Thread: Define "niche?"
Niche = redonkulous expensive
Will perform unspeakable acts for Fracas, Chanel 19, and Agent Provocateur. And MAC, but the fragrance + cosmetics comorbidity club is pretty dang lonely.
Currently binging on roses.... Jo Malone, you dirty bitch. You too, Stella McCartney.
niche = something that urges you to scratche
I think some consumer awareness affects our buying at some point. Good point about Mona de Orio (God rest her soul). The lines for many definitions are vague and grey.
My consumer awareness takes into account the fragrance itself, the bottle and presentation, the price, and the bankrolling behind the brand, but also the marketing. I dislike fake, made-up histories that perfume companies conjure up with embellished stories about royalty and nobility and their so-called romances.
"No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.
Tom Ford Private Blend marked down to $20 at Marshall's? I think not. Maybe $50.
Founder- Cosa Nosetra
I am kind of understand what Designer and Niche mean, but what is Luxe means ? Could you please give me exsample of Luxe ?
***My favourite from my collection***
-------- Amouage Tribute Attar
------ Serge Lutens: Ambre Sultan
-------- Les Exclusifs de Chanel: Sycamore
------ Amouage: Fate Man
-------- Amouage: Epic Man
------ Tom Ford Private Blend: Noir de Noir
-------- Terre D'Hermès Pure Parfum
------ EDP FM: Carnal Flower
-------- Neela Vermire Creations: Trayee
------ Dior: Leather Oud
------- Hermèssence: Ambre Narguilé
Niche = Expensive, Limited, attracts fanboy's similar to hipsters and apple users who look down on others
Thoughts, Pretty accurate?
When used as the opposite of "designer," it is nothing more than a business term signifying that a company makes primarily fragrances and is not backed by a major fashion house or other design concern. The term encompasses large, well-established brands like Guerlain, Creed, and Bond No. 9 as well as much smaller made-it-in-my-basement type of operations. It has no significance relative to fragrance quality (i.e., there are heaps of bad niche scents just as there are heaps of bad designer scents).
I categorise myself as ‘tiny niche’ and I note that my prices are no higher than most designer fragrances and while I encourage my customers to value the exclusivity that comes with buying from a small player, I don’t see any value in looking down on anything else.
On the contrary I aspire to create fragrances as great as some of those from the big houses.
To me a niche fragrance is a house that sells only fragrances and nothing else i.e. Chanel,Tom Ford & Christian Dior sells clothing,handbags,belts & shoes as well which I consider a designer scent. Your thoughts please.
I agree with you.
A niche House is distinguishable from a designer, by the very fact that its mission and/or the purpose for its existence is the creation of perfumes.
Once an additional product line is involved, it is a designer House.
Any consideration of quality is a red herring.
This is all meaningless semantics but, for what it's worth, I disagree with all of you.
"Niche" and "Designer" are not exclusive and they do not cover the entire perfume market.
Niche means it's intended for a specialized market. The opposite of niche is not "designer" - it is "consumer", or "mass-market".
Dior, Tom Ford, and Chanel are all designer brands with both mass-market perfumes and niche lines.
Some designer brands produce only mass-market perfumes, such as Polo, YSL, Givenchy, and Mugler.
Guerlain is a fragrance and cosmetics company with a line of mass market perfumes and several niche lines.
Some perfume brands produce only niche products, such as Serge Lutens, Amouage, ELDO, MPG, etc.
That's how I see it.
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Last edited by silverbullet; 21st September 2012 at 09:25 PM.
I agree with Rubegon, because I, personally,
consider both Lex Exclusifs and La Collection
Privée niche - made by designer houses!
Niche is a confusing term indeed!
Last edited by Le Grand Duc; 21st September 2012 at 11:04 PM.
I am writing a thesis on this topic. Technically, your thoughts on the definition are correct. However, I have found that the greatest number of people associate NICHE with strange or unique scents more than they do with the size or type of products they sell outside of fragrances alone.
I personally consider Comme Des Garcons a MAJOR player in the Niche category, however they are by definition very much a designer house and Guerlain seems to be less NICHE to me, where as they are by definition more niche technically.
To ME; NICHE ~ Small and/or strange/unique
Damn, I'm starting to disagree with myself I have no backbone
Last edited by silverbullet; 21st September 2012 at 11:26 PM.
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restricted and costly, sometimes richer, sometimes plain marketing with no substance
Last edited by Francolino; 21st December 2012 at 11:05 AM.
It will never end, and there's no real right or wrong - even the industry definitions of 'how many doors' is confusing.
My own take on it is:
Fragrance & Cosmetics House: Established primarily to make fragrances and cosmetics. Many of these houses have 'mainstream' distribution as well as more limited Exclusive Collections.
Guerlain, Caron, Coty, Lauder, Shiseido.
Designer: Companies that make clothes and/or jewellery etc. and also have perfume as an ancillary line with mainstream distribution. In the last decade or so many of these designer houses also have launched Exclusive Collections with limited (often only 'in-house') distribution (Hermessences, Chanel Exclusifs, Dior Prive, Cartier Les Heures etc.)
Dior, Gucci, Armani, Hermes, Tiffany, Chanel, Comme de Garcons, Tom Ford
Niche: Smaller companies, most founded from the late 60's onwards, and in many cases starting with one boutique helmed by a perfumer. Many have gone on to become quite large businesses, arguably making the transition from Niche to Perfume & Cosmetics House.
First Generation: Diptyque, Maitre Parfumeurs et Gantiers, L'Artisan, Parfum de Nicolai, Annick Goutal.
Second Generation (These ones had a business plan): Frederic Malle, The Different Company, By Kilian, Divine, Histoires de Parfums, Maison Francis Kurkdjian
There are exceptions to every single one of the above, of course, and other anomalies, but this is how I keep tabs. It's quite fluid really - interesting to watch unfold.
A confession - when I see people call Guerlain 'designer' MEGO
Last edited by mr. reasonable; 22nd September 2012 at 06:24 PM.
I can only repeat what I said before on BN: while I do use the terms "designer" and "niche" for easier rationalizing, systematizing, often even the regular, not just the exclusive lines of designers, have niche quality in my opinion.
Niche: The type of fragrance company that produces in limited quantity and sells in few shops.
"How do you feel about the state of contemporary "commercial" fragrance? Will the rise of niche and boutique fragrance force change to the landscape? Also, the niche market has exploded, and many fragrances are indistinguishable from commercial scents."
Bertrand Duchaufour: "Here there isn’t a hard line, a tangible border between commercial fragrances and niche products. That means you can find the more horrible copy in a so-called niche brand and a very original innovative accord in a very commercial launch. Very difficult to point precisely as to the exact character of a new launched fragrance because, it is increasingly rare to distinguish between them.
I am sure of one thing: time is the best judge of a fragrance. If Perfumery is to remain an Art, it will be those fragrances that compel us based on quality and originality, not necessarily label or price.
Chanel and Guerlain have introduced niche extensions, some may be very good, yet I believe they should return to their roots....."
Marc Buxton: "Ah everyone uses this term now; it is not ‘fresh’ anymore. Every year, for five or six years, there have been too many new launches calling themselves “niche’. But I am hopeful, as there are still some good new perfumes to be found ‘en niche’."
Instead of classifying a whole house as niche or designer, I prefer to assess each perfume. Thats more logical and accurate.
First to define niche. Its a perfume that uses high quality ingredients to achieve a smell that is in no way related to the current mainstream hype.
Some perfumes are niche and some aren't irrespective of the house itself. Dior and Guerlain both make designer scents that appeal to the mass and are in line with the current mainstream hype and also make very special-interest niche perfumes.
Also, you no longer need to make perfumes in home-lab and sell only in a small obscure shop somewhere in Paris or Bologna to be considered niche. Quantity sold is no longer relevant and shouldn't have been relevant. Because that would mean only less fortunate people could opt to be a perfumer and could only make small batches and sell on some small side lane in Europe. Thats not true. Wealthier people with capital to spare can make niche perfumes.
Comme des Garçons flys in the face of your theory my friend
just curious, people's perceptions seem to differ vastly!
A few threads on this recurring topic:
I tend to think of niche as made by smaller companies who do not seek to cater to the masses but create perfumes that will appeal to small numbers of cognoscenti. Often these perfumes are sold in limited venues, the companies spend more money on developing the scent than on advertising and often the bottles are all alike, saving money on bottle design.
It isn't cut and dried, though.
And niche does not necessarily mean "better"!
Some perfume houses have a niche-like/exclusive line (like Guerlain) and some designers do, too (like Armani and its Privé line, Chanel and others.)
The niche-like lines are not found at all venues where the products are sold, and often the bottles look alike, and they cost more. The Hermessences cost more than the regular Hermès fragrances, for example, and can only be bought at Hermès boutiques. The Guerlain niche-like fragrances are sold at some stores but not at all stores that carry Guerlain.
Last edited by 30 Roses; 21st December 2012 at 10:30 AM.
Anything that people on BN don't feel the need to apologize for, for liking.
Iris Pallida 50ml
Ungaro I 75ml
and more! - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more
I fell into exploring niche perfumes just because those companies seemed more likely than mainstream ones not to do the things I hate -- including piercing cacophonies of the same stereotyped fashionable notes, strictly divided into highly gendered "girl" fragrances and "boy" fragrances. I don't like my scent to tell me what my presentation is supposed to be. And I don't like smelling like everyone else. Niche perfumers do seem more likely to please themselves, and not to be working to some marketing committee's notion of The Things That Sell To Young Hot People Today, which means that their work is slightly more apt to please me.
That said, I really don't care one way or the other. If Calvin Klein felt like making something that worked with my own chemistry and didn't (as most of their fragrances do) make my eyes itch or my throat close, I'd wear it happily. (More than happily; it would save me a lot of headaches and $$$, ordering things from remote and esoteric suppliers that usually involve customs charges.) It's not like I'm getting T-shirts printed saying, "Good morning! I am wearing a fragrance from By Kilian today! It costs $$$ per bottle. Please be duly appreciative of the favour I am granting your nasal receptors!"
I've seen Guerlain and Caron called niche. So if designer fragrances are those made by fashion houses / designer brands then I suppose the broadest way to define niche is fragrances made by companies whose specialty is fragrance. Though the term niche itself would tend to suggest something more esoteric.
Here are the arbitrary, though commonly accepted guidelines:
1. Exclusive - not sold at most department stores
2. Pricy - usually over $100
3. Uniqueness - often appeals to peculiar tastes rather than general appeal
And that's the point. People will pay more so that they can have a scent that most other people do not. Not only that, but after smelling designers for a while, people want more of a challenge.
-More unknown to people, especially those who aren't into fragrances
-More likely to be unique from other fragrances, although not always
Price, ingredients and (comparative) scarcity are some, yet not all, prerequisites of niche to me.
I agree with 30 Roses and Miket, that both Guerlain and Caron make frags that today would probably lead to their houses' being called "niche" rather than mainstream. The same reasons that others have given apply to these houses, i.e. quality ingredients, very well crafted perfumes, not the sort of scent you'll find "celebs" endorsing! I have several favourites from Caron, and two or three from Guerlain, which sit happily in my wardrobe alongside acknowledged niche brands like Grossmith and Tauer.
But some niche scents I find quite horrid! So, to each their own.
I sometimes wonder what exactly constitutes "niche" and which companies really are niche and which ones consider themselves niche, but technically are not ??
Surely when the likes of Creed and Serge Lutens hit the major chain perfumeries shelves, (eg Douglas, Sephora, etc.) they cease to become niche and become mainstream ?
I still think of Andy Tauer as niche and would even class the likes of Caldey Island Monastery and Mekkanische Rose as "niche within niche"
Personally I no longer see Creed or Serge Lutens as niche. Some consider Knieze, Rance, D'Orsay and Piquet as niche ~ personally I would disagree.
What do you consider niche and what not ~ where is the line drawn ?
" If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun ". Katharine Hepburn.
I think it depends how you define niche.
If you mean to be niche you must have to travel to central london (as an example for UK) and its only available in the designers own snooty boutique in sloane street to test and purchase it then i guess that makes Creed not niche...
Creed is more readily available than that kind of scenario, but its not mainstream.
The lowest common denominator of store that its available is John Lewis to order, yet everytime ive called them to find out about stock theyve never had any, so theres clearly very little market for them to sell them in stores imo.
If i want to hunt them out i have to go to somewhere like harvey nichols or harrods or selfridges.
Ordering online of course is somewhat easier, but you need to test it first, and thats not always easy to do unless you live near to somewhere.
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.
For example, there are scents like Axe and Brut you will find literally anywhere (in supermarkets even).
Then there are scents like Ed Hardy and Usher that you will find in big box stores like Walmart.
Then there are designer fragrances like where you'll only find them in stores with a dedicated fragrance section.
Then there are designer fragrances you'll find in higher class stores like Bloomingdales.
Then there is niche that is sold at only luxury stores like Neiman Marcus.
Then there is niche that is sold in places like MIN.
Then there is niche that is only sold at one place.
It's all relative.
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.
In perfumery.. the stereotypical definition for niche is anything expensive.. apparently.
To me, niche means a company limited to only perfumes, and cannot be found in most retail stores. For example: Creed is niche, but so is Samba.
My 3 Signature Scents:
Rive Gauche Light (2004)
Paul Smith Man (2009)
I always thought niche was a German philospher from the late 1800s
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.
Please PM me !
Niche really is an often misused term that most think means expensive with limited distribution. But not all niche scents are more expensive than designers (though most are), and some niche houses such as Creed and Bond are more available than most.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
Else, not that it matters much to me, I'd perhaps see niche as a (small-ish?) company producing out there perfumes. Out there either by producing highly original, experimental scents, or perhaps just excelling when it comes to quality (and price).