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Thread: Why buy niche?

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    Super Member Mr G's Avatar
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    Default Why buy niche?

    Hi everyone

    When I started thinking about buying a niche frag I did so because I thought they were made from better ingredients which would mean that they would last longer and smell better. I also thought they were perfumes and not the weaker EDT or cologne. Now that I've spend some time trawling the forums it would seem that people don't really differentiate between EDTs and the niche stuff. There also doesn't appear to be a correlation between the prince and longevity.

    This all leads me to ask: why buy niche?

    Cheers

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Most people here don't differentiate between mainstream and niche, it's just what smells best to them. However, current mainstream perfumery tends to be depressing (hospital cleaners, light woods and sugar for men, slutty pink syrups for women) and most old masterpieces have been reformulated beyond recognition. Niche perfumery is of variable quality, but one can find many great things. So we definitely need niche right now. But I agree that a lot of niche is as bad as the worst mainstream.

    It is also interesting that some mainstream houses have created niche line to ride the fashion (eg Chanel exclusifs, Tom Ford private, Dior private, etc). Luckily, many of these are quite good.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    some of them smell good so people like and buy them.
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Most people here don't differentiate between mainstream and niche, it's just what smells best to them. However, current mainstream perfumery tends to be depressing (hospital cleaners, light woods and sugar for men, slutty pink syrups for women) and most old masterpieces have been reformulated beyond recognition. Niche perfumery is of variable quality, but one can find many great things. So we definitely need niche right now. But I agree that a lot of niche is as bad as the worst mainstream.
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    Super Member Mr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    So the difference between EDP and EDT doesn't really mean much? You can find a EDT that has better longevity than an EDP even though the concentration of its ingredients is weaker?

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr G View Post
    Hi everyone

    When I started thinking about buying a niche frag I did so because I thought they were made from better ingredients which would mean that they would last longer and smell better. I also thought they were perfumes and not the weaker EDT or cologne. Now that I've spend some time trawling the forums it would seem that people don't really differentiate between EDTs and the niche stuff. There also doesn't appear to be a correlation between the prince and longevity.

    This all leads me to ask: why buy niche?

    Cheers
    It's just depends on how you feel when you wear a cologne you like. I got few niches and lots of mid-range to cheapies. Usually niches are higher quality and the house like Creed has lots of experiences while designers are much easier to get. If you don't want to be wearing the same thing most would be wearing such as your One Millions and Le Male then you go to a Niche fragrance...but at a high price obviously. If you don't care what you use as long as you smell good who cares. I don't really think fragrances are worth over 100 bucks in my opinion...hell I think even designers are over the edge a bit. I just got into the game and I do buy niche from time to time but the juice has to be great and the bottles make a great collection. But if you are doing it just for the juice (and women don't really care that much...they rather you just smell good) then designers are the way to go.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr G View Post
    So the difference between EDP and EDT doesn't really mean much? You can find a EDT that has better longevity than an EDP even though the concentration of its ingredients is weaker?
    Generally EDPs do last longer, but that is irrelevant to the niche/designer debate. Designer houses make both EDTs and EDPs and niche houses make both as well.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    I have yet to find designer perfumes that mimic the style of Serge
    Lutens for example.

    To me niche means unique blends in high quality ingredients.
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    I Just think niche have the most creative fragrances where as designer are more crowd pleasing and easy to like.

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    designer = lots of options
    niche = lots of options

    designer + niche = lots and lots of options
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    I like to be unique, but I own both.

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    Super Member Mr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Ahhh... now I see. So niche doesn't equate to EDP and better frags. It's just more exclusive, expensive and usually from a house with some history. Therefore if you can find a designer frag that you really enjoy you can avoid spending the big money on the niche stuff without feeling like you're losing out on quality or longevity.

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Most people here don't differentiate between mainstream and niche, it's just what smells best to them. However, current mainstream perfumery tends to be depressing (hospital cleaners, light woods and sugar for men, slutty pink syrups for women) and most old masterpieces have been reformulated beyond recognition. Niche perfumery is of variable quality, but one can find many great things. So we definitely need niche right now. But I agree that a lot of niche is as bad as the worst mainstream.

    It is also interesting that some mainstream houses have created niche line to ride the fashion (eg Chanel exclusifs, Tom Ford private, Dior private, etc). Luckily, many of these are quite good.

    cacio
    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    I have yet to find designer perfumes that mimic the style of Serge
    Lutens for example.

    To me niche means unique blends in high quality ingredients.
    You two hit the nail on the head

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Most people here don't differentiate between mainstream and niche, it's just what smells best to them.
    cacio
    What he said. I guess I would answer your question with another one... Why not?
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Some niche fragrances are nice and some aren't. It just depends on what one likes.

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I Just think niche have the most creative fragrances where as designer are more crowd pleasing and easy to like.
    This was basically what I was thinking in my head. But it's really not just that simple. But I do think I can find a fragrance that is much closer to how I want to smell in niche now-days compared to designer. Really though, niche seem to allow the fragrances to be taken to a level above just crowd pleasing-ness, they can take a more abstract direction if they want. I think that niche are more designed for fragrance enthusiasts, thought not all true, GIT for example is very well known.

    Longevity I think is just a whole other aspect of it. And me, not knowing much about how a fragrance is created would think that every perfumer would want their scent to have a decent longevity, so there must be more than just the concentration of the oils that is taken into consideration.

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    You buy niche so that, in general, you get shorter lived, less masculine scents which rarely (if ever) get you any compliments. If you, for some reason, visit those places where males try to meet women, you will have little problem remaining single, as those guys wearing the good stuff that outperforms (designer scents) will have a big advantage over you.

    Yes, there are some good to really good masculine niche scents around that have some longevity e.g. Lorenzo Villoresi Vetiver, the masculine MPG range, possibly even Creed GIT, but an awful lot of the niche scents just use a particular formula that was unusual a decade ago which people seemed to like for something different.

    Back in the old days, a unisex scent was made of fairly neutral components that both men and women could wear, usually something citrus. Many of the niche scents on the market started using a different technique, they got roughly equal parts of women's scent components, and of mens' scent components, mixed them up and called the result "unisex". Yes, the result is different to what was previously around from the designer scents, and some of them were indeed very interesting - but at the end of the day I preferred the long lasting, masculine designer scents.

    Cheers,
    Renato

  18. #18

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    it should now be obvious that people care about different things in fragrance.

    -for how long it masks your smell with something you think is better
    -how many people can smell you before they can see you
    -how many panties you think it will drop
    -how much it costs
    -how valuable you think it is
    -how big / nice looking the bottle is
    -how many bottles you already have of it
    -how high the quality you think it is
    -and probably how much you like to smell it

    once you know what you care about, you can form your own, genuine educated opinion.

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Buy niche if the house appeals to you for a specific reason, one which designer cannot offer.

    For example: my niche house of choice is Creed. Why do I buy Creed? Because I like that it's a relatively small, privately owned company, run by family. I also like that they're purveyors of hand-made fragrances that actually smell hand-made, and depending on year, smell a tiny bit different batch to batch. There's a certain old world appeal there, even if a lot of it is in selling less-inspired modern fare. Their grey cap scents are where the money is with Creed, and I know that about them and gravitate toward their charm.

    I also buy Fragrances of Ireland. Inexpensive niche. But very well made, and virtually off the basenotes radar entirely. Why, I do not know. Perhaps because they're inexpensive? They have personal appeal to me because I remember when FOI was starting out, back many years ago when I would spend summers in Ireland. They were only selling a couple of scents back then, and had promises of more. I wear them now to remember those times.

    If you don't have a good reason to buy niche, there's just no reason to do it. Anything done by niche has been done by designer as well, just perhaps to a lesser degree (but often more commercially successful degree). Explore and see what you like and don't like and go from there.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolinist View Post
    designer = lots of options
    niche = lots of options

    designer + niche = lots and lots of options
    I couldn't have said it better. Anything other than this is just an excuse for showing off and snobbiness.

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolinist View Post
    designer = lots of options
    niche = lots of options

    designer + niche = lots and lots of options
    yes There are good and bad scents in both designer and niche as well.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by MOONB View Post

    If you don't have a good reason to buy niche, there's just no reason to do it. Anything done by niche has been done by designer as well, just perhaps to a lesser degree (but often more commercially successful degree). Explore and see what you like and don't like and go from there.
    I would say a lot or some but not anything.
    There are still too many genres in niche not done by designer. I can think of dozens.
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    I buy what I like ... where it falls in the dichotomy of Houses is immaterial ...

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikelap View Post
    I couldn't have said it better. Anything other than this is just an excuse for showing off and snobbiness.
    I agree. If anything, proportionately, I have found more stinkers from the niche houses than from the designers. Sometimes the need to differentiate from the mainstream results in weird scents which are just unpleasant to wear. If you love these 'edgy' or 'challenging' fragrances, your conclusions will of course differ. Overall, the 'high-end' designer has proven my most fertile hunting ground.
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr G View Post
    So the difference between EDP and EDT doesn't really mean much? You can find a EDT that has better longevity than an EDP even though the concentration of its ingredients is weaker?
    The difference between EDP and EDT can be more than just longevity. In some cases, the notes are balanced differently or there may even be different notes (I'm thinking of Guerlain's Insolence, for example, or L'Instant Pour Homme).

    To me, niche is about availability and size of distribution and that's about it. Niche is not necessarily higher quality, more creative, or more expensive. Same with designer. To answer your question: there is no reason to buy niche unless you like the perfume. No sense in restricting your choices, either.
    Currently wearing: Shalimar by Guerlain

  26. #26

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Tom Ford's Private Blends for example, have a very high quality smell about them. You can tell they were well though out and have good ingredients in them. They don't smell like mainstream designer fragrances (Except for Italian Cypress aka Halston Z-14). They also project loudly and have great longevity, which truly gives them Eau De Parfum characteristics. To me, they are some of the better quality niche's that I've smelled so far. I have yet to try Lutens, Montale, or Fredric Malle.

    Not all EDP's last a long time. Take Creed Millesime Imperial (Millesime strength aka EDP) for example. The majority of people who own it say it has a 3-5 hour scent life. Abercrombie Fierce on the other hand, is an Eau De Cologne that lasts a very long time. A*Men, Joop!, Le Male, Lapidus PH, and The Dreamer are all EDT's that are known to have monster longevity somewhere in the realm of 12+ hours.

    In other words, don't count on all EDC's having bad longevity and all EDP's having great longevity. There are also several designers that could be considered Niche if they were made by a less popular company than the designers who had them made.
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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Here's my take: In general, you get better quality ingredients with niche. However, some good-quality ingredients are not that expensive so you can find some designer that gets the job done, though the frag may not be that exciting. There are also some designer ones that are interesting, due to new molecules being used (Elegance by Lacoste is an example). Niche tends to be simpler, which is fine if the idea works (for instance, in terms of dynamism). The vintage designer frags often have it all, which is why I have been drawn to them. As a newbie, however, I simply could not tell the difference between high and low quality ingredients, and it didn't matter to me at that point. It's true that a lot of designer frags these days are weak, but there are some niche that have that problem too (which is why BNers may tend to like the stronger ones). I'm working with a new niche company now, with the idea of creating unique frags with high-quality ingredients at low prices.

    As MOONB said, there are already companies like Fragrances of Ireland that market high-quality frags at reasonable prices. I was thinking of doing this myself, but start up costs and the fact that I've already got a huge number of frags that I enjoy led me to refrain from doing it. Instead, I'll get to advise and sample without risk, then report back to BN about what I think of them. My advice to the OP is to get a wide assortment of samples and then take at least a year to allow your "mind's nose" to figure things out. Plenty of BNers sell or swap samples and there are also companies like The Perfumed Court. The worst thing to do is to buy what's "hot" here or to spend a lot of money on several bottles of frags that are very similar (because you will likely get bored within a few months). I have gone through several stages, during which I thought I only liked one kind of frag. Now I find that I don't like the same kind of frag two days in a row, with rare exceptions.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    The whole designer vs niche debate supposes that fragrances neatly fit into these categories but they don't.

    Just buy what you like.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Dear basenoters,
    I don’t know why one would like to buy niche but then again why should someone wear a fragrance at all?! The more one likes fragrances the more curious s/he gets and this means that we start to explore various paths of perfumery. Some of these paths are common sense and guided by adverts and public opinion and others are less known and widely available. Rarity doesn’t make for high quality so rare niche perfumes may be big disappointments unlike some classic designer fragrances that keep on getting re-bottled (see JPG Le Male). BUT, there is a certain degree of creative freedom in niche perfumery that mainstream fragrances cannot afford because they must make it into the global market quickly and effectively. Most designers have very little to do with the perfumes carrying their names (like this vs. don’t like this). There are corporate giants like Givaudan that make so many famous fragrances and some that are there to last a season at best. Niche perfumers have to struggle more for a space on a perfume counter and indeed as said before it is more likely that they will target the non-comformist and enthusiast perfume lover. For some niche may mean exclusive clientele, for me for instance a taste for niche is more about being interested to know who is the perfumer and the company and then to try and establish if the info and the price correspond to the supposed high quality of the juice (basically: love to wear vs. I don’t care for this). From the few niche perfumes I have been able to try (and again how rare a niche perfume must be?!) there were a few that I didn’t like, others I liked but were so short lasting that I was disappointed, and then there were a few that I really liked but could not afford. Very few that I managed to purchase are all special to me but are definitely not instant crowd pleasers. My question is: if niche perfumes cost more because are made of high quality ingredients in imaginative and unexpected compositions why o why then very often have so poor longevity? Are high quality ingredients so fleeting? Are we supposed to pay handsomely for concoctions that as truly marvelous as they may be disappear in a couple of hours? For example, I like perfumes by Ellena (father and daughter), Kurkdjian and Heeley but often they are so fleeting that seem elusive. In any case, for niche perfumes with hefty price tags, I strongly suggest thorough testing and then a very good market research. Sorry for the long message. My kind regards!

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    Default Re: Why buy niche?

    Wait, are there two Mr G's now??
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