What are lesbian’s favourite perfumes? I asked this on my TikTok channel and got a huge response. I sifted and sorted all the comments and broke things down into a group of lesbian fragrance tribes, i.e. what perfumes do lesbians like.
At the time of writing, I’ve had about 100k views and 900 (200’sih) to my TikTok covering an academic study on same-sex attraction and perfume ‘Olfactory Preferences of Lesbians‘. In the comments, many people self-identifying as lesbians stated the fragrances they like on themselves and the partners.
I went through all the comments, put them in a spreadsheet and then grouped them first into fragrance preferences by note/type; then into a higher-level set of categories, I’ve called lesbian fragrance tribes or perfume groups.
First a word of warning- this is not a statistically sound study. That is, the data may in fact be representative of lesbian perfume preferences I just can prove that it’s true for a few reasons:
- the TikTok algorithm is based on confirmation bias – that is, it will selectively show a video, so someone likely to like/agrees with it;
- the comments represent less than 1% of the total views; those that do comment are likely to be those with strong confirmation or contradiction opinion (but give the bias above, it’s likely to be the former);
- those that commented could, in fact, not be lesbians and / or not be saying what their true preferences are – while this is academically true there seems little motivation for this behaviour given the context.
Further, in reading the comments (as I’ve not been able to download them to run analytics software against them), I may have made errors. I have certainly made subjective judgments about which group, and especially summary group an opinion falls into.
Preferences by perfume note
Having said all that, the 100s of comments on the TikTok provide a fascinating insight into preferences and there are some strong themes that came out. To find specifically (i.e. by brand) what perfumes lesbians like check out the rest of this site to see what brands match the notes and mixes – as the range of specific perfumes that lesbians like is far too broad to list here.
Here’s a simple chart of the data, the orange lines at the bottom represent summary groups of some of the data shown in the blue lines above e.g. the ‘All Spice’ contains the lines ‘Musk Spice and Old Spice.
Lesbian fragrance tribes
If we now groups the responses into very ad agency ‘lesbian fragrance tribes’ we get the following.
Layering Goddesses and ‘Old Spice Lesbians’
- Spicy / Musk + Floral or Gourmont
The largest number of commentators expressed a preference of some form of ‘spice’ scent generally with something else. The most typically contrast combination stated was a ‘spice’ deodorant or body wash combined with either a floral of gourmand fragrance. Many expressed an enjoyment both of the fragrances and the symbolic contrast of stereotypically ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ fragrances.
When ‘spice’ was mentioned it was most often qualified with ‘warm’ and sometimes ‘sweet’; also spice / musk was a common combination (one of the highest scent groups).
Those who expressed a love of nature in their fragrances split into two groups:
- Forest Floor: Earthy / woods / grass / jasmine / lavender
This group expressed a love of natural earthy scents. I’m lumping into this group those that mentioned herbs as it seemed that the sentiment being expressed was similar (though see data for larger herb groups split out). This like moss and grass were also mentioned.
Clean wood: Cedar / sandalwood
This group also like nature but they leaned more on the fresh / clean wood type notes rather than the more earthy ones; but again there seemed to be a leaning towards the natural aspects of the scent.
Fresh fresh fresh
This group loved the idea of being clean and fresh. Laundry and the sea were mentioned explicitly. I’ve also aligned aldehyde lovers including No 5 and No 19 as ‘clean’ was one of Coco Chanel’s aims for No 5 (see Chanel No 5: Part 1).
The Yummie group not only expressed a liking of sweet edible flavour but in some cases suggested or implied a liking of the idea of them making the wearer more desirable and edible.
- Natural smell of the body
- Washed / unwashed
- Feet !
This last group either rejected perfume or preferred the smell of the body. In some cases, this was due to having nausea or headaches associated with perfumes (see my entry on the relationship between headaches and perfume) or preference.
A smaller group liked the scent, generally of their partner, of being ‘dirty’ or ‘unwashed’ – while this may seem a surprise to some, in fact, many of the underlying notes in fragrances have exactly the same chemicals as found in the body, excretions and / or decaying organic matter (see the entry Scent and Sex).