There have been dozens of threads on niche vs designer fragrance houses, who makes better fragrances etc.
I've noticed a definite pattern in niche vs designer fragrances, but there's one or two exceptions to the rule which confuse me and I'm wondering what more experienced people here think.
When it comes to the overall scent or concept of a fragrance, I find there are wonderful and ill concieved fragrances on both sides. However, in my limited experience there is one aspect in which niche houses are almost always superior. I find almost all designer fragrances irritate the throat on some level. Also as they fade they tend to degenerate in quality. If I wear alot of a designer fragrance for a day or so, I'll be sick of it, even if I love the smell. Meanwhile niche fragrances, even the ones I like less than a particular designer fragrance, are always really smooth and not irritating at all, even if I don't like the smell that much. And they fade away instead of degenerating or getting ugly over time.
My most in depth experience in niche houses is Serge Lutens, Creed and Ayala Sender. I feel like I can practically drink every fragrance they make, even the ones I don't like, though I tend to like most of them. It just smells like they're made from better quality stuff. I love M7 but it gets ugly after a few hours, meanwhile the fancy Oud oils even if they're way too much, just smell like quality.
But there are two exceptions - Bulgari (based on the Green, White and Red Teas and Black) and Hermes. Those are designer houses, but there's something about what they make that smells like quality, even though I'm often not a fan of the actual fragrances.
For example I adore Givenchy Xeryus Rouge, or YSL Opium EDP. Meanwhile I'm iffy on Hermes Jardin Sur Le Nil, and I often get "bug spray" comments when i wear it. Nevertheless, Nil smells like it's made from finer stuff. Bulgari Black makes me sick, but it never irritates my throat the way every other designer fragrance does.
So what is it? Do niche houses use better ingredients? Less cheap chemicals? Are they more carefully composed? Do Bvlgari and Hermes use better ingredients than other designer houses? Or is it just that the designer fragrances I've tried including the ones I love tend to be irritating on the throat and I just happen to have tried niche fragrances that aren't?
Last edited by GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; 6th March 2007 at 03:47 AM.
CREED: Chevrefeuille, SMW, BdP, Aventus
Parfums d'Empire: Fougére Bengale
YSL: Vintage M7
Niche is better. They take more risk. When the designers take risk (Egoiste, Gucci pour homme, Rochas Lui etc..) , those scents never reach the top of the sales-list. Is too complicated for the "mainstream" public. They just want the fresh, citrus, sport, aqua thing.. Niche is more intresting!
Perhaps niche houses are a little more discerning in choosing their ingredients.