at the heart of this blend before it settles on your skin. With a base of amber, sandalwood and vetiver, STORIES Nº.01 is deeply comforting and full of promise.

When Tonya created this Eau de Parfum, she was inspired by the power of fragrance to bring healing. She was in Grasse, France, the fragrance capital of the world, and was quite unprepared for the journey she would undertake at the Perfumer’s Organ. The scents from the tiny bottles took her back to painful times in her past. She used fragrance as an artistic expression to weave the notes into a blend that paid homage to the past and spelled hope for the future.


 When Tonya was a child, she spent summer days exploring her grandfather’s garden. A keen horticulturalist, her grandfather kept pots of flowers, rose bushes and fruit trees alongside a greenhouse hot with the breath of tomato vines. While she played between the vegetable patch and the tiny stream that ran at the bottom of the garden, her father and grandfather stood together smoking their pipes in the shade.

STORIES Nº.02 opens with fresh bergamot and Bulgarian rose. It is redolent of oriental spice in the form of ginger, cardamom and green tea. Honey tobacco tones balance aromatic cedarwood at the heart of the blend. Opoponax, tonka bean and patchouli bring a sweet, floral undertone while amber and musk linger long into the wee hours.

Gift Sets

Our gift sets are the ideal way to treat someone you love this Father’s Day. Our Travel Duo sets feature a 15 ml bottle of Eau de Parfum and either a 100 ml Hand & Body Wash or a 100 ml Hand & Body Lotion. These sets are available in either of our luxury fragrances. For an extra special treat, our Body and Fragrance Duo sets feature a 30 ml bottle of Eau de Parfum and a 250 ml bottle of Hand & Body Wash. 

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