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  1. #1

    Default Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    what is it that makes Niche fragrances smell so much more rich and developed than Designers scents? i've noticed this now in 3 different scents from 3 different lines (SL Chergui, Creed BdP, and Tauer's Desert Morocain).

    what is it thats in these scents that makes the superiority in quality over Designer fragrances so easily noticeable? or am I just smelling a common element that all 3 of these particular scents share?

  2. #2
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    I would suggest you read the thread "Designer or Niche: A reevaluation" referenced below in the "similar threads" section (scroll down).
    -

  3. #3

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    A niche is not per definition superior to a designer scent, but you happen to have chosen three cases which represent perfumes with very high quality ingredients and an above average percentage of natural oils, from houses/designers with a reputation for investing serious thought into the construction of a fragrance. These are all factors, which, under increasing competition, profit-pressure and speed of marketing cycles, are lacking in many designer fragrances these days - as well as in superficial gimmicky niches. You will find the same quality in a designer fragrance such as Patou pour homme, R de Capucci, or even Terre d'Hermes (with the difference that J.C. Ellena is not into rich or heady compositions, but known for his minimalist, aquarell-type approach, which, I suppose, happens to correspond better to the economics of contemporary perfumery).
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    I would suggest you read the thread "Designer or Niche: A reevaluation" referenced below in the "similar threads" section (scroll down).
    An interesting read by a very knowledgeable member so i do stand corrected on my misconception of superiority in quality.

    I guess that my question should have been rephrased with emphasis only on these 3 fragrances and not the Niche market in whole.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    A niche is not per definition superior to a designer scent, but you happen to have chosen three cases which represent perfumes with very high quality ingredients and an above average percentage of natural oils, from houses/designers with a reputation for investing serious thought into the construction of a fragrance. These are all factors, which, under increasing competition, profit-pressure and speed of marketing cycles, are lacking in many designer fragrances these days - as well as in superficial gimmicky niches. You will find the same quality in a designer fragrance such as Patou pour homme, R de Capucci, or even Terre d'Hermes (with the difference that J.C. Ellena is not into rich or heady compositions, but known for his minimalist, aquarell-type approach, which, I suppose, happens to correspond better to the economics of contemporary perfumery).
    Thank you for the insightful response.

    Terre actually happens to be one of my recent favorites and its quality is undeniable.

    The Designer houses who I was referring to in regards to quality are offerings from the likes of Armani, Versace, D&G, Prada etc...
    Last edited by kmoorer; 5th April 2007 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by kmoorer View Post
    An interesting read by a very knowledgeable member so i do stand corrected on my misconception of superiority in quality.

    I guess that my question should have been rephrased with emphasis only on these 3 fragrances and not the Niche market in whole.
    I dont notice any similarity interms of composition between the three you listed. They all are fine fragrances. However, if you have explored multiple niche houses, you might have noticed that they have their share of trite uninspired fragrances, although they seem less in number simply because there are many more designer fragrance releases per year. The recent proliferation of niche houses is a disturbing trend - everyone and their rich uncle wants to start a niche perfumery touting the rarest of virginal natural materials. Even the designer houses like Dior, Hermes, Guerlain and Chanel have "exclusive" niche lines.
    -

  6. #6

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    I m wearing the new Rousse by Serge Lutens today and I just realise how exciting it 's been all day, such an aphrodisiac cinnamon theme scent that s so unique, a true work of art, not some cookie cinnamon fragrance but really something feminine, ladylike and very erotic. My (secret lol) lover complimented me right away this afternoon (which he rarely does), that also contributed to the whole magic.
    I can 't think of anything that 's mass marketed that can come as close in terms of quality and beauty.

    there are exceptions of mass marketed scents like M7 by Yves Saint Laurent was/is a great oud oriental male scent but profits are not as high as regular Saint Laurent scents so they discontinue it without giving it a chance in the long term.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Even the designer houses like Dior, Hermes, Guerlain and Chanel have "exclusive" niche lines.

    you got that right! my $200 Rose Barbare by Guerlain which I found sexy and lovely for three weeks bores to death now! same for Chelsea Flowers by Bond No 9, at this price way too generic and uninspired.
    Last edited by Jasmin de Grasse; 5th April 2007 at 02:34 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  7. #7

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    I would not say that niche are superior to fragrances from the design houses. There are some of exceptional quality but there is $#!+ too, just like with the design houses. I would say where the niche fragrances are really different is they are more willing to take risks and try new things. I think that is what really makes niche fragrances different from the design houses.
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  8. #8

    Smile Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    IMHO the difference I find in niche frags is that they're more often built around strong single notes than the "blended and balanced" approach of designer frags. I am not saying this is always the case, but more of a general rule. I like both. Serge Lutens is my favorite niche house and I'd say YSL is my favorite designer house.

  9. #9
    trumpet_guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    As has been said already, neither niche nor designer are superior
    in general. You have to take the fragrances on a frag-by-frag basis.

    And, I think you will be hard pressed to find any niche scent that
    surpasses the note development and masterful blending of Patou Pour Homme,
    which is a now-discontinued designer fragrance. But there are niche scents,
    such as Bois du Portugal [in my opinion], that are in the same league.

    Unfortunately, it seems that every clothing designer issues
    multiple scents these days, and many, many of these just seem like
    also-ran, "me too" fragrances. Especially when there is a new one every
    year or two. But, niche players do the same. [Bond #9, anyone? They're
    well made, but many are derivative of existing scents and the price is way
    too high.]

  10. #10

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    My simple deduction would be a niche fragrance house usually makes fragrances where as designer houses may make clothes ,clothing ,shoes etc
    So in a nutshell the niche house stands or falls on the quality of it's fragrances and the designer houses have fingers in other pies thus if they produce a duff perfume a nice range of bags could pull them out of the fire, a niche perfume house produces a couple of shite fragrances and they are looking at the receiver.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    I think we mistake uniqueness for quality around here quite often. IMO, the reason niche houses can take more risks is simply a matter of marketing. Their target market is made of people who are willing to explore more interesting and unexpected fragrant combinations.

    Designer scents, on the other hand, must bend to the will of their profit driven parent companies (not that a drive for profit is bad...but it's any company's legal prerogative) most of the time. These scents are not worse, they just must be safer so that the company sells enough units to even keep making fragrance in the first place. A niche house doesn't expect high volume and has fewer investors/financial executives to satisfy.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  12. #12

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    I think we mistake uniqueness for quality around here quite often. IMO, the reason niche houses can take more risks is simply a matter of marketing. Their target market is made of people who are willing to explore more interesting and unexpected fragrant combinations.

    Designer scents, on the other hand, must bend to the will of their profit driven parent companies (not that a drive for profit is bad...but it's any company's legal prerogative) most of the time. These scents are not worse, they just must be safer so that the company sells enough units to even keep making fragrance in the first place. A niche house doesn't expect high volume and has fewer investors/financial executives to satisfy.
    That pretty much sums it up. You hit the nail on the head.

    This is something that a lot of people in the perfume industry (the perfumers themselves, especially) are disgruntled about. The design houses spend so much on advertising that they can't afford to make an unusual scent; by the time the advertising money is spent, they have to sell *a lot* of perfume to make up for the losses. Thus the perfume has to be something that the average person can appreciate on the very first sniff without causing mixed emotions, and decide to buy based on that initial quick judgement.

    Like you said, it doesn't mean the perfume is bad; just "safe".
    Last edited by Maxwell; 5th April 2007 at 04:05 PM. Reason: correction

  13. #13

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell View Post
    That pretty much sums it up. You hit the nail on the head.

    This is something that a lot of people in the perfume industry (the perfumers themselves, especially) are disgruntled about. The design houses spend so much on advertising that they can't afford to make an unusual scent; by the time the advertising money is spent, they have to sell *a lot* of perfume to make up for the losses. Thus the perfume has to be something that the average person can appreciate on the very first sniff without causing mixed emotions, and decide to buy based on that initial quick judgement.

    Like you said, it doesn't mean the perfume is bad; just "safe".
    This is why i think Dior Homme started out so different with that great iris note then petered out to blandsville vanilla light amber just to play safe.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Niche Quality Superior to Designer...Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by kmoorer View Post
    what is it that makes Niche fragrances smell so much more rich and developed than Designers scents? i've noticed this now in 3 different scents from 3 different lines (SL Chergui, Creed BdP, and Tauer's Desert Morocain).

    what is it thats in these scents that makes the superiority in quality over Designer fragrances so easily noticeable? or am I just smelling a common element that all 3 of these particular scents share?
    Designer fragrances can be as rich and as developed as niche fragrances, both have their ups and downs, and neither is better than the other.

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