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  1. #1

    Default When does "niche" become mainstream?

    Ive been thinking lately about mainstream fragrances vs niche ones...

    I feel with the accessibility on the internet to scents classed as "niche", as well as the growing number of retail outlets taking on niche brands, the lines between what are classed as 'exclusive' and 'mainstream' are become less distinct.
    For instance, Penhaligon's, Creed, Comptoir Sud Pacifique, Diptyque, Demeter, L'Artisan etc are becoming FAR more easily obtainable, and sites such as Basenotes are testament to their popularity and widespread use.
    Sometimes I guffaw at the droves of users here all using and recommending the same niche scents and brands. Although advice and recommendations are always welcomed, some of these somehow immediately depreciate in value for me.

    So I ask the question... at what point does the "exclusivity" (or lack thereof) of a "niche" brand push it into the "mainstream"?

  2. #2

    Default Re: When does "niche" become mainstream?

    Basenotes is a fragrance forum for discussing the latest and greatest in fragrances. We are a very small percentage of the fragrance market. Most of us are early adopters, and salivate at the thought of the newest fragrance release, whether it be designer or niche. There are similar discussion forums in other domains (I have been on a number of pc hardware, automobiles, etc forums since 1997) where a comparatively small but hardcore base discusses all the latest developments and products. But that doesn't mean that the hardcore concepts and products will suddenly become mainstream because of the recommendations or discussion. They help to facilitate discussion and allow people who make the effort to learn about the new products to add to their knowledge. For most on basenotes, the designer vs. niche tag is irrelevant.
    Last edited by zztopp; 21st August 2007 at 08:49 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: When does "niche" become mainstream?

    if something is sooo good and nobody knows that (it doesn´t matter what "Fragrance, Music, Clothing, Cars and so on") soon or later it becomes mainstream...only insiders know it earlier :-)

  4. #4

    Default Re: When does "niche" become mainstream?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    But that doesn't mean that the hardcore concepts and products will suddenly become mainstream because of the recommendations or discussion. They help to facilitate discussion and allow people who make the effort to learn about the new products to add to their knowledge.
    This is a given. My beef isnt about the discussion or personal preferences of each individual user, nor the unanimous open display of affection for a specific scent. That was merely an observation.

    My main point was regarding distribution lines and 'accessibility' of these scents... at which point do "niche" houses saturate the market enough (both retail and online retail) to lose their "niche" tag?

  5. #5

    Default Re: When does "niche" become mainstream?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    My main point was regarding distribution lines and 'accessibility' of these scents... at which point do "niche" houses saturate the market enough (both retail and online retail) to lose their "niche" tag?
    The Fragrance Foundation (http://www.fragrance.org) defines "niche" by the number of retail outlets.

  6. #6

    Default Re: When does "niche" become mainstream?

    My understanding of a Niche house is that making perfumes and cosmetics is their "niche".

    So houses like Caron / Guerlain who's mens frags are not overly expensive would be niche according to my classification.

    Applying that logic, a niche house would lose it's niche tag should it venture outside of fragrance / cosmetics into something like fashion or jewellery design.

  7. #7

    Default Re: When does "niche" become mainstream?

    I don't really define "niche" in terms of popularity. Not at all, actually. To me, it's more about the identity of the house. If the company makes fragrances and fragrances only (Creed, L'Artisan, Bond no 9, etc), or maybe fragrances and only a very small number of other products (ie Art of Shaving, MPG, Geo F. Trumper, Diptyque, etc) they are automatically niche. Thus, Guerlain is niche to me, even though it is widely available.

    By the same token, companies like YSL are Hermes are probably on the same level on the popularity scale as Guerlain, but I don't think anyone would call them niche.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 22nd August 2007 at 06:20 AM.
    "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."

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