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  1. #1

    Default I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I just received some fragrances that I bought blind ages ago. I'd learned not to blind buy anything, but these were pretty cheap. I got Grey Vetiver, F Black, John Varavatos and L'Anarchiste. The only thing that intrigued me was L'Arnarchiste.

    I didn't detect much leather in F Black and John Varvatos smells almost exactly like 1 Million. Grey Vetiver is interesting, but for a vetiver scent, it lacked the complexity of Route de Vetiver, Sel de Vetiver or Vetiver by Mazzolari. I think I like it slightly better than Guerlain's Vetiver, but it had hardly any projection even though it is supposed to be an EDP.

    After a really interesting day with a bunch of niche samples, all the fragrances I received today just disappointed me. I'm really not interested to try any designer fragrances anymore. I know that there are a number of really great designer fragrances, for example Fahrenheit and Kouros, but sadly the majority of designer fragrances are really run of the mill, uninspired creations.

    Yeah, at this point, I'm almost not interested to try any more designer fragrances, except maybe the exclusive lines of designer houses, for example Tom Ford's Private Blend line.

  2. #2

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I liken it to listening strictly to Indie and Alternative music over Top 40 and MTV. You're only being a snob if you're judging the opinions and choices of others who do like mainstream fragrances.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    With niche and designer fragrances, both have their winners and both have their turds. I've smelled a bunch of $200+ bottles of niche that were boring turds. You like the scents you like.
    Kerosene fragrance samples and bottles here: www.min.com

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    You like the scents you like.
    Agree.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Yep. And I agree with adonis. You are only entering "snob" territory when you judge others for liking their own choices. Don't fear the niche!!!!

  6. #6
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Like it's been said, some niche is terrific, some completely overrated and overpriced. Same can be said for Classic Designers.

    You may want to sample some Powerhouse Classics before throwing in the towel on designers. There is a BOATLOAD of designers from the past that simply kick ass.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Try enough niche fragrances over time, and you'll see that niche is just as tired, hackneyed and "more of the same" as the designer realm can be (e.g., does the world really need yet another unisex oud niche frag? Does the world also need yet another Calvin Klein MAN?).

  8. #8

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    With niche and designer fragrances, both have their winners and both have their turds. I've smelled a bunch of $200+ bottles of niche that were boring turds. You like the scents you like.
    You know, I don't think I've smelt very many designer 'turds' and that is actually the problem. They are generally really safe and 'nice', and not many really pushes the envelope. I would rather wade through a pile of 'turd' to find the 'custard', than to just smell another generic lemon.

  9. #9
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by supperman View Post
    You know, I don't think I've smelt very many designer 'turds' and that is actually the problem. They are generally really safe and 'nice', and not many really pushes the envelope. I would rather wade through a pile of 'turd' to find the 'custard', than to just smell another generic lemon.
    It seems to me you may be smelling the WRONG designers. It's true the more modern designers are rather safe, the same is not true with powerscents. They invented pushing the envelope.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by supperman View Post
    You know, I don't think I've smelt very many designer 'turds' and that is actually the problem. They are generally really safe and 'nice', and not many really pushes the envelope. I would rather wade through a pile of 'turd' to find the 'custard', than to just smell another generic lemon.
    There are a many designer frags that simply turn my stomach.

    The ironic thing is that niche and designer probably cost about the same to make. We just choose to pay more for them. It sometimes doesnt matter to use fragrance nuts. We'll pay whatever the cost if we like the scent enough.
    Kerosene fragrance samples and bottles here: www.min.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I am no particular niche snob and my frags are mainly designer ones, however there are several niche frags I like and I would consider purchasing, just as much as the designer frags I developed a liking for

  12. #12

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    It seems to me you may be smelling the WRONG designers. It's true the more modern designers are rather safe, the same is not true with powerscents. They invented pushing the envelope.
    I actually do like quite a few vintage fragrances, like Habit Rouge, Chanel 19 and Shalimar. I've actually got a whole bunch of powerhouses: Azzaro pH, Rive Gauche pH, Quorum, Aramis, Paco Rabanne pH. I think they're really great value for the money, but I don't think that they are particularly interesting. They are bold and almost overtly masculine fragrances that are missing from today's designer collections, but they are iconic scents that were everywhere in the 80s, and again 'safe'. If there was any envelope pushing, it was probably by the first of these powerhouse scents, and the rest sort of fell in line behind the concept like designer houses today. Of the fragrances from that era, I prefer Ungaro II and Zino, mainly because I think they dared to be different and really stood out. But you know what? I still have a complain about them: they all smell really synthetic.

    If I want a bold and masculine fragrance, I would reach for Muscs Kublai Khan, Musc Ravageur or Kouros instead of these powerhouses.

  13. #13

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Most of the fragrances i like are niche, .... soooooooooooo

    WE ARE NICHE SNOBS.

    (well, YSL frags are awesome btw)
    AUSSIES, come join our SPLIT GROUP at http://groups.google.com.au/group/oz-scent-splits

    "No Pain, No Gain"

  14. #14

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I've got to agree that modern designers rarely have the ability to catch my interest at all. Some are "pleasant" to me, but rarely does one make me think "Oh, yeah, that's the stuff!"

    I think from the '90s onwards, niche houses have been increasingly willing to push the envelope versus designers. If you look at Serge Lutens' Rose de Nuit and Gucci's L'Arte di Gucci, both released in the early '90s, you see that niche and designer were still very much on par with their willingness to go bold, and often making similar styles of fragrances, but it's a little like designers lost their nerve as that decade wore on.

    On the upside, with designer and niche blurring once again with a profusion of exclusive lines from designer houses, I think designers once again are willing to make more risks, but are limiting potential loses with by giving them very small distribution. As much as this can annoy when you're paying more and they're hard to find, it's probably a wise commercial strategy given what a small portion of the market obsessed frag-fans seeking the unusual are.

  15. #15
    Dependent

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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugandaraja View Post
    I've got to agree that modern designers rarely have the ability to catch my interest at all. Some are "pleasant" to me, but rarely does one make me think "Oh, yeah, that's the stuff!"

    I think from the '90s onwards, niche houses have been increasingly willing to push the envelope versus designers. If you look at Serge Lutens' Rose de Nuit and Gucci's L'Arte di Gucci, both released in the early '90s, you see that niche and designer were still very much on par with their willingness to go bold, and often making similar styles of fragrances, but it's a little like designers lost their nerve as that decade wore on.

    On the upside, with designer and niche blurring once again with a profusion of exclusive lines from designer houses, I think designers once again are willing to make more risks, but are limiting potential loses with by giving them very small distribution. As much as this can annoy when you're paying more and they're hard to find, it's probably a wise commercial strategy given what a small portion of the market obsessed frag-fans seeking the unusual are.


    This is a good post. My thoughts are inclined toward this.

    *I* seem to have "better luck" finding something I really like among the niche offerings. That is not disregarding that I've had my fair share of smelling niche scents that are just rubbish (subjective).

    I'd feel uneasy identifying myself as a complete niche-snob. I am unable to replace a decent handful of must-have designers - though it may not be that surprising that most (not all though) of these are the older scents.

    I can understand where supperman is coming from. It is almost inevitable after smelling a bulk of the latest and "coolest" designer scents at the mall, to associate "designer" with mediocrity (again subjective). I know I am guilty of this. If I were willing to go through as many as possible, I'm pretty sure I would find a couple of gems, even among the modern designers.

    Houses like Aramis, Bvlgari, YSL, Dior, Gucci, Chanel (off the top of my head, there should be a couple more), I am a little more inclined to discover, based on positive experiences.

    Over my time here, I have developed a taste for smells that are weirder and more challenging. And it does seem that niche houses (or at least the ones I am familiar with) tend to put such scents out a little more often.
    Last edited by MFJ; 7th June 2010 at 06:09 PM.

  16. #16
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Personally, the only designers I like are from the 1970's to about 1992. I guess that's snobbery of a different sort, but everything I sample that's considered "modern designer" doesn't move me and smell very innocuous and synthetic with an overuse of cedar.

    I guess the same can be said for the designers I gravitate to : that they overused moss, patchouli and lavender, etc.....

    I've smelled some pretty terrific niche frags the last 2 years, along with ones that aren't so terrific, but niche TODAY is certainly better than the majority of designer juice IMO......HOWEVER.....THE BEST 2 Masculines I have come across ( niche or designer) have been Patou PH and Super Fragrance for Men by Aigner. As good as Mazzolari and some other niche is, they aren't as good as that.

  17. #17
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I hear ya, supperman. I wouldn't call it 'niche snobbery' though. Just that you're frustrated with many of the current designer offerings and chose not to sample them anymore. Perfectly understandable to me. Which is exactly why many of us look for vintage designer stuff! It's a big 'fragrant' world out there, of which niche is but a fraction...

    Btw 'designer turds' have a wicked ring to it...I approve!

  18. #18

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    The ironic thing is that niche and designer probably cost about the same to make. We just choose to pay more for them.
    Actually, I don't necessarily think that it's true. There was a debate about whether some niche houses choose to use higher quality, natural (even organic) ingredients in their fragrances compared to designer houses that use synthetic or cheaper alternatives for their products.

    But even if this is not the case, given the limited scale of production of niche houses compared to the mass market designer houses, the cost of making these fragrances will be inevitably higher. In addition, designer houses have to apportion more of their budget to marketing and advertising, which means less money for production of the fragrances, if they want to remain competitive with their pricing.

  19. #19

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I think many of us wander into exploring niche, then go beyond and just wear what we like, be it expensive niche or discount buys from an outlet store. Snob implies, as a poster said, judging others.

    Would someone judge a person for wearing a $30 Caron (my beloved Le 3eme Homme) as opposed to Amouage or By Killian?
    Last edited by Primrose; 7th June 2010 at 05:49 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  20. #20

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I enjoy the hunt for a new frag that is unique (to me), well made, pleasant, etc., but although I've sampled a lot of niche, I haven't found much there to interest me. Many are just really powerful, such as the ambers, which overwhelm me. Then there are the traditional frags made with quality ingredients (many say Creed is good at this), but I haven't found that to be special to me either. Rather, I find a good one here and there. Of the more recent ones, I've really liked Lacoste's Elegance, Cumming the Fragrance, Michael for Men (when I'm in the mood), and FUBU Plush for Men. The only niche frag I wouldn't want to be without is Messe de Minuit. Mostly, I find myself drawn to the older "power frags:" Tiffany, Oscar Pour Lui, Acteur, Safari, Montana "red box," the original Nicole Miller for men, etc., because they "have it all," IMO obviously. I do enjoy the smell of M7, but only from the sprayer. I find it to be a very dull scent to wear for several hours.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 7th June 2010 at 07:41 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    I like the exclusive designer scents like Hermessence, Chanel Xclusifs or Dior Colognes. The designer sh!t the keep in the back..lol...
    Im the be$t @ thi$

  22. #22
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    My generation has produced some of the best and some of the most horrid designer frags ever created. lol. All you can do is sample them and then choose. The niche releases are no different. They have good and not so good. I do however like that niche companies are pumping out scents because they are very different than the present day,cookie-cutter designer masculines I've been smelling.

  23. #23

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    My generation has produced some of the best and some of the most horrid designer frags ever created. lol. All you can do is sample them and then choose. The niche releases are no different. They have good and not so good. I do however like that niche companies are pumping out scents because they are very different than the present day,cookie-cutter designer masculines I've been smelling.
    I agree. Sample and choose. I won't say all the new offerings are bad, as some niche scents are truly mediocre.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  24. #24
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    yea.....not EVERY new designer is bland. I just wish they would take more chances and dare to be different. I guess the bottom line $$$ takes precedence over innovation in modern day perfumery.

  25. #25

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    For me, the bottom line is that I dislike 99% of the stuff out there. But that magical 1% is all niche, although I suppose you could argue that my #1 is actually a designer scent, even though it's exclusive to Dior boutiques and pretty f'n expensive.
    Last edited by WindyCity1014; 7th June 2010 at 09:20 PM.
    TOP 10
    1. Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior
    2. Lumière Noire pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
    3. New Haarlem by Bond No. 9
    4. Chergui by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido
    5. Francois Charles by Rance 1795
    6. Puro Intense by Nejma
    7. Usiku by Jo Wood Organics
    8. New York by Parfums de Nicolai
    9. Dia For Men by Amouage
    10. Silver Mountain Water by Creed

    Check out my huge niche swap list at http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=239240

  26. #26

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by adonis View Post
    I liken it to listening strictly to Indie and Alternative music over Top 40 and MTV. You're only being a snob if you're judging the opinions and choices of others who do like mainstream fragrances.
    Does that really make one a snob? If I dislike another person's favorite music, I am effectively judging their choices. But it hardly seems like snobbery.

  27. #27

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    If people want to only wear niche frags and talk about how great they are, that's fine with me, but I'd be really curious to know if they tried a lot of designer, or just the more recent stuff, for example.

  28. #28

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    If people want to only wear niche frags and talk about how great they are, that's fine with me, but I'd be really curious to know if they tried a lot of designer, or just the more recent stuff, for example.
    Exactly. I'm betting that most don't sample a wide range of designer fragrances. There is just so much out there. But in the end, a person likes what a person likes. Enjoying designer fragrances does not mean a person has to buy from the department shop counter. My city has a few independant fragrances shops with all kinds of cool designer fragrances ( and some Creed).
    Seeking: Bottles/decants : of Feeling Man, Gucci pour Homme, Essence of John Galliano, Nicole Miller (vintage), Opium pour Homme, Oxford & Cambridge...etc.

    Seeking decant/sample of Jil Sander Feeling Man, Cacharel Nemo, Bijan for Men EDC, Lanvin for Men, Giorgio VIP, Il Lancetti and other old school frags ....etc. I have samples to swap.

    More HERE
    Please PM me !

  29. #29

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    yea.....not EVERY new designer is bland. I just wish they would take more chances and dare to be different. I guess the bottom line $$$ takes precedence over innovation in modern day perfumery.
    This is the problem. There were some really good designer fragrances from the past, but many of those that dared to push the envelope were not that popular, which is why many of them ended up becoming discontinued. Those that remained till today (and what I would consider interesting) are usually classics, and there are only a handful of them. One can buy them all with one trip to Sephora, but then what should fragrance fans do after that?

    This does extend to niche houses as well, but the difference is that there are definitely more gems in the niche market compared to the designer market, and although there will be bombs (or at least to our individual noses), many have the potential to be amazing and exciting. Sadly, the only time I feel a niche fragrance has totally 'bombed', is if they smell like generic modern designer droll :P For this reason, I am more interested in new releases from niche houses than designer houses.

  30. #30

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Bottom line is I buy some niche stuff because I want something you are unlikely to smell on everyone else

  31. #31

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    i think i'm the opposite... i like classic designer frags.

  32. #32

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by vulcan View Post
    Does that really make one a snob? If I dislike another person's favorite music, I am effectively judging their choices. But it hardly seems like snobbery.
    I believe one is only a snob if one publicly remarks (and generally in a ... how shall I put this ... less than positive way... yes.) about the choices of others. That's what crosses the line between preferences and snobbery, in my opinion. Mainstream, designer, niche (perfume, music, etc.)... if it smells nice / feels good / is pleasing to/on you, go for it!
    [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/38140"][B]Actias luna's fragrance reviews[/B][/URL] | Now blogging with [i]AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty[/i] at [URL="http://aromierotici.blogspot.com/"][B]Il Mondo di Odore[/B][/URL] [URL="http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Kathleen-Harper/3794/Art-Portfolio/1/"]
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  33. #33
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by supperman View Post
    This is the problem. There were some really good designer fragrances from the past, but many of those that dared to push the envelope were not that popular, which is why many of them ended up becoming discontinued. Those that remained till today (and what I would consider interesting) are usually classics, and there are only a handful of them. One can buy them all with one trip to Sephora, but then what should fragrance fans do after that?
    This is where I have to agree to disagree with you. Classics are discontinued for manifold reasons, with bottom line and ingredient quality/cost being just a few. You cannot buy all the classics that are awesome with one trip to Sephora. Just how small is your "list" and exactly what do you consider "Classic gems"?

  34. #34

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Yes AromiEritoci... I'd like to challenge any Basenoter to go to Sephora and buy all the classics. (in their classic state.)
    [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/38140"][B]Actias luna's fragrance reviews[/B][/URL] | Now blogging with [i]AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty[/i] at [URL="http://aromierotici.blogspot.com/"][B]Il Mondo di Odore[/B][/URL] [URL="http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Kathleen-Harper/3794/Art-Portfolio/1/"]
    [B]Art[/B]: Actias luna's other hobby[/URL] - along with some impromptu [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/threads/268480-Why-Mouchoir-de-Monsieur-Act-III-Resumed"]"performance writing"[/URL] here on Basenotes!

  35. #35
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    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by supperman View Post

    and John Varvatos smells almost exactly like 1 Million.
    this is off topic somewhat but ive been thinking about buying 1 Million blind...is Varvatos REALLY like it because apparently i've had a semi-hidden gem if so!

  36. #36

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neurosis View Post
    this is off topic somewhat but ive been thinking about buying 1 Million blind...is Varvatos REALLY like it because apparently i've had a semi-hidden gem if so!
    I think those two smell completely different. I've sampled 1 Million and it's super sweet. Kinda headachy sweet. I dont understand the fascination with that fragrance. Varvatos is a smooth sweet that is like putting your nose up to a fresh bowl of cherries kinda sweet.
    Kerosene fragrance samples and bottles here: www.min.com

  37. #37

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    This is where I have to agree to disagree with you. Classics are discontinued for manifold reasons, with bottom line and ingredient quality/cost being just a few. You cannot buy all the classics that are awesome with one trip to Sephora. Just how small is your "list" and exactly what do you consider "Classic gems"?
    Well, for whatever the reason they were discontinued, they are no longer available today. The classics I was referring to are fragrances like vintage classics like Habit Rouge, Diorella and Mitsouko, and more modern classics like Fahrenheit, Dior Homme and Aramis. These are what I would classify as referential scents for the class or scents that really took a risk to stand out from the masses.

    But I'm not going to go into whether classic designer fragrances are better or worse than niche fragrances. My point is that while one can collect and enjoy these gems, there is only a small finite number of them. In 2-3 months, I'd collected a bunch of what I really enjoy from the designer houses, and now I just feel that there isn't enough left from these houses to keep me excited for the foreseeable future, whereas I've only scratched the surface of what the niche houses have to offer.

  38. #38

    Default Re: I think I'm becoming a niche snob...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    I think those two smell completely different. I've sampled 1 Million and it's super sweet. Kinda headachy sweet. I dont understand the fascination with that fragrance. Varvatos is a smooth sweet that is like putting your nose up to a fresh bowl of cherries kinda sweet.
    Actually you are right. I sprayed both on both arms and yeah, 1 Million is substantially sweeter than John Varvatos, but after sniffing for a few hours, really I just feel that the former is an amped up version of the latter. You can think of 1 Million as John Varvatos Intense, also with stronger projection and longevity.

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