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  1. #1

    Default Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I mean that once you discover niche fragrances, will you ever go back to department store brands. I would definately have to give a resounding NO. Besides a few fragrances, I can't really go back once I've experienced the utter quality of houses like Creed, Montale, Malle, Lutens, Amouage, MPG, etc. What about...YOU? (points finger at computer screen)

  2. #2

    narcus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?


    YES !


    I would have preferred to discover niche right from the start, because my standards would have been higher so much earlier. But it wasn't like emigrating to never come back. By the time the main public discovers that there is more than Armani and YSL have to offer, some of the niche prophets have already run out of ideas. Or they have begun to water their juices down like everybody else. And where do we draw the line? I really think I would have missed something, had I not given the Dior Homme derivates a chance! Dior Homme itself is a pretty good fragrance, worthy of being called French Lover ! I just happened to not like it very much. It is as if they made Dior Homme Cologne for people like me, though. I am so glad, I came across it by lucky accident: good as the original, but leaving a few things out, sugar mainly. I am biased against a few brands, niche and common ones - that's bad enough, but one could call it learned selectiveness, too.
    Last edited by narcus; 5th May 2008 at 12:44 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  3. #3
    reneirwold878's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Quote Originally Posted by leor_77 View Post
    Besides a few fragrances
    So you mean yes. I would have to say yes as well.
    Last edited by reneirwold878; 5th May 2008 at 06:21 AM.
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  4. #4
    trumpet_guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Yes, I like various niche scents but still use department store scents regularly:
    Chanel; Guerlain; Gucci Pour Homme is still one of my favorites; Hanae Mori HM is
    still my favorite gourmand scent.

    Niche have their place in my wardrobe, but so do mainstream scents.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Mainstream isn`t bad just for the being mainstream
    Dior, Guerlain, YSL, Chanel, Givenchy, CK etc - I try every thing that popped out on the market. Hey, you just never know

    But I could add something - just think again!
    After niche scents you could go into territory of discontinued scents. Like Ungaro II, Ungaro Hombre de la Nuit, Morabito Or Black, Yohji pour homme (1999), etc...
    And all those vintages which are smelling `almost the same, but different and better`
    And all those pre-IFRA scents that include oakmoss in higher dosage, and first editions of Brut that contains nitromusks...

    It`s a long-long way...
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Look, I just started my new life with scents (I did use them rarely before last october). I'm starting this trip with basentoes community/database by my side and I found out one thing:
    I like GOOD scents. By this I mean I like scents with high quality ingredients. I smell everything I can lay my hands on, but once you've learned a bit to distinguish say real citrus from synthetic citrus you prefer the real one. Its like having the same cake don with butter and done using margarine: the first one stands out.

    OT
    @Moon_fish: I'd give my left foot for a couple of 100ml bottles of Ungaro II...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I would say "Yes". I have niche fragrances in my wardrobe, but also enjoy "department store" fragrances from Chanel, YSL, Dior, Burberry, Gucci, Thierry Mugler, Guerlain, Prada, Hermes, etc - think they all consistently make some top quality fragrances. "Niche" doesn't always mean "better".

    I base my decision on purchasing a fragrance based on how it smells, not who made it or what bottle it is in or what label is on it.
    Last edited by petruccijc; 5th May 2008 at 02:53 PM.

  8. #8
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Quote Originally Posted by leor_77 View Post
    I can't really go back once I've experienced the utter quality of houses like Creed, Montale, Malle, Lutens, Amouage, MPG, etc. What about...YOU? (points finger at computer screen)
    It depends on the criteria one uses to to define the quality attributes.
    If one's quality criteria include
    1. Longevity, and/or
    2. Sillage, and/or
    3. The trait of eliciting a positive response from women, and/or
    4. Not getting leakage from a bottle when it's in one's bag, and/or
    5. Value for money

    one will be heading back to designer scents fairly quickly.

    Renato

  9. #9

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    It depends. There's the practicality factor too - buying niche scents would mean buying online, where for me the postage/package would be exorbitant and being a student, it's not that practical.

    There are some fragrances which are borderline - they're not quite mainstream, but not quite niche.

    Having said that, niche fragrances are great.

  10. #10
    Merlino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Sure, I sometimes buy department store frags although I must say that I buy niche far more often, mostly because they're usually more interesting and not as polite and unobtrusive. Only yesterday I bought a bottle of Eau Sauvage for my summer-citrus-spray-as-many-times-as-you-can fragrance
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & Rve en Cuir
    Chant d'Aromes extrait
    Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)


    Selling/swapping:
    Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
    ---

    "The Sunshine bores the daylights outta me!"
    http://polderposh.blogspot.com/

  11. #11

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I would have to say that at first when I went niche I was mentally there for a bit - though after you do some sampling, you start to realize that while the most unusual fragrances generally are form that group, there are some incredibly well put together ascents from the more mainstream houses (YSL, Chanel, Guerlain, Caron, etc. etc. etc.).

    For a good general purpose cologne or male fragrance - the classic mainstreams are really hard to exceed. (I am thinking of Egoiste, Antaeus, Yatagan, Pour Un Homme, Gucci PH, and so on)
    ===
    [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me nave, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross. ~ David Sedaris

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Quote Originally Posted by mlt.perfume View Post

    There are some fragrances which are borderline - they're not quite mainstream, but not quite niche.
    I tend to enjoy these quite a bit, e.g. niche type scents made by mainstream houses, or niche houses trying to make scents that appeal to mainstream audiences.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I wish I could actually smell more 'niche' fragrances. The only place that sells them to my knowledge in Perth is Mecca Cosmetica, and its not exactly the most inviting store for a 21 year old guy. The sales assistants are also incredibly snooty! I have been getting less enthused with the 'mainstream' stuff lately though... Just about everything I own is a 'safe' / 'mainstream' fragrance :\
    Looking for: Andy Tauer - L'air du Desert Morocain & Incense Extreme

    Check out my NEW Aussie sale / trade thread here -
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/249...76#post1801576

  14. #14

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I think the whole conversation ends up disappearing up it's own bottom to be honest. You have choices in life whether you choose to become an elitist snob or someone who regardless of what's on the label can recognise something that is well crafted.

    I love Grey Flannel. It doesn't cost a fortune, but is a beautiful fragrance.

    I refuse to disappear into the realms of snearing at the mainstream because there are some great mainstream fragrances and I think you become a fool once you can't admit nor see that because too many people know about them.

    Look at Creeds for heaven's sake. Most of them are crap, in my opinion. They might have some pretty head and heart notes but then disappear before you get to really appreciate the basenotes, which you then have to search for with the nasal equivalent of a magnifying glass. Are they worth over £100.00 a bottle? No, they aren't. So yeah, if you want to impress other perfumistas, spend fortunes on them - are you getting value for money? I don't think so - not when if you are wearing them to attract women and most women's olfactory palette salivates at Joop! or JPG Le Male.

    Sorry about the Creed rant, but the whole elitist thing in any sector gets on my nerves. I'm a photographer and you get bloody idiots there like Nikon snobs who will only use Nikon lenses because they believe that you can only take decent photographs with Nikon lenses. I use Nikon lenses, but some of my sharpest lenses are Tokinas. Then you get the cretins who go on about a lense having a "creamy bokeh", as if anyone is going to notice.

    I will always go with what's good. And don't give a toss what's on the label, I'm frankly not that insecure.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    This thread reminds me of other threads:

    Is it all about the juice and only the juice? Or it the entire thing an aesthetic experience, so bottle, label, packaging, juice and so on all (unequal) parts of the entire experience?

    For me, I would LIKE to think it is all about the juice. Some days I am not so sure if I am being brutally intellectually honest! I know since I started down this winding road ... it has certainly been more and more about the juice (case in point Monchoir de Monsieur - just bought - hated the name, hate the bottle, its too big (100mL), Guerlain isn't my favorite house, but "knock me over with a feather" love the juice!

    I also have found that buying a "perfumed court" sampler is a good way to test things quasi-blind (working through a fig one ATM!). You get a pile of things, from houses you haven't even heard of - all in neat identical, small, vials and you are forced to evaluate the juice more on its own terms.
    Last edited by Bromo33333; 5th May 2008 at 02:13 PM.
    ===
    [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me nave, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross. ~ David Sedaris

  16. #16
    Brielle87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I hate to say it, but most niche fragrances I smell I dislike intensely. I went through a phase and purchased all the l'Artisan fragrances, and I despise all of them with the exception of one (which is now phased away). I am selling every bottle of l'Artisan I own (keep your eyes open). But on the other hand; I always go back to Chanel, or Estee Lauder; Youth-Dew, Alliage, Cinnabar, Azuree, etc, and Shalimar. For myself, niche scents are just too much, I want to smell lovely, not like a science project is occurring on my body. So yes, I have gone niche and come back, and will not venture forth so fool heartedly again.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser sa source

  17. #17
    Mudassir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Really depends on how passionate you are about the quality/smell. Its a bit hard to overcome the snobbish factor and smelling-like-no-other that might come with a niche. But perhaps sometimes a lot of us just force ourselves to like something that much more because it is some specific brand. I remember doing a blind test with a lot of my friends with Creed GIT, Cool Water, and Carlo Corinto Rouge. And ever single one of them picked Carlo Corinto as the "best" quality. I am sure they would have forced themselves into considering Creed the best quality had they know about the prestige and price.

    My best find of the last few months has been Bogart Pour Homme- that could be had for $15-20!
    Last edited by Mudassir; 5th May 2008 at 02:26 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Funnily I sort of started niche and have now started exploring the classics.

    I kind of like stuff that teeters on the brink between conventional and a bit weird - some departmental stuff can be a little too middle of the road, I suppose I'm particularly thinking of the shelves and shelves of fruity-floral smell-a-likes, and some niche stuff can be a little too odd. The classic houses like Caron, Chanel and Guerlain often seem to get that balance just right - I guess why offerings such as Apres L'Ondee or Cuir de Russie have stood the test of time.

    My collection is probably now pretty much evenly split between niche and mainstream and I will happily continue to explore all ends of the spectrum. I suppose that exposure to different sorts of houses has helped me to develop more concrete likes and dislikes and a taste for better quality ingredients and more artful composition - but I don't think that either niche nor mainstream brands have a monopoly on those elements.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I am definitely in both camps.

    So far I have explored fragrances by family and not by house. However, if I like a fragrance by a particular house I am predisposed to try others in their line.

    I am not sure how my collection breaks down by niche vs. non-niche, but, in my mind, it is roughly 50-50. About 40% of my top forty are mainstream fragrances.

    I have been considering exploring scents by perfumeur but want to revisit my collection before undertaking that.
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 5th May 2008 at 03:07 PM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I think learning about niche fragrances here on Basenotes definitely opened my eyes to a wonderful world of scents. But, niche fragrance houses (I have learned) also produce lackluster fragrances.

    I have learned that my love of a scent has very little to do with who manufactures it.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 5th May 2008 at 03:13 PM.
    "All problems are illusions of the mind."

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Yep, I have a mix of niche and non-niche fragrances. I enjoy both groups equally.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    It's sort of hard for me to tell how I break down on this.

    My first answer is yes, definitly I go back. How could I be without Givenchy Gentleman? Van Clef & Arpels (PH)? Eau Sauvage? M7? Gucci Nobile? Dior's Higher? Grey Flannel?

    I don't want to be without those. Yet I have a second answer. That's that I find the things I start wearing more and more come from the niche category. The things I buy from sellers on the sale board are niche, the things I'm curious about are niche, and the things I take out of the collection for consistent use--things not packed away for a move, say--are niche.

    So in the first answer I certainly go for the old stuff--have to have it. I have to have all the classics from the Guerlain, Caron, Chanel houses too, but also my second answer is true too--my scent use indicates I keep seeking niche.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Yes of course.

    Some of the best perfumers that have produced exceptional niche scents are often also responsible for many great mainstream releases. You would be doing yourself a great injustice in closing the door on mainstream scents for the sake of remaining exclusively dedicated to niche creations.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Quote Originally Posted by HDS1963 View Post
    [...] I use Nikon lenses, but some of my sharpest lenses are Tokinas. Then you get the cretins who go on about a lense having a "creamy bokeh", as if anyone is going to notice. [...]
    Not to mention Leica snobs! I do think photography and perfumery have a lot of parallels - I have found some of my best pictures came from a Kodak Instamatic camera! (And thats because I spent a lot of time taking pictures rather than fussing with the gear!)

    I suppose parallel saying would be:

    Its about the image, not the gear! Its about the juice, not anything else!
    Last edited by Bromo33333; 5th May 2008 at 03:27 PM.
    ===
    [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me nave, but I seemed to have underestimated the universal desire to sit in a hard plastic chair and stare at a screen until your eyes cross. ~ David Sedaris

  25. #25
    Renato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Quote Originally Posted by HDS1963 View Post
    I'm a photographer and you get bloody idiots there like Nikon snobs who will only use Nikon lenses because they believe that you can only take decent photographs with Nikon lenses. I use Nikon lenses, but some of my sharpest lenses are Tokinas. Then you get the cretins who go on about a lense having a "creamy bokeh", as if anyone is going to notice.
    .
    I think you are being a tad unfair on this point. I didn't know what "bokeh" was till about a year ago, and once over that hurdle, I've been trying to get a handle on "creamy bokeh". Let's face it, really expensive lenses give much better bokeh than el cheapo lenses most of the time. And when one gulps and posts pictures at Dpreview, there will be plenty of people there who can judge whether the bokeh is any good or not.

    Renato

  26. #26
    Hoos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    This is a good thread and a good discussion.

    I would have to say that I do prefer niche (depending on how you define "niche") fragrances because they smell more natural than most of the mainstream ones I've tried (I do enjoy Burberry Brit). Not that they are necessarily more natural, but they smell more natural.

    The frags I've tried from Parfums de Nicolai, Acqua di Parma, all i Profumi di Firenze all have a cleaner scent life and a more rounded, complete feel to my nose. Prior to them, Jil Sander Feeling Man was the only frag I used after sampling a bunch of mainstream scents (Polo, Gray Flannel, Paco Rabanne, Calvin Kline, Cool Water) which just disagreed with me. Those frags on other men can be very nice, just not what I would wear.

    But my experience is limited: 1980s power frags, then fast forward to 2008. There's plenty of department store stuff I haven't tried in between or prior to the 80s (excluding Old Spice and English Leather). But neither an I tempted to try them.

    So, while not dissing the "department store" brands, currently niche frags are my preferred wardrobe because they seem to perform better with my chemistry and have a better feel to my nose.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  27. #27

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    I think you are being a tad unfair on this point. I didn't know what "bokeh" was till about a year ago, and once over that hurdle, I've been trying to get a handle on "creamy bokeh". Let's face it, really expensive lenses give much better bokeh than el cheapo lenses most of the time. And when one gulps and posts pictures at Dpreview, there will be plenty of people there who can judge whether the bokeh is any good or not.

    Renato

    Try this then.

    Earn your living from photography, then tell me how important some obscure lens from 40 years ago is.

    Most of the people who get uptight about bokeh are bloody lousy photographers - I know, I've had to put up with looking at the dross they put out.

  28. #28
    DustB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    Gents, I can open up a photography thread on Off Topic and merge these posts onto it.

    Just let me know.
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    My take: I'm not going to spend niche prices, so I decided to look for the "hidden gems" among the cheapos. I found things like Bogart PH, Uomo? Moschino, Horizon, etc. for next to nothing. I rotate them and I don't get bored. I still pick up eBay bargains now and then, but niche frags remind me of why I never watched Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for more than a minute or so.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Once you go niche, do you ever go back?

    I don't even look at scents or houses as niche or mainstream. Each fragrance gets evaluated on its own merits, and I buy the ones I really like. The name on the label, the packaging, the marketing are of no consequence.

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