Code of Conduct

View Poll Results: READ THE INSRUCTIONS!!! YOU CAN CHOOSE MORE THAN 1 OPTION

Voters
133. You may not vote on this poll
  • Only Mainstream

    18 13.53%
  • 10% niche 90% Mainstream

    15 11.28%
  • 20% niche 80% Mainstream

    11 8.27%
  • 30% niche 70% Mainstream

    17 12.78%
  • 40% niche 60% Mainstream

    13 9.77%
  • 50% niche 50% Mainstream

    7 5.26%
  • 60% niche 40% Mainstream

    6 4.51%
  • 70% niche 30% Mainstream

    9 6.77%
  • 80% niche 20% Mainstream

    17 12.78%
  • 90% niche 10% Mainstream

    10 7.52%
  • Only Niche

    6 4.51%
  • Because mainstream EDTS are as good as Niche.

    16 12.03%
  • Because I do not want to spend a fortune.

    25 18.80%
  • While I have a lot of Des. I almost only wear Niche now.

    7 5.26%
  • I am not impressed by niche labels.

    18 13.53%
  • Because I am tired of mainstream fragrances. I want something different

    33 24.81%
  • Because Niche is more luxurious.

    11 8.27%
  • Because 98% of the times Niche uses better ingredients.

    16 12.03%
  • I really do not pay attention to the distinction between Niche v. Mainstream.

    36 27.07%
  • Other. Why do you prefer N or D?

    4 3.01%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 42 of 42
  1. #1

    Default Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I have been waiting for the wardrobes to be updated but that is taking a while.
    Basically, I am asking you to count the bottles on your collection and calculate the Niche vs. Mainstream percentages. Now, lets be as accurate as possible. Please, I do not want you to participate on the poll based on an estimation of your collection (Lets avoid the “I feel like I have 50-50”). COUNT YOUR BOTTLES (I KNOW I have X Niche and Y mainstream). I know this may seem like an impossible task for some of the heavy collectors but if it is not accurate, it is garbage data.

    *Samples do not count.
    *Backup bottles do not count. If you have 2 or more bottles of the same scent count only 1.
    *Decants above 15ml can be counted as a full bottle.
    *You can use your own judgment to classify a fragrance as niche or mainstream but as a rule of thumb: if you cannot find it at Macy's or any other lower-end stores then it is Niche.
    *Count only the bottles you currently own. Bottles that you have had in the past do not count.

    Once you know your percentages, chose a statement that applies the most to your collection. Why is your collection the way it is? Why do you have more Niche or Mainstream scents? It is OK to use your own perceptions here

    How to calculate the percentages*.
    Count all your bottles.
    Then count only niche or only mainstream EDTs
    compute:
    100 x Number of Designer Bottles÷Total of bottles = % of designer bottles.
    Or
    100 x Number of Niche Bottles÷Total of bottles = % of Niche bottles.

    If done correctly both numbers have to add up to 100%. Approximate your numbers to fit one of the options above.
    Example: I have 32 bottles and 7 Niche scents: 100x6/32=21.87%. I will choose 20% Niche 80%Mainstream.

    Please, do not try to prove anything. Here, we are not impressed with only niche collections or look down on only mainstream wardrobes.
    BE HONEST!!!


    Thank you for your effort.
    Last edited by irish; 2nd July 2008 at 05:17 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Great post!

    For me, as of today:
    20% niche 80% Mainstream

    Mainly because I've been here for just a few months so I'm still discovering the different niche houses. After some intensive sampling, I've come up with a "what to buy next" list -- which is 80% niche 20% mainstream. So at a rate of three bottles a month... In a year, it will be approximately -- [50% niche, 50% mainstream]

    Come to think of it, I am not impressed by a lot of the niche houses' offerings. (Especially MPG, 06130, Montale, and Creed) Despite being well made, using "quality" ingredients, etc -- they're just not what I'm looking for.

    I am a big fan of boozy scents and woody/spicy/incense types. I also enjoy the "amber" accord -- with SL's offering being a personal favorite. There is an absence of good "amber" frags in the mainstream IMO.

    I really do not pay much attention to the distinction between Niche v. Mainstream -- but prefer to evaluate the scents alone. I do not view niche as being always superior. HOWEVER, I find that mainstream houses most of the time does not offer what I'm looking for -- so I guess I am kinda tired of mainstream fragrances and want something different. What I am looking for in the mainstream -- I have already bought and attained.

    As for luxuriousness, there's no denying that packages like By Kilian's ARE indeed luxurious -- but that isn't the lone factor for my purchases. I appreciate a good luxurious package -- but it's the juice inside that counts.

    Price price price. Now that's an important factor. As much as I'd love to go out right now to buy Duro, Absinthe, and MoslBuddJewHinDao together for $600 -- that isn't going to happen. I'd have to slowly save up. Where on the other hand, I could get 3 decent frags that are availible at the discounter for a price of $100 combined. But these days -- is decent what I'm looking for? Is it what you are looking for?

    The answer -- no. I am looking for the best, which are simply -- the things that I enjoy and find truly intoxicating.

    In the end -- it comes down to quality over quantity.
    Last edited by moltening; 1st July 2008 at 07:32 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I fall under the 30% niche category.

    I think that a lot of mainstream fragrances can be as good as niche fragrances. They can smell, last and project as long and be just as enjoyable to wear and experience as niche.

    I buy fragrances based on my experience of them and not how impressive they are to tell people about. One of my favourite fragrances I purchased recently is Ungaro III which I picked up a 100ml bottle of for a staggering £9.95. And I absolutely love it.

    Niche or mainstream doesn't really matter as long as you enjoy wearing whatever you wear.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Niche: 33%
    Mainstream 66%

    So I also fall in the 30% Niche // 70% Mainstream category.

    Whilst shopping for perfume, I seldom make a distinction between niche or mainstream... if it smells fantastic or speaks to me in some way, its mine.
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 1st July 2008 at 08:07 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    More niche (80&#37, but that is only because I've been trying mainly niche scents lately.

    I like the fact that they are different* to more readily available scents that most people will encounter on a daily basis. I like unusual scents, which (more often than not) tend to be from the niche end of the spectrum.

    *different - not better.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    42% niche 58% 'mainstream'. And I also agree with both Dimitri and HDS1963.

    In fact at the moment I'm getting' a bit tired of niche, especially the newer one's. I feel a lot of people are merely cashing in on the hype instead of producing things that are actually worth the high prices. I smelled an awful LOT of weird, boring, unoriginal & uninspired niches over the last year. A lot of them had something 'unfinished' about them, almost as if they were rushed releases. All 'n all I feel the overall quality of niche is declining, while the prices keep going up...
    No guru, not method, no teacher
    Just you and I and nature

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    You probably need a working definition of "niche."
    Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter. (Keats)


  8. #8

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I find it hard to go into the few stores in Perth that stock 'niche' brands (Mecca Cosmettica & David Jones Perth are the only ones I know of in West Aus, the SA's at both leave something to be desired). Also, as a uni student I cant justify spending 200$ on a bottle of something when I can get something my girlfriend and I will like just as much for 50$.
    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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by uli View Post
    You probably need a working definition of "niche."
    Who? Me?
    No guru, not method, no teacher
    Just you and I and nature

  10. #10

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Great thread! Well thought out and put together too...

    Well, after taking inventory, I came up 40% niche. (more like 45%) This is only due to the fact I'm a Serge Lutens lover! Of my "niche" frags, 60% are Lutens.

  11. #11
    Mudassir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,610
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    38% niche.

    It probably would have been under 15% had I not gotten deals on the rest of the niche bottles.
    Offsite Sales - Updated June7th

    Vintage Dia, Vetiver Dry, Angel parfum, Opium parfum for Sale:
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/215962

  12. #12

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I'm new to this so I'm 100% mainstream. From the Niche ones I have tried I really don't get it. I will probably get more into it and try some but I don't smell some of the ones I have and then the mainstream and think, "what a difference." I also don't like EXTREME smells so ones that are all Pine or honey or...fill in different smell..as the top note will probably turn me off. Again, I'm evolving but don't know how much I will change With a wife and child and probably more in the future I can't see spending $225 on a bottle or even $150. .
    Last edited by ToughCool; 1st July 2008 at 02:12 PM.
    "As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
    --Ben Hogan

  13. #13

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I was surprised once I sat down to do this exercise I thought it was going to be 70-30 or 60-40 mainstream to niche but once I got done counting it was 43 mainstream to 42 niche. I was surprised that it was 50-50. If I was to include decants I think the number would go up in favor of the niche as I get a lot of decants of the more expensive niche scents but I also get a healthy number of decants of mainstream stuff too so my assumption there might be wrong, too.
    In the end I'm looking for the scents that really feel good on me and whether it is niche or mainstream doesn't mean a thing to me.
    Nice thread Irish welcome to the madness that is number crunching.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  14. #14

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I voted 40% niche because that's how my collection shakes out at the current moment. But couldn't say WHY I voted that way. I judge each purchase independently. So I left it blank in my indecision instead of checking seemingly contradictory statements.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Surprisingly, only 10% niche for me.

    As I counted through my BN wardrobe, I realized that although I very much like the fact that my fragrances themselves are not "mainstream" for the most part, the houses themselves are. A number of my fragrances are hard to find, and I am never able to actually find them at regular retail counters around here. Still, I classified them as mainstream because the houses that make them are considered mainstream.

    Something like Jean Desprez, most people in the mainstream have never heard of him or the products, and I have never seen Bal on shelves anywhere. Yet given Bal's ubiquity on-line, I had to put this as mainstream. Or, what about discontinued designer scents that are now distinctly different and definitely no longer mainstream? I would still classify them as mainstream because the houses are mainstream.

    In the end I think it's no biggie. I like what I like, and I like things that are different, even if the houses that make them are mainstream or common
    Where once there was no scents to it all, now the world opens before me!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I answered 80% niche 20% mainstream, due largely to the fact that so many mainstream frags smell too similar and synthetic.

  17. #17
    BN better than ever
    Quarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,948
    Blog Entries
    4

    Thumbs up Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Absolutely tremendous idea and execution, irish. My hat is off to you, sir. An enlightening experience for all of us, I'm sure.

    70% niche here. While the remaining 30% of my bottles qualify as mainstream, they're actually "formerly mainstream," meaning scents that may have been in department stores years ago but are available only online now. So, current-day mainstream scents are virtually non-existent on my shelves.

    Truly do not care for current market offerings. I've wondered if it's the alcohol the scents are suspended in or the ingredients or just the style of formulation aimed at consumers today.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I don't know many so-called (or thought to be by myself) niche houses, but great part of those I do know are strange and/or short-lived. And very few of them are which I would -or actually do- use on a regular basis. So 20 % niche is my choice, a bit overestimated.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Having only 5 fragrances to my collection and not too much experience, I fear that I would be wasting money and a good scent due inability to distinguish what makes a niche really great.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    If it smells good I'll wear it....Niche or mainstream......There are Niche scents that are awful.....stinkers.....and I will not waste my money on something that stinks just because it has this great name.....and then there are Niche scents that are wonderful too.....
    Many of the main stream scents are real bland.....nothing special.....I call them Acqua di Gio Clones.....They want the Gio dollars so they try to come up with the next Gio.....There are those mainstream scents that do stand out....they are few and far between.
    This is why I am 50/50.....I do like both Niche and Designer fragrances.
    Gary

  21. #21

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Only Niche
    (Is Creed still considered niche? If not, then 60% Niche)

    That isn't saying much as I only have 5 scents in my rotation (In the process for upping my rotation from 3 to maybe 6). I started off with mainstream scents, then moved on to Niches because they aren't as common. "You smell like my ex," started the switch away from Aqua di Gio.
    Last edited by ionelementz112; 4th July 2008 at 03:48 AM. Reason: updated numbers
    ~ the thoughts and opinions of a 26 year old male whose interests include hip-hop culture, mixed martial arts, and gentlemanly endeavors.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I was 40% Niche.

    But ... I have tons of niche samples. I find the quality of niche to be very very uneven, and the designers tend to be much more consistent in quality.

    But in the end I get what I like!
    ===
    “… [I] recall thinking that the computer would never advance much further than this. Call me naïve, 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

  23. #23

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    If it smells good, I'll wear it. This is regardless of price tag. However sometimes if a frag is $200 for 50ml and it reminds me of a designer frag I'll end up getting the $30 for 100ml smell-a-like.

    There are many, many times that niche frags are just too "innovative" or different to just crave to wear and be different.

  24. #24
    Basenotes Plus

    JaimeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    5,406
    Blog Entries
    140

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Hmmm... it took a while to count... but the final verdict is 81.58% niche and 18.42% designer or mass market. I can't say I was surprised that I had more niche than other, but the percentage was much higher than I had realized. I thought it was closer to 60-40.

    Two main points:

    1) Designer vs. Niche

    The truth is, I buy pretty much what strikes my fancy. It would seem that I fancy the niche stuff! The truth is a lot of designer scents are pretty generic, are aimed at a much younger crowd, or smell very synthetic to me. Hugo Boss and Kenneth Cole are hardly represented at all in my collection because of that, for example.

    I do have a lot of designer scents, but many of the ones I have (many of the
    Givenchy, Dior, and so forth) are no longer carried by Macy's or even, in some cases, Nordstrom. "Carried by Macy's or other lower end stores" was the criterion ("rule of thumb") given for non-niche scents.

    I think if I had used other criteria (e. g., anything produced by a couture house is "designer" and not "niche") my percentages would have been significantly different. There are a lot of designer houses out there, and many of them have larger lines of scents than some of the "strictly" niche houses.

    2) What's behind my preferences:

    I think I would say that I find niche products in general to be better quality than most "department store" scents, because the ingredients are better or the design and balance of the fragrances is better. That doesn't mean that there aren't some beautiful designer scents out there, or that some niche offerings aren't real dogs. I said "in general."

    It seems that many design houses are now offering "special collection" scents at higher prices in order to compete in the niche market. It's hard to say whether these scents are very different from scents produced by niche houses. I would say they're generally very good.

    Also, some designer houses always produced at least some very fine scents. A couture house like Chanel, for example, always produced at least some scents that were the equal of any niche offerings. There are other design houses that could say the same.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 4th July 2008 at 05:27 AM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  25. #25

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Like Quarry, many of my mainstream fragrances are "formerly mainstream" in that they are either no longer available in U.S. department stores (and only available online) or are classic vintage/discontinued scents from mainstream houses. I counted houses like Hermes, Rochas, Yves Saint Laurent, Guerlain, Jo Malone and Roberto Capucci as mainstream even though many of their fragrances are not readily available domestically.

    That said, my percentage of niche is lower than I thought it would be - a little over 30%.
    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

  26. #26

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
    Absolutely tremendous idea and execution, irish. My hat is off to you, sir. An enlightening experience for all of us, I'm sure.

    70% niche here. While the remaining 30% of my bottles qualify as mainstream, they're actually "formerly mainstream," meaning scents that may have been in department stores years ago but are available only online now. So, current-day mainstream scents are virtually non-existent on my shelves.

    Truly do not care for current market offerings. I've wondered if it's the alcohol the scents are suspended in or the ingredients or just the style of formulation aimed at consumers today.
    Thank you Quarry.

    You (like JaimeB and TwoRoads) rise one of the biggest issues when it comes to separate between Niche and Mainstream. What about Vintage and formerly mainstream? In my case I decided to count my Ungaro, Havana and Vetiver Vintage as mainstream, just because years ago they were not hard-to-find fragrances.
    I also understand there are EDTs from houses like Guerlain and Chanel which are exclusive and cannot be acquired in departmental stores. I guess it is fine to include those in the niche category.

    And what about CdG and Creed?
    Well, Creed can be acquired quite easily, and the fact that it is massively faked may question its exclusivity status. However, I think that the consensus is that it is niche. CdG is in reality a designer brand. However, it is not mainstream and again the unofficial consensus is that it can be considered as niche.

    But most importantly, this thread is not about defining niche. In the end, I guess this is an exercise that may help us to be more aware of our own collection and other wardrobes.
    Last edited by irish; 2nd July 2008 at 07:51 AM.

  27. #27
    Hoos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    959
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I'm firmly 80% niche/20% mainstream.

    Mainstream (as in "I got it at Macy's/Sears/Bloomingdales") frags often give me headaches. When I came back to frags and discovered the niche houses (or, to me, places that seemed to place more emphasis on quality than quantity/availability), it seems the niche frags don't have the same high rate of headache inducing qualities. So I focus my attention more on them.

    Not all mainstreams do. If you count Bulgari Black, Terre d'Hermes, and Burberry Brit as mainstream. Which I did. Because I got mine either from a discount store or Sephora. I did count the bottle of Jil Sander Feeling Man as "niche".
    Brent

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


  28. #28
    Moderator

    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Spiritually, Kansas
    Posts
    13,298
    Blog Entries
    37

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Great thread - I think it's BoBN material. I'd love to see more of the old-timers deconstruct their wardrobes here. Because of the added explanation, it's so much more than just peeking at the wardrobe - it's like having people open up their house, take you to the vanity, and show off their wardrobes, with an explanation of why they buy or don't buy niche.

    Mine is 93.75% mainstream, or 97% if you don't count Creed as niche (I don't). The reason is fascinating to me. I realize now that I pop into the store and impulse-buy designer frags all the time, but we have no niche-selling stores anywhere near cow-town. I have a TON of niche samples, but I'm choosier and less impulsive with niche, preferring to only order what I truly love. I'm a shopaholic for designer, but a miser with niche. If I shopped for my fave niche by the same standards that I shop for my fave designer houses, I would have half of everything that L'Artisan and The Different Company sell. As it is, I have only one, and am thinking about two more, but very slowly.

    I need to buy more niche. I love some of the niche stuff a lot more than designer frags that I bought on a whim.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    unfortunately this thread does not get bumped when people vote on it. So maybe you shpuld post your percentages here

    I f you have not participated, please do it!
    Last edited by irish; 3rd July 2008 at 09:53 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Great idea for a thread. I am 40% niche and 60% mainstream. I have really scaled down my collection in the past few months since I posted last. I have only kept what I really like and wear. Some of them happen to be things you can find at Sephora, Macy's, etc. and some of them come from more upscale outlets. I have had terrbile luck with fake Creed, so my wallet hurts after the trips to Neiman Marcus. In the end I just wear what I like no matter who makes it or how much it costs.(within some kind of reason)
    Last edited by Raist679; 4th July 2008 at 12:48 AM.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Well, I answered, but I'm not sure what the poll hopes to illuminate. It's interesting to see how people vote, but I'm not sure what will really be illuminated. This is a very complex issue and while I think you have asked good questions, I worry that the results might only serve to muddy the proverbial waters further. I could list the potential flaws in the design, but I'm really not trying to be negative here, just playing the skeptic really. And I do think that you did a pretty good job asking some details about a question worth discussing. I'm just not sure that my answers to the poll really mean anything or will add anything important to the discussion. I will stay tuned in though.

    And someone's comment about defining Niche is important. I remember a discussion in the chat room about this a long time ago:
    Niche was defined by the business types as any company that produces fragrance products exclusively. Designer and mainstream companies had other products, clothes, chairs, etc.
    So is Comme des Garcons a niche company? Not by that definition. But how many people counted them in their niche pile when answering the current poll? More than a few I bet.

    Still, I applaud your efforts in trying to sort this out...

    -Slim
    Last edited by SlimPickins; 4th July 2008 at 01:33 AM.
    Haikus are easy
    But do not always make sense
    Refrigerator

    ____________________________________________
    My swaps and sales are now listed here:
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=124

    And here (just search for Slim):
    http://scentsplits.wikidot.com/current-splits

  32. #32

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Hmm I fall under 30% niche 70% mainstream

    But I also fall under : Because I'm tired of mainstream frags and want something different.

    The biggest reason why I have more mainstream than I do niche is because while I was in college, it was just easier to sample mainstream fragrances. Now that I've graduated and come home, the niche should be catching up. I prefer niche over mainstreams mainly due to the large amount of synthetic scent from the mainstreams which tends to give me a headache. Plus, its easier to find a scent that I'm looking for among the niche groups (which I prefer even if I have to pay a premium for it.)

  33. #33

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Niche is as empty a term as indie film or music. Is Etro niche? It's a designer JUST like Calvin Klein except in the USA its hard to find. Is L'Artisan niche? Diptyque? Ohhh really? I walked by 5 stores all selling Artisan and Diptyque today on my way to the studio. FIVE in 20 blocks. Thats almost as frequent as Starbucks. Don't get me started on the mass market plunge by all the little perfumeries that could. Truth is if the smaller labels could get the chance to sell out they would. So I cant play this game as niche has little meaning to me these days. I just like "good" regardless of who makes the juice.

    Cheers,
    Al

  34. #34
    Basenotes Plus

    JaimeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    5,406
    Blog Entries
    140

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Maybe it would be instructive to look at this: Which houses rank highest in the number of fragrances I have from each?

    In my collection, there are ten houses that are represented by ten or more bottles; they are:


    1. Guerlain, 34 bottles, nearly 6% of my total of 570 different scents (not counting duplicates, backups, etc.).
    2. Creed, 20 bottles, 3.5% of the total number.
    3. L'Artisan Parfumeur, 18 bottles, 3.15%.
    4. Serge Lutens, 16 bottles, 2.8%.
    5. Chanel, 14 bottles, 2.5%.
    6. Comme des Garçons, 13 bottles, 2.3%.
    7. Hermès, 11 bottles, 1.92%.
    8. Givenchy, 11 bottles, 1.92%.
    9. Caron, 10 bottles, 1.75%.
    10. Frédéric Malle Éditions de Parfums, 10 bottles, 1.75%.


    Of these, I think only three, Lutens, L'Artisan, and Malle, are universally accounted as niche houses.

    One other interesting thing: even though I have 34 Guerlains, this doesn't even begin to exhaust their offering of dozens and dozens; on the other hand, I have only four of Parfums Delrae (which doesn't even make my list of ten or more), but those four are 100% of their offering!

    Interesting or not? What do you guys think?
    Last edited by JaimeB; 4th July 2008 at 07:49 AM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  35. #35

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by maverickmage View Post
    Hmm I fall under 30% niche 70% mainstream
    The biggest reason why I have more mainstream than I do niche is because while I was in college, it was just easier to sample mainstream fragrances.
    i know what you are talking about. most of the newbies, college guys and people that just do not trade or sale their old stock, may have an excessive number of Mainstream EDTs, a newbie "legacy" of EDTs that were bought compulsively before refining their taste or having the means and willingness to buy more expensive fragrances.

    Quote Originally Posted by anak View Post
    Niche is as empty a term as indie film or music. Is Etro niche? It's a designer JUST like Calvin Klein except in the USA its hard to find. Is L'Artisan niche? Diptyque? Ohhh really? I walked by 5 stores all selling Artisan and Diptyque today on my way to the studio. FIVE in 20 blocks. Thats almost as frequent as Starbucks. Don't get me started on the mass market plunge by all the little perfumeries that could. Truth is if the smaller labels could get the chance to sell out they would. So I cant play this game as niche has little meaning to me these days. I just like "good" regardless of who makes the juice.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Conceptual Nihilism, is important and sometimes unavoidable. However, defining niche was not something that interests me. It is true that niche is an undefined and vague term, hell, not even the Fragrance Foundation has a clear definition of what niche is. However, I also think that Most of us have a basic understanding of what the word encompasses. I understand that the word may have lost meaning to you but for me... well, I cannot define niche based on the stores you find on your way to work Although I bet it is nice to have the opportunity to find so many fragrances close to you. I am lucky if I get to see a Guerlain a YSL or Hermes.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Maybe it would be instructive to look at this: Which houses rank highest in the number of fragrances I have from each?
    In my collection, there are ten houses that are represented by ten or more bottles; they are:
    ...
    Interesting or not? What do you guys think?
    Jaime, your collection is the biggest I am aware of. I was actually surprised to find that you were one of the first to answer this poll. It is certainly interesting, but analysing it would require an entire thread (or a blog) .

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimPickins View Post
    Well, I answered, but I'm not sure what the poll hopes to illuminate. It's interesting to see how people vote, but I'm not sure what will really be illuminated. This is a very complex issue and while I think you have asked good questions, I worry that the results might only serve to muddy the proverbial waters further. I could list the potential flaws in the design, but I'm really not trying to be negative here, just playing the skeptic really.
    I agree with you SlimPickins. This is a very poor "effort" to start quantifying this complex issue. We cannot even agree on the definition of what we are talking about! That is why I decided to call it an effort. Just because you try to do something, there is no guarantee that you will accomplish anything. However, we have to start somewhere right?
    2 things that I have found interesting.
    1 the most famous fragrance critics have less than 30% of niche fragrances in their top 10-20 (% of niche on you top ten, a completely different issue).
    2 The probability of liking a new niche fragrance of a house I like is not much higher than liking a new fragrance of a mainstream house I like.

    What am I trying to prove? nothing really. I doubt that it this poll will be able to project any definitive answers. But i guess this is another way to get to know BN mambers.
    Last edited by irish; 4th July 2008 at 06:54 AM.

  36. #36
    Basenotes Plus

    JaimeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, California
    Posts
    5,406
    Blog Entries
    140

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    ...Jaime, your collection is the biggest I am aware of...
    Actually, CoL's is bigger!
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
    My Reviews

    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  37. #37

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I don't have easy access to niche AND don't want to spend a fortune. I like variety better than having a few precious 'gems' that cost an arm and a leg.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    100% mainstream here.

    Mostly because I'm a uni student, so most niche fragrances are out of my reach. Also, I'm just starting out so I'm only experimenting for now, finding what does and doesn't smell good to me - add to that the small market over here for any fragrances at all, and only the most mainstream of mainstream scents are immediately available.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    I counted 81 niche, 97 designer and 67 which I would count as "traditional perfume houses" - these can be niche like (Penhaligon's, Crown) or mainstream (Guerlain), but Guerlain, thouh available at drugstores in Germany, is a different world from Hugo Boss one rack away. The numbers alone are also not representative as I don't wear about 40 of those designer frags (at all or not anymore) and I'm basically waiting to sell them off. Same applies however to about 30 from the other groups.

    My only criterion is whether I like a perfume. I tend to think that 99% of designer fragrances produced today are crap, but that still leaves hundreds of good ones. As a percentage of total there are more good niche scents, I believe, but probably 70-80% of those are not to my liking either.

    Generally I would say that you will find better / more natural ingredients in niche or trad companies, helping towards increasing the quality of scents, though that alone won't make a great perfume. The quality of a "designer" scent such as Patou pour homme does not exist anymore in new designer products (actually not even in most niches).
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  40. #40

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by renperd View Post
    I don't have easy access to niche AND don't want to spend a fortune. I like variety better than having a few precious 'gems' that cost an arm and a leg.
    Same here!

    Mine are Chergui, Black Aoud, Geir and Scent Intense. That makes it 8%

    Renperd, I believe www.metrocosmetics.co.za has a shop in Johannesburg where one can try many of the niche they offer. Another source to find some gems at a good price is www.regalo.co.za ...but I'm sure you know about them

  41. #41

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    40% Niche and 60% Mainstream for me. The reason for this is because i haven't been collecting fragrances long enough. I started entirely on Mainstream and gradually leaned more towards niche over mainstream. I think if I look down some years from now, I see myself owning almost entirely niche. I would probably sell/swap most of my designer bottles away, probably keep my limited edition A*MEN Pure(s) and a few bottles. I enjoy many bottles from Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle, Diptyque, Comme Des Garcons, and Tom Ford. Ill probably end up owning a few bottles from CREED (Aventus, GIT, and maybe MI) and Bond No. 9 (New Haarlem is the only bottle i give a sh*t about). I don't intend on owning a ridiculous amount of bottles ie: 200, 100, or even 50. I don't see the point in owning that many especially if you're never going to finish the bottle. Going by this prediction I can see myself at 80% Niche and 20% Mainstream.

  42. #42
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    McLean, NYC, & Búzios
    Posts
    77,404

    Default Re: Mainstream vs. Niche: a statistical effort.

    If I had to guess I'd say what I have is around 60% niche and 40% mainstream.

Similar Threads

  1. Designer or Niche: A Reevaluation (very long post)
    By scentemental in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 119
    Last Post: 2nd December 2011, 03:58 PM
  2. Do you get more compliments on mainstream or niche fragrances?
    By bashful_in_newyork in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 20th July 2008, 10:40 AM
  3. Lalique: Mainstream prices, niche quality. Favorite?
    By Kevin Guyer in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 5th July 2008, 06:07 PM
  4. What Niche fragrance house has the most potential to go mainstream?
    By TheRomantic in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29th May 2008, 07:05 AM
  5. Niche exploring, is MPG a good choice?
    By Roc_Xel in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 10th May 2008, 04:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •