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  1. #1

    Default NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    Luca Turin in NZZ Folio, March 2004, now available in English:

    'The World Upside Down'


    "Go to the perfume section of a large department store (I did in Paris last week) and take a look around. A revolution has happened virtually overnight: the little 'niche' perfumeries now take center stage, and the great firms of the past are relegated to the outer edges....."


    http://www.nzzfolio.ch/www/d80bd71b-...9202b703f.aspx

    Translations of older articles have now been archived in a way that allows easy access. On the German pages of Folio go to 'Archiv' and select year and month. Go down to Kolumnen/Duftnote/Mehr. The column will be displayed in German, click on 'Artikel in Englisch', and you are there.

    (If I have the time, I shall try and assemble more links to the individual columns.)
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  2. #2

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    Wow, Narcus, what a great review!!
    I loved the "Hummel-Mozart" analogy!

  3. #3

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    Thanks for the link Narcus; very interesting.
    « L'odeur de rose, faible, grâce au vent léger d'été qui passe, se męle aux parfums qu'elle a mis.»
    [ Paul Verlaine ]
    Wardrobe

  4. #4

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    the logic is absurd. it's like basically he's saying niche houses have no "names" so they can't be any good. I'm not saying there aren't elements of truth in the article and there aren't a lot of twee niche scents out there.

    But at its core it's sort of tautalogical. Just because people don't hum it doesn't make it hummel.

  5. #5

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    Quote Originally Posted by supermarky
    the logic is absurd. it's like basically he's saying niche houses have no "names" so they can't be any good. I'm not saying there aren't elements of truth in the article and there aren't a lot of twee niche scents out there.
    But at its core it's sort of tautalogical. Just because people don't hum it doesn't make it hummel.
    But he is not saying that niche houses have no names and cannot be good!
    From the lot he refers to (and we do not know most of them) he picks two newer ones (2004), because he thinks they offer excellent stuff! He also says that (perhaps) the bulk of them is not as good as people tend to believe nowadays. What do we know? These may be just known in Paris. What matters most - his judgement on Lutens and Malle has been widely confirmed meanwhile.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  6. #6

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    well since he isn't about to find any of the niche names fit to print, it does seem that they have no names.

    the article boils down to typical sychophantic critic diatribe to me.

    aside from sweeping put downs the argument seems to be if the niche perfumers had any talent they'd be working for the designers. It's as though he read that article about Ellena in his silly conferences at Hermes and found it reassuring. Never mind the parts about the trip to the nile in a desperate search for whatever could be said to come from the Nile, fabulously expensive materials. He's putting that part aside for the moment.

    I guess time will tell if the niche thing marches on, but it's typical of the old guard to get hysterical about the destruction of their art when really it's like the vcr or something, the niche thing probably stimulates so much business all around. designers should be happy.

    and designers are already copying the niches.
    Last edited by supermarky; 3rd October 2006 at 01:14 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    Supermarky, it was Chandler Burr who wrote about Hermes' Un Jardin sur le Nil, not Luca Turin. Burr is also the author of the 'Emperor of Scent' (i.e. a book about L. Turin, the scientist). They seem to be friends. Burr is an American, Turin is European with a North African background. He went to School in Geneva and his main language is French. In subject article, as in many others, he writes about France, often Paris, here the Galeries Lafayette (assumedly) where perfumes fill the whole ground flooor.

    I always believd this place to be the largest, most lively perfume palace in the world, and I remember the scenery with Dior, Chanel, Worth, Caron, Piguet, Carven, etc in the center of it, not in the outer circle. The change must have been a sensation for the town, and to this day I know of no perfume department where a similar move was made (New York? California?).

    Here Turin does nothing but describe the beginning of a trend towards 'small is (more) beautiful' , a trend obviously caused by customer desires.
    Turin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luca_Turin
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  8. #8

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    Thanks for the link Narcus!

  9. #9

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    I know the article was by CB, not LT... I was saying it was as though LT had read it, being impressed by the parts that were ridiculous, and disregarding the parts in which the houses go about staking their claim to employing exotic precious new materials, as though it's ridiculous to begin with. But then he goes on to accuse the niche designers of... lying about what they use or indicating that intheir hands the exotic ingredients end up smelling commonplace. Pretty high handed criticism to level at an entire class with no actual 'for instance' s


    Anyway, if you look at the people he champions it reads like a social register: Guerlain's granddaughter, Louis Malle's son and Serge Lutens. Names!

  10. #10

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    The article reads like a set up for marketing the house of Frederic Malle.
    -

  11. #11

    Default Re: NICHE - a totally relaxed approach

    his wikipedia blurb sounds a lot like makeupalley "king of england"

    I like the sound (no pun intended) of the "vibration theory" of olfactory perception. this would really seem to imply that scents are a "group" in the algebraic sense, that there would be in fact ways of relating all scents, deriving one scent from another by means of some operation. sort of a romantic/scientific notion I have posted about before!

    but his writing shows him to possibly be someting of a star struck snob before anything else, at least as a journalist, which is pretty much par for the course for a critic.

    maybe it's about time the "world were turned upside down" or the sky is falling or whatever. . . maybe traditional colognes aren't so relevant to a lot of people today who don't, (and sometimes I think, alas) walk around in suit and tie as they did in the heyday of all the biggies.
    Last edited by supermarky; 3rd October 2006 at 09:38 PM.

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