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  1. #1

    Default Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    As I mentioned in another thread, I'm a long time lurker here, and have learned more about perfumes in general and niche fragrance in particular thanks to this site than I ever could have hoped to learn on my own. For that, I thank all you tireless contributors to these forums.

    We have finally (after a prolonged delay of like 6 years) realized our dream of opening a perfume store in the Miami, FL area and we are now going to expand into the niche market. We have already placed orders (and expect to be receving them starting middle to end of this month), with Montale, Histoires des Parfums, and Etat Libre d'Orange. We have not YET placed orders but are considering (and saving up to do so) with L'Artisan, Penhaligon's, and Serge Lutens, but are not yet tied into these last three brands.

    We are actively working on our website and hope to be fully up and running in the next 30-45 days.

    I would love some opinions on:

    1-Which brands you would bring in next, keeping in mind not only personal preference, but also market appeal, given the fact I have to prioritize. I don't have unlimited funds, so bringing in 30 brands all at once is simply not an option. For us, the only option is bringing in a few brands, then reinvesting profits in expanding those lines, and also bringing in new ones.

    2-What perks, features would you like to see on our website, once we are up and running? We are almost certainly going to offer free shipping on pretty much any sized order. The minimum for free shipping will be ridiculously low (maybe $30 or so, to insure we don't LOSE money on any given order). What else would you like to see?

    Thanks to all basenoters in advance.

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    by Kilian and Heeley are some niche brands that would be good. If you could get Tom Ford and Chanel also that would give a full, well rounded collection for your shelves IMO.

    As far as your site: as a programmer, I can tell you a nice clean responsive interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate is very important. As a consumer, I think multiple payment options (AMEX/VISA/MC/Paypal) and a discount code, and free samples with purchases is very good. Also, sample size purchase options (like LuckyScent).

    just my 2 cents...

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    IMO Diptyque would a be a non-costly addition.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Really cool...good luck with your store!


    You may want to consider Parfumerie Generale and James Heeley.

  5. #5
    Basenotes Institution sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Just wanted to say congrats to you on your new venture.
    Currently wearing: Memoir Man by Amouage

  6. #6

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    As far as your site: as a programmer, I can tell you a nice clean responsive interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate is very important.
    Very important, indeed. May I suggest that, even though you're only planning on stocking 3 brands at the beginning, you code the site and its items so that they're able to be sorted/isolated by brand?
    This will save you having to do it as the site and range expands - implementation is much more difficult than maintenance.

    Also look at all the popular online retailers (not just fragrances) and make a note of the features you like and would genuinely see yourself using down the track. If you're having someone design the website for you, get them to add those features for you at the time of design, even if you're not planning on using them right away.

    Can I assume this just going to be an e-tail business or will you have a bricks and mortar location as well?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    A reasonable international (UK) shipping. FragranceX gives free delivery for orders over $69.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    No, we also have a brick and mortar store in Miami, FL.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Junkie NYCBoomBoom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by FragranceNiche.com View Post
    1-Which brands you would bring in next, keeping in mind not only personal preference, but also market appeal, given the fact I have to prioritize. I don't have unlimited funds, so bringing in 30 brands all at once is simply not an option. For us, the only option is bringing in a few brands, then reinvesting profits in expanding those lines, and also bringing in new ones.
    As mentioned by others already, By Kilian and Diptyque. Bond no. 9 and Creed are popular as well, but they're also widely available. Andy Tauer and Frapin are two more brands just off the top of my head that I'd be/am interested in.

    Quote Originally Posted by FragranceNiche.com View Post
    2-What perks, features would you like to see on our website, once we are up and running? We are almost certainly going to offer free shipping on pretty much any sized order. The minimum for free shipping will be ridiculously low (maybe $30 or so, to insure we don't LOSE money on any given order). What else would you like to see?
    Free shipping with a low minimum is a great idea. I would also ask the feasibility/possibility of upgraded 2-day shipping with a higher minimum (perhaps $80 or $100)? Free samples (something new or similar to what's ordered, or perhaps a choice of samples during the checkout process) would be greatly appreciated as well. Finally, some sites now have 'rewards' programs. Buy $100 or $200 worth of product, get $10 off your next order, etc., that sort of thing.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    it took a friend of mine 6 years to apply for Frederic Malle, so now would be a great start to apply

    if you are looking to add Kilian to your range, then do prepare to wait for their super long delivery due to their "exclusive" reason if you got through

    would highly recommend you add the Naomi Goodsir brand to your portfolio, highly made fragrances with a reasonable price

    you can contact Naomi at

    [email protected]

    we could list hundreds of brands, in the end, it depend on your vision and strategy

    some of the following brands would be great due to their quality and pricing

    Andy Tauer
    Parfum d'Empire
    Parfumerie Generale

    since your in US, why not support home made such as

    Slumberhouse
    Kerosene

    Good Luck and all the best!
    AUSSIES, join our exclusive niche split club.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fro...s-niche-splits

    Currently splitting:

    Amouage - Tribute, Homage and OPUS VII
    Andy Tauer - Noontide Petals, Miriam and Loretta
    HdP - Veni, Vidi, Vici and Rosam, Ambrarem, Petroleum
    The Different Company - Oud Shamash, Oud for Love and Aurore Nomade
    Guerlain - Sous Le Vent, Angélique Noire, Bois d'Armenie, Cruel Gardenia, Rose Barbare

    and many more niches up for split...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    As far as site features:

    -Low free shipping (to be honest, I don't mind shipping as long as it isn't exorbitant)
    -Rewards / loyalty program
    -Sample section (individual and packages)
    -Coupon code
    -Note library
    -Comprehensive search: Name, House, Year of Release, Note, Perfumer, Gender, Similar to, etc
    -Clean and modern interface
    -Detailed fragrance description


    Like mentioned above, you should support the homegrown houses, too.

  12. #12
    Basenotes Junkie Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Creed, Amouage, Cereus, Bond No.9 (not sure if designer or niche)

  13. #13
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by HDDP View Post
    since your in US, why not support home made such as

    Slumberhouse
    Kerosene

    Good Luck and all the best!
    Good thinking, however, I was just thinking the opposite - If you are able to carry things that no one else in the US seems to carry (Armani Prive Oud Royal or Brueckner Aoud 1), I would be more than happy to put in an order right now!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    I would consider Gendarme to get that mainstream audience that comes in looking for something "clean". I know this won't impress the fraghead crowd, but you've got to get sales from the mainstream too (i.e. guys who just want a simple everyday frangrance they feel comfortable with going to work). But yet unique enough since they're coming to your store, instead of just going to Macy's for example.

    In addition to ones mentioned above, you could consider:

    Costume National (only know of Barneys and Luckyscent carrying this line, and it's not too expensive)
    Amouage (they have random retailers all over the country; expensive but very elite!)

  15. #15
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    I totally disagree that you should carry Tom Ford or Chanel. Chanel isn't niche, and TF is mainstream and probably available in upscale dept stores in Miami.

    Frapin is great. Also:

    Bruno Acampora
    Miller Harris
    Laura Tonatto
    Atelier
    Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
    Last edited by MonkeyBars; 5th March 2013 at 02:52 AM.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Congratulations on your new store! And kudos for the choice of the first brands. You have one of my favorites, the quirky ELdO-modern aesthetic and solid perfumes, the Arabian ouds of Montale, and the classical HdP.

    As for what else, if Parfums de Nicolai were distributed in the US, it might not be a bad idea, the reason being that they sell stuff also in less expensive 30ml bottles, and they have some excellent and again not too expensive refreshing eau de cologne. Perhaps more importantly, they have an extensive collection of candles and parfums d'ambiance. I am no expert, but I suspect that room frags and candles will be very useful to supplement income or to sell to people who wander in but don't want to commit to the full expensive perfumes. In this sense, Diptyque could be a great choice too because they also have an extensive, though easier to find, candle collection. Similarly for Santa Maria Novella, who have tons of lucrative side products (but then SMN is likely already distributed somewhere in Miami).

    Also, if you get HdP, I'm wondering if you could order a few of the side collection, scents of departure and the Alice and peter. Again, they are cheap and might sell. I think the scents of departure do have a Miami frag, which seems a must have then.

    And finally, I'm wondering if Ramon Monegal might click with the latino community (though he is spanish).

    Serge Lutens is famous and everything, and in the spirit of diversification, remember that Lutens has also some makeup products. Superexpensive, but they are quite striking, deep, saturated colors that may work with the party-going night crowd.

    cacio

  17. #17

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    You might want to get in touch with basenotes member Mike Perez (mikeperez23). I believe he lives in Miami. Mike has tremendous experience and knowledge of fragrances, and might have useful info about the Miami market and which houses/fragrances would be popular there.

  18. #18
    Dependent thatmakesscents's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Can't go wrong with KNIZE. Also would love to see more niche houses from Latin America/Spain and the Middle East .

  19. #19
    Basenotes Junkie SirNosebleed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Shipping niche perfume in from France and Europe probably costs a fortune. Better stick with the brands distributed in the US if you want to make a profit.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    One thing I want to stay away from, at least initially, is niche brands with reputations for poor longevity. While the niche fragrance aficionado understands certain aspects of perfumery, most of the general public (no matter how affluent) does not want to pay the price for some of these fragrances, only to have it nearly unoticable within the first couple of hours.

    I'm reading about ALOT of issues with logevity on brands like Frapin and Heeley, for example (among others).

    Would love your take on this as a group.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Frapin.

    What about Parfums de Nicolai?
    Current Top Five:

    1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
    2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    5. Creed Original Vetiver

  22. #22
    Dependent thatmakesscents's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by FragranceNiche.com View Post
    I'm reading about ALOT of issues with logevity on brands like Frapin and Heeley, for example (among others).

    Would love your take on this as a group.

    I've had this experience with a number of niche brands. Even a Montale can be weak. Tauer L air du desert moracain is a longevity dud. Amouage is also guilty at times.

    My favorite is when the fragrance is described as "subtle" and "close to the skin". That translates to CHEAP !

    Poor longevity issues are just as common with niche. I won't be buying too many bottles in the future.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Also Divine is a good brand to consider.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by thatmakesscents View Post

    My favorite is when the fragrance is described as "subtle" and "close to the skin". That translates to CHEAP !
    Sometimes, but not always.

    Every scent is not supposed to have the same level of projection. Some scents are meant to be subtle while others are meant to be loud.

    I'm glad Bois Farine doesn't project like A*Men. It's not supposed to and I wouldn't want it to.

    I love Pear + Olive but actually wish it projected a little bit less. Gaiac shouldn't project like One Million, etc. etc.

    For certain frags, certain volume levels are appropriate.

  25. #25
    autumngleeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Penhaligon's
    Xerjoff
    Juliet has a gun

    - - - Updated - - -

    Penhaligon's
    Xerjoff
    Juliet has a gun (for the ladies especially)
    Maitre perfumeur et gantier

  26. #26

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by noggs View Post
    You might want to get in touch with basenotes member Mike Perez (mikeperez23). I believe he lives in Miami. Mike has tremendous experience and knowledge of fragrances, and might have useful info about the Miami market and which houses/fragrances would be popular there.
    Great suggestion, Noggs!
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    Currently wearing: Poison by Christian Dior

  27. #27

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    By Killian
    Parfums de Nicolai
    L'Artisan
    Frapin
    Tom Ford

    Also resonable shipping to international customers.

  28. #28
    Basenotes Member dade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Random advice...if you are going to offer samples with orders I would pay attention to client names. If say someone named Daniel orders I would only send unisex/male samples to them. That is probably my BIGGEST pet peeve when I order scents online and receive samples that clearly female scents.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    I don't understand the recommendations for Tom Ford.
    Great brand, but it's available in every dept store even the exclusive line.

    I would try to get;

    Andy Taurer
    Serge Lutens
    Kerosine
    Amouage
    Miller Harris

    All the best with your Shop/Boutique and keep us posted.
    ----------------------------------------
    www.georgecramer.com

  30. #30

    Default Re: Niche Brands to Bring into our Perfume Store

    Quote Originally Posted by dade View Post
    Random advice...if you are going to offer samples with orders I would pay attention to client names. If say someone named Daniel orders I would only send unisex/male samples to them. That is probably my BIGGEST pet peeve when I order scents online and receive samples that clearly female scents.
    I don't agree, actually. Over the years I've found that the fragrances I enjoy rarely have anything to do with whether they're marketed towards men or women. If perfume stores don't have the time, ability or resources to select samples based on what someone has bought, I'd say the next best thing would be to let the customer specify what samples they would prefer to receive.

    The rest of my wish list for the OP:

    - Reasonably priced international shipping, please and thank you! (this alone I think will hook a sizeable market with limited access to some of the perfume lines named below)

    - Niche American perfumers: not only Slumberhouse & Kerosene, but also DSH, Ava Luxe, Soivohle, Sonoma Scent Studio, Sarah Horowitz, off the top of my head. Some of these began life as Etsy stores or something alike, and there must be many more promising ones out there, only that it's become increasingly difficult to separate wheat from chaff. Carry the ones you think will go far, and help talk them up and bring them to a wider audience.

    - A kickass sample programme a la Aus Liebe zum Duft.
    Currently wearing: MAAI by Bogue Profumo

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