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Thread: Define "niche?"

  1. #181

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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMA View Post
    With the power of the internet and online shopping, the term niche has never been so irrelevant.

    Anyone has the power to purchase most things nowdays from anywhere with the press of a few keys on there keyboard.

    Unless, you have to travel to a specific perfume house to test and purchase it, because they refuse to sell it online.
    I disagree. But that's because my definition of niche is that it caters to a certain niche market- people who will seek out fragrances that are outside the mainstream. The casual fragrance shopper doesn't seek out shops like Les Senteurs, but she also doesn't seek out Mona di Orio's website or even Basenotes. So the term niche still applies, I think.

    I'd find it hard to describe Creed or even Serge Lutens as niche at this point, since they're available in most of the major department stores around here. But I do think that certain Lutens fragrances (like bell jars) could be considered niche while others are more mainstream. I'd also say that the Chanel Exclusives are niche (although they're beginning to pop up in more places), as you wouldn't necessarily come across Coromandel unless you were looking for something a bit different.

    When having these conversations, I think it's important to remember that we are not typical perfume users. What's familiar to us isn't so familiar to most "normal" people out there.

  2. #182

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Bond No.9 occasionally appears in TK/TJ Maxx apparently, so niche certainly isn't definable by the stores it's sold in!

  3. #183
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?


  4. #184

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    To me, Niche is simply this...


    "any fragrance or brand that the average (non perfume enthusiast) person has never heard of before."

    I would also argue that it cannot be niche unless it costs over $150 a bottle!! ( i know this is not strictly true, but it sure feels like it could be!)

  5. #185
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    These days, niche seems to be based on hype and price! Not exclusiveness like it should be!

  6. #186
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    I thought the sensible definition was a company that just made perfume. Unlike "Designer", ie, clothes designer frags or cheap drugstore scents.
    Isn't any other definition kind of meaningless?

  7. #187

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    Niche is not an absolute term, and defining it requires some degree of arbitration.

    But it's all relative. Niche, generally, means more private and exclusive.

    There is no magic gate that makes one fragrance niche and another not-niche.
    This. Everyone seems to have their own definition of niche. My definition is subjective within itself. I define niche as a fragrance with higher quality ingredients, expensive, and usually not mainstream (e.g. not at your typical Macy's or Sephora).

    For example, I consider the Tom Ford Private Blend and Chanel Les Exlusifs line as niche. I don't consider Terre d'Hermes and LIDGE as niche though.

    I also consider houses like Creed, MDCI, l'Artisan, Nasomatto, Puredistance, and Bond No. 9 as niche.

  8. #188
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    As a Niche house myself, I would say it's like Dr Who's definition of time:

    “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”



    Brands grow up and become successful, then they no longer can be considered as niche, but as a "Fragrance House". It's clear that since Creed has been in the business for quite awhile, they no longer qualify as niche. There are other examples, but the line is often "wibbly-wobbly".
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  9. #189
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Duplicate posting removed
    Last edited by pkiler; 24th January 2013 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Duplicate post
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  10. #190

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Duplicate post.
    Last edited by CaliDude; 25th January 2013 at 01:16 AM.

  11. #191

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Duplicate post.
    Last edited by CaliDude; 25th January 2013 at 01:15 AM.

  12. #192
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    I equate niche to market share. The big designer houses make their money on a lot of other products besides fragrances. Niche fragrance houses rely on nothing but fragrances for money and hence have to carve out a niche in the market for their fragrances. I guess you can say that one is more fashion based and the other is more of an overall artistic presentation. Also, I think when you get into the $200 + range of fragrances it should be considered a specialty niche category.
    Last edited by silentrich; 25th January 2013 at 01:11 AM.
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  13. #193
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Would the best definition of niche be "alternative" ?
    In which case this would surely rule out giants such as Creed and Serge Lutens ?
    Although, I would perhaps define Creed's "green line" and Chanel's/Armani's/Dior's exclusive ranges as niche ?
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  14. #194
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Would the best definition of niche be "alternative" ?
    In which case this would surely rule out giants such as Creed and Serge Lutens ?
    Although, I would perhaps define Creed's "green line" and Chanel's/Armani's/Dior's exclusive ranges as niche ?
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  15. #195

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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by martinijo View Post
    I thought the sensible definition was a company that just made perfume. Unlike "Designer", ie, clothes designer frags or cheap drugstore scents.
    Isn't any other definition kind of meaningless?
    Not if you stick with the actual dictionary definition of the word "niche." Then that definition doesn't really make sense.

  16. #196

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    For me, it's mostly about how I perceive ingredient quality, relative to today's designers (or worse, "drug store"). However, I prefer vintage (even quite a few "women's" scents) to today's, regardless of what they are classified as.

  17. #197

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Nietzsche and Kant mentioned, maybe I should continue on this path.

    Wittgenstein might help us out here: there is this family resemblance that ties niche fragrances together. Wittgenstein's most well known example is games. There is no attribute that is shared by all games. Some are played with ball, some are board games, some competitive and some not, computer games are another story etc. Yet we all know what we mean when we talk about games. It's similar with niche fragrances - despite not finding any common factors that applies to all niche, we are probably surprisingly like-minded about what is niche and what is not.

  18. #198

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    The only sensible hard definition would be the original economic meaning of a limited number of doors. The MBAs can discuss where exactly that limit lies.

    I think it would actually make more sense to speak of people like Tauer, Slumberhouse, DSH etc. as independent perfumers as distinct from a firm like Lutens.

    I believe that the moniker niche as frequently used by all of us is actually misleading. Consider how many recent lines are just marketing ploys selling prefab formulas by IFF or Symrise in some supposedly cool concept.



    sent from a mobile device - please excuse any swelling mistakes

  19. #199

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    Creed and Lutens at Sephora?

  20. #200
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    Not if you stick with the actual dictionary definition of the word "niche." Then that definition doesn't really make sense.
    "A recess in a wall, as for holding a statue or urn."
    Hmmm,
    but now I've found :
    "A special area of demand for a product or service:"
    I don't quite get how this relates to the brands that we seem to agree on as niche.
    What's the special area of demand catered to by Creed? for example?
    The demand to pay extra?
    The company's fans will probably say "the demand for higher quality ingredients"
    I don't know, but it seems to me to come back to that point that certain companies exclusively produce perfume while others don't.

  21. #201
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Who cares? The term doesn't factor one bit in my fragrance buying decisions. I'm buying the fragrance, I'm not buying into the marketed concepts of exclusivity or rarity. If Histoires de Parfums or Serge Lutens were mainstream houses, I'd still buy them.

  22. #202
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aphexacid View Post
    Creed and Lutens at Sephora?
    Double post.....something seems to be wrong with the basenotes server ? The posts are taking ages to connect and many seem to have the same problem as me ~ hence double posts ???
    Last edited by david; 25th January 2013 at 03:39 PM.
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  23. #203
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aphexacid View Post
    Creed and Lutens at Sephora?
    The main Douglas store on the Ku'damm in Berlin and the Sephora in Nice carries Creed and Lutens.
    Also, the small Douglas at the Geant shopping Mall in Frejus carries Lutens.
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  24. #204

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    "Niche" is not a term exclusive to the fragrance market. In fact, I hate that term. A "Niche" is focused towards a small segment of the market. Apple computers are a niche in the PC world b/c only a small percentage of the population uses a Mac. Most people use Dell's, HPs, Gateways, etc...Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight make up a very small niche segment of the automobile market. You see, the brand does not equate to niche. Lots of people own Toyotas, but only a select few people own a Prius. The same applies to fragrances.

    There is no such thing as a "Niche" brand, but the market for certain fragrances is much smaller. For example, you can ask a random group of men if they've heard of Cool Water or Acqua Di Gio. Chances are they'll say yes. Now ask that same group about Serge Lutens Chergui or Amouage Jubilation XXV and see who's heard of them. There are companies who make a mainstream scent but also make something less known, such as Tom Ford. He has TF For Men, Grey Vetiver, Black Orchid, etc...which all have ads and are marketed in the mainstream. But when's the last time you flipped through the pages of GQ magazine and saw an ad for Tuscan Leather? Never. Same with Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain.

    One misconception is that "niche" things are made with higher quality. That's certainly not always true. As a whole, the term niche has been pretty much ruined by people in the fragrance community. I hate seeing newbs pop up saying "Hey, what's a good niche scent for summer?" Seriously, does it really matter how exclusive that scent is? Forget Creed, Bond No 9, Serge Lutens, and Amouage...you know who's really niche? The 24 the Fragrance lineup. You can't even find them in stores and nobody outside the FragComm has heard of it. Seriously, who goes out looking for a fragrance made specifically for Jack Bauer's tv show? That being said, they're fantastic!
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  25. #205

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Double Post
    Last edited by mesaboogie; 25th January 2013 at 04:34 PM.
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  26. #206
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    I always thought niche was a German philospher from the late 1800s

    We are the knights who say niche!

  27. #207

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DMA View Post
    With the power of the internet and online shopping, the term niche has never been so irrelevant.

    Anyone has the power to purchase most things nowdays from anywhere with the press of a few keys on there keyboard.

    Unless, you have to travel to a specific perfume house to test and purchase it, because they refuse to sell it online.
    With the new postal restrictions, this may become more difficult, especially for folks who live in countries far away from the US, UK, France, and Italy where most of the 'niche' lines are based.

  28. #208

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by martinijo View Post
    I thought the sensible definition was a company that just made perfume. Unlike "Designer", ie, clothes designer frags or cheap drugstore scents.
    Isn't any other definition kind of meaningless?
    Doesn't that also make Coty niche, for example?

  29. #209
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Interesting debate. I still think that certain houses, (eg Creed, Serge Lutens) started out as niche, but have now transformed into mainstream due to their high street availability. To me the exclusives lines from Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Armani etc. really are niche because they have remained exclusive to their boutiques and have not landed on the shelves of Douglas, Sephora and co.
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  30. #210
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    By the way, is there something like a list of niche fragrances/niche houses in existance ?
    I would be very interested to see it !
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