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Thread: Define "niche?"

  1. #181

    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

  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

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

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

  6. #186

    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

    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

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Duplicate posting removed
    Last edited by pkiler; 25th January 2013 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Duplicate post
    Paul Kiler
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  10. #190

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Duplicate post.
    Last edited by CaliDude; 25th January 2013 at 02:16 AM.

  11. #191

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Duplicate post.
    Last edited by CaliDude; 25th January 2013 at 02:15 AM.

  12. #192

    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 02:11 AM.

  13. #193

    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 ?
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  14. #194

    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 ?
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  15. #195

    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

    Default

    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

    Default

    Creed and Lutens at Sephora?

  20. #200

    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

    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 04:39 PM.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  23. #203

    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.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  24. #204
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    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
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Double Post
    Last edited by mesaboogie; 25th January 2013 at 05:34 PM.
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  26. #206

    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

    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.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  30. #210

    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 !
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  31. #211

    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 !
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  32. #212

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Mmm, what I've maybe mainly thought about when it comes to designer vs niche is in regards to selling fragrance/cosmetics ONLY whereas designers can have fragrances and clothing and whatever else, or w/e.

  33. #213

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by voodoodanny View Post
    Doesn't that also make Coty niche, for example?

    Yes. Especially if they did, say, an under 16's scent. Or a range for under $5.

  34. #214

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by voodoodanny View Post
    Doesn't that also make Coty niche, for example?

    Yes. Especially if they did, say, an under 16's scent. Or a range for under $5.

  35. #215

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Bollocks, I thought I had avoided the double post.
    Appears to be impossible.

  36. #216

    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?
    No this is not a definition for niche.......
    that would make Guerlain and Caron and the likes of Faberge niche. I still think alternative is a reasonable definition for niche ~ and I think it is possible for a house to transform from niche to mainstream, like my examples of Creed and Serge Lutens.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  37. #217

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    No this is not a definition for niche.......
    that would make Guerlain and Caron and the likes of Faberge niche. I still think alternative is a reasonable definition for niche ~ and I think it is possible for a house to transform from niche to mainstream, like my examples of Creed and Serge Lutens.
    "Alternative" is meaningless unless you define what it is an alternative to.
    What you appear to be saying is that niche fragrances, despite not fitting the dictionary definition ,are those that are only available from their manufacturers.

  38. #218

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    I think david meant that 'niche' can be considered the alternative to mainstream (i.e. the so-called designers). I guess a similar example is how the term 'alternative' in music/rock is coined. How mainstream and alternative is then defined for fragrances can be debated. For example, Serge Lutens and Creed, while may be available at Sephora and Douglas and are thus not so limited in distribution, still count as alternative in the sense that their fragrances are not following populist trends, compared to say fragrances from brands such as Davidoff, Gucci, or Hugo Boss.

    Personally, I have always viewed individual fragrances as mainstream or alternative, rather than the houses themselves. This lends more specificity to discussion: for example, Creed's Aventus can be viewed as a mainstream fragrance (one that is immediately appealing to a wide segment of potential fragrance buyers) while Windsor is an alternative fragrance (very few similar fragrances in the market, and it is not so easily appreciated, especially by non-perfumistas). Nowadays, many designers also have exclusive ranges (for example, Hermès, Chanel, Dior), and their compositions tend to fall on the less populist side, and can thus be classed as alternative, while their more populist, regular line are mainstream.

  39. #219

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    IMO, a brand can be called niche if it doesn't care about the mass appeal of its products, making them very taste specific (products catering to a niche), and which values more the artistic and quality side of things than how well they'd sell.

  40. #220

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by martinijo View Post
    "Alternative" is meaningless unless you define what it is an alternative to.
    What you appear to be saying is that niche fragrances, despite not fitting the dictionary definition ,are those that are only available from their manufacturers.
    Alternative to mainstream.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  41. #221

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Alternative to mainstream.

    And mainstream means one that is available from other places than their manufacturers?

  42. #222

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    There's borderline bickering breaking out over the hard-and-fast definition of a word which, at least in my evaluation of things, was never meant to have a hard-and-fast definition. It's an umbrella term used mostly by us fragrance enthusiasts (seldom the houses them selves) for anything that one might consider more expensive, more exclusive, more challenging, harder to find or less well known than the mainstream (another umbrella term if ever there was one!)

    One man's niche is another man's high street, and that's perfectly ok with me.

  43. #223

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    [IMG]http://***********************/instances/400x/19399436.jpg[/IMG]

  44. #224

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Well good, it seems like everyone is basically in agreement that the term is pointless.
    So far nobody has come up with any meaningful definition.
    If it's not the dictionary definition for a niche market, it's not the term for a company that exclusively makes perfume and it's not the term for a company who are the only suppliers of their product then I will happily drop the term from my vocabulary, and maybe that's for the best.

  45. #225
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by voodoodanny View Post
    One man's niche is another man's high street, and that's perfectly ok with me.
    Agree! I rate niche as less mainstream to the high street, splitting hairs over whether Creed is sold in John Lewis or not is highly amusing.

    Im not anally retentitive about scents, i just signed up because i wanted to find out some more about intersting scents to discover and find a couple of new gems that suit me.

    High street to me is what i smell in my gym or if i went to a bar or club. Every guy is wearing Armani, D&G, 1 Million etc. There is nothing wrong with that.

    No guys in my gym are wearing (and please note im not just listing very expensive brands) Creed, Frederic Malle, Comme Des Garcons, Aqua Di Parma, the list is endless.

    To me those brands are more niche than the mainstream. Im sure to people very into there scents or who mix in well heeled circles they would consider what i call less mainstream as the mainstream. Its whatever really.

  46. #226

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Alternative to mainstream.
    I guess that makes Ilum Dean Fresco a niche? And since most of the Creed line is available in hundreds of Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom stores...?

  47. #227

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Okay, the term niche does not exist....all happy now ?

    .......I started the thread because a friend of mine was interested in writing an article about niche perfumes for a magazine and wanted to know the criteria of niche.
    I was hoping for intelligent suggestions and not terms like "anally retentive".
    Last edited by david; 30th January 2013 at 06:45 PM.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  48. #228
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    Default Re: Niche?

    Double post

  49. #229

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Okay, the term niche does not exist....all happy now ?
    I just asked you a couple of questions. But if you want to take your ball and go home...

  50. #230
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    Default Re: Niche?

    Double post

  51. #231

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by xray View Post
    I just asked you a couple of questions. But if you want to take your ball and go home...
    Your input was very valid. Thanks for taking part. If you read further back in this thread you will find that I already answered your question regarding Creed being available in Bloomingdale's etc,.....in my view it has become mainstream.
    My comments were not aimed at you.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  52. #232

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    No problem. But out of curiosity, you wouldn't label Ilum Dean Fresco as a niche, would you? my point is that people come up with definitions of "niche" and "not mainstream" is one of the most frequently heard answers, but when you ask them if a particular inexpensive fragrance that isn't widely known or available is niche, they'll rethink their definition.

    Count me in as one that doesn't like the label a bit. I wish YouTube reviewers would stop dividing reviews such as "Top Summer Fragrances 2012 - niche" and just focus on what's best for Summer or whatever the category is. If anything, it can be helpful to split them into inexpensive and expensive, but who cares if something is labeled "niche"?

  53. #233
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    My comments were not aimed at you.
    I think youve misunderstood me. I wasnt calling you that at all, but this thread does have that certain air to it. Im very aware that this is a specialist site for people very into there scents, but realistically speaking, Creed is not mainstream in the real world. Youd be better off asking real people, because alot of people would never of heard of Creed guaranteed, and if nothing else, the price of there products alone forces there products to be less mainstream, because this is the real world and most people dont contemplate paying those type of prices for perfumes or cologne.

    My motto has always been if someone likes something they like it, regardless of price, the only reason why i may choose to look a little harder than some people to find something a little "different" to wear than "those guys" at my gym, is because i want to have my own identity, and the most important thing before that is to smell great.

  54. #234
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    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    My comments were not aimed at you.
    I think youve misunderstood me. I wasnt calling you that at all, but this thread does have that certain air to it. Im very aware that this is a specialist site for people very into there scents, but realistically speaking, Creed is not mainstream in the real world. Youd be better off asking real people, because alot of people would never of heard of Creed guaranteed, and if nothing else, the price of there products alone forces there products to be less mainstream, because this is the real world and most people dont contemplate paying those type of prices for perfumes or cologne.

    My motto has always been if someone likes something they like it, regardless of price, the only reason why i may choose to look a little harder than some people to find something a little "different" to wear than "those guys" at my gym, is because i want to have my own identity, and the most important thing before that is to smell great.

  55. #235

    Default Re: Who Is Niche ?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Okay, the term niche does not exist....all happy now ?

    .......I started the thread because a friend of mine was interested in writing an article about niche perfumes for a magazine and wanted to know the criteria of niche.
    I was hoping for intelligent suggestions and not terms like "anally retentive".
    I'm happy, it's all clear to me now thanks to this thread.
    Maybe your friend could write an article about how the term niche was a red herring and never really meant anything. Could be a lot more fun than reading about Creed batch numbers.

  56. #236

    Default Re: Your Definition of Niche?

    I think that a niche house is generally defined as a fragrance house that distributes a small amount of perfume to a limited number of retailers.

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