You do not need to smell niche scents, to be a lover of fragrance (or a Basenoter, for that matter). However, if you close yourself off to trying niche scents, you'll IMO be doing yourself a disservice.
Last edited by mikeperez23; 5th September 2008 at 08:47 PM.
"Reincarnation doesn't help you if in your next reincarnation you still don't know who you are"
-- Eckhart Tolle
Last edited by ToughCool; 5th September 2008 at 08:54 PM.
"As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
Of the about 80 scents I've discovered from L'Artisan, The Different Company, Creed, Serge Lutens, Villoresi, Parfums de Nicolai and Acqua di Parma there is only one single scent I say I have always found spotless, never cloying be it winter or summer, there was no time when I thougt it to be crap, which is well done, mysterious yet wearable, with very good longevity: Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque. The other 79 is (was) not worth the price. Not a good ratio.
Last edited by Sandy; 6th September 2008 at 06:21 AM. Reason: I left out Villoresi.
It's the Guerlains, Carons, and Chanels that I don't get, and I feel as though I should.
Last edited by tang; 5th September 2008 at 10:10 PM.
$865 now. Pricey. Not worth it, in my opinion.
This whole question of niche fragrances is an interesting one. Personally, I think the best thing to do is to not even try to classify fragrances as niche or non-niche. Just evaluate them on their own merits and decide whether they are worth the money. One of the things that has happened in this industry is that a small (but obviously valued) subset of consumers has demonstrated by its buying habits that it can be manipulated into spending large amounts on money on products just for the perception that they are special or unique. It's not just true for fragrances. It's also true for sports cars, clothing, even private schools. As long as this aspect of human nature is active, the market it creates will be exploited, since the profit margin on such items is probably quite high. You cannot do anything to change aggregate human nature, but you can ensure that you yourself are still making informed, non-emotion-driven purchases.
The argument that buying niche is worth it in order to make sure one smells differently from others is a bit specious. There are so many non-niche fragrances out there, it's pretty easy to smell differently without dropping $200 on a bottle of juice. The only reason to spend a lot on a bottle is if it makes you proportionately happier than less expensive fragrances. I have found that the vast majority of niche fragrances are not worth the extra money, but there are a few that I really treasure.
For example, I have not yet smelled a more authentic oceanic fragrance than Profumum Acqua di Sale. Some others have come close, but none has attained its level of excellence. So I bought a bottle of it, even though it was $240 for 100ml. I greatly enjoy it, since it reminds me of going to the beach when I was younger, and it lasts forever.
There are other niche fragrance houses that I really like because no other house is doing what they do (e.g. Diptyque). And in some others, they have a small handful of fragrances that are better than any others I have tried (e.g. Andy Tauer L'Air du Desert Marocain, Serge Lutens Arabie, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire). I evaluate each of the fragrances individually, and decide accordingly. But I will admit that there are many niche fragrances that I have tried and eventually said, "Why would I spend so much on this when I can just buy Polo Blue for $50 and put the rest of that money into a really nice dinner for two somewhere?"
Like a lot of posters before me, I think there's great niche and crap niche. I also believe you can like houses. For example, I love just about everything Creed, Lorenzo Villoresi and Serge Lutens. At the same time, I'm indifferent to Artisan Parfumeur and I hate everything MPG. I actually have a big envelope of 30 different MPG samples and I dislike every single one of them. Only one I can tolerate is Parfum d'Habit.
Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
Indult Tihota & Rêve en Cuir
Chant d'Aromes extrait
Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)
Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
"The Sunshine bores the daylights outta me!"
ToughCool, here's a link to a blog posting of mine where I weigh niche against designer, just in case you're interested...
I dont know much about niche house frags actually. But to me, designer brands and niche house fragrances are just like Prada and Loro Piana. Both use good stuff to create something that we could wear, while one is fashionable and the other with traditional craftsmanship. There’s no comparison, it’s all depends what kind of life style that we like
I think the primary difference between designer and niche is that designers, for the most part, must tailor their releases for the mass market. This means market testing, refining, and - ultimately - not taking risks that may be market flops. It's pretty rare to find a modern designer fragrance that is radically different from the others (which is why I like Prada Amber... to my nose it's not like anything else in the mall).
Niche houses are making fragrances for a specialty market and can therefore be more creative. This is probably why some can come off as really 'far out' and unwearable to some people.
ToughCool, I think the problem is that you've found this website too soon into your hobby! It sounds funny, but my thinking is that you're probably overwhelmed with suggestions. It took me many months to 'train' my nose (a process that is always evolving) and appreciate notes and accords. For the first few months I was getting into fragrances as a hobby I only knew and tested designer fragrances. It wasn't until I found this site that the larger niche world opened up. If I had stumbled onto this site before I had a grasp on the designer world my head would have exploded.
Perhaps you need a strategy for getting into niches. What I've been doing is buying/collecting samples containing notes I particularly like. 'Bois', leather, iris, amber and gourmand are the notes/accords I've been into lately, so I've been focusing on finding those types of fragrances from different niche houses. I'll also order a 'popular' fragrance I see mentioned on BN here and there. Through this process (of about 125 samples) I've experienced and learned a lot about what I like and what different lines have to offer This is just what's worked for me.
As for the clear 'preference' for niche among some, I just ignore it. We should all like what we like and no need to be ashamed of anything. So what if I like Allure Homme Sport and can't stand PdN New York (see my sale thread)? It is what it is.
In general (of course), I agree with the OP's opinion, based upon my experience. I'd go further and say that "niche fragrance" is the right phrase to use in most cases, whereas a well-blended, refined fragrance can get to the level of "perfume" or "fragrance art."
Visit my huge swap page: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/211...-ml-Gotham-etc
Or visit my Sales page: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/211...o-make-offers!
Samples, etc. for Sale at my Crystal Flacon page: http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=282
My fragrance blog: http://bigslyfragrance.wordpress.com/
It's not like you "go niche" or anything.
Sale/sample thread. http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=218207
Last edited by nthny; 6th September 2008 at 04:21 PM.
Hey, TGIF! (Or maybe TGIS...)
All we are saying, is give niche a chance. [hic]
Hey, I'm mostly into designer, too. I agree with Renato's 80:20 thing. That's why I treat niche as mostly samples and a few bottles, and designer as mostly bottles and a few samples.
Don't worry. Niche can deal...
Niche: I don't know what to do, Red! ToughCool said he "needs some space." (sniffle, cry) Is it me? C'mon - you can tell me the truth. I something wrong with me?
RP: No, it's cool. I know lots of guys who are just dying to go out with you. Some of 'em think you're way better than Designer.
Niche: (sniffle) Really?
PS - "poopoo platter"? LMAO Oh, yeah. Niche does have some bad hair days.
Thank you for the Friday discussion
I believe that family is far more important, than scents. And if the question is - to spend 100-200 bucks on scent or on something family really needs - I believe everyone would choose family values.
As for niche-designer scents, just follow your nose. All those descriptions are made for easy understanding and defining. Anyway, there`s the same syndrome with scents as with the same two dresses on the party - nobody wants to wear the same.
If someone does feel that 5 scents is enough for him/her - congratulations! If he/she wants more, - let it be that way. The same with prices - the rule is in everyone.
for me it`s interesting to know more about fragrances, ingredients, notes-accords, concepts, history, perfumers. It`s great hobby about the great perfumery world! And I like to know more and more? to find something new and uncommon.
Though someone could think it`s weird to be so interested by perfumery, spending so much money and time.
Vetiver The Great!!!
I just wanted to add quickly, that it's really about the adventure with niche fragrances... For instance, I went on a big hunt for the most compelling sea-smelling scent... and now i'm on a patchouli fixation, and niche houses often lead you around like that, really opening your eyes to new fragrant sensations. It's not always about love at first sniff.. But this is a really great discussion for me and something I've thought about a lot recently. I went out a lot this summer, either just hanging out at outdoor bars or occasionally going to a club, during my vacation and the guys usually smelled really good... standard fresh scents, occasionally a little different like a Bond I'd notice or perhaps Creed but usually the standard D&G Light Blue style... and they REALLY smelled good in that context. I, wearing who knows what, actually craved something more ordinary and friendly smelling.
To summarize, I honestly think most things smell kind of good. I can find something to appreciate in almost everything that passes my nose. But niche is often about the sense of adventure, about sniffing those unheard of accords or unlikely scent combinations that are not as readily available in the mass market as, well, they are difficult to market to the masses. That said, niche doesn't always mean weird... there's a lot of simplicity and beauty out there, too. Blah blah now I've gone on and on for far too long... And why is Rive Gauche my wardrobe icon??? hahaha... weird...
Last edited by nthny; 6th September 2008 at 04:36 PM.
Thanks for all the great replies. As you can see from my foray yesterday I enjoy the testing of niche and other designers. I sneak out quite often to smell new and old ones. As bbBD said maybe I'm taking on too much at times but I do have fun with the new hobby. I have enjoyed the creed's I smelled and some other niche ones. Many just overwhelmed me though, as I said many times. I'm just going to keep following my nose and who knows what will happen. Right now the process is fun enough.
Last edited by ToughCool; 6th September 2008 at 06:26 PM.
"As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
I am eight months and several hundred samples into my perfume testing habit, and though I am commenting from a women's perspective, I have been grappling with this niche vs designer (or lower!) issue along the way. Like Dmitri and others who have agreed with him, I think there is good and bad in each segment and there is not a single house of whom I like all or even the majority of the line. I tend to cherry pick the ones that appeal here, there and everywhere, and as a result my collection is an extremely motley mix of high and low end. The only area where I think niche consistently delivers better products over designer is in scents featuring a rose note. Give me niche rose any day over the Parises of this world!!
Last edited by VM I hate civet; 7th September 2008 at 01:18 PM.
Status is usually associated with mainstream fragrances that are more recognizable in both name and smell: "Oh! You're wearing Gucci Pour Homme!" That's far more likely to impress someone as a status symbol than telling someone you're wearing Il Profumo Patchouli Noir. The response to that would likely be a very unimpressed "What and Huh?"
My particular affinity for niche is that I find wonderfully experimental scents in the world of niche that would never emanate from a big mainstream company -- scents that the mainstream market would probably reject in a heartbeat.
I think we are, however, seeing designers like Chanel and Armani move into high-end niche-type offerings, such as Les Exclusifs and Armani Prive, because they've seen that consumers are willing to spend big bucks on a fragrance, and a number of those consumers want a recognizable "status" name to go along with it. They want to be able to say, "I'm wearing Armani" to an appreciative nod rather than toss off some name that's met with a blank stare.
As Surreality said above, very few people beyond yourself are going to know how much you spent on that niche bottle (which is not the case when you're sporting Gucci, Chanel, Versace, Bulgari, etc.), so niche perfumes seem a poor choice for signaling financial/social status.
Glad to see you at Basenotes, Nathan! Enjoy your blog and will look forward to reading your comments here.