It's a worthless term now as it's essentially been bought and the demarcation has largely been smashed by garbage posing as niche, and designer posing as ultra experimental. As far as price points and quality-as-demarcator go, that's also been undermined as there currently exists expensive "niche," poorly made from cheap materials, thriving on peripheral resources (advertising, hype), and niche that's absolutely inexpensive and uses some stellar materials to produce truly original work. Some of the best "niche"—totally creative and idiosyncratic, and made from a great palate of naturals and synths—can be had for around $15.
Just going to agree totally with this point.
Personally, my recent purchasing history included a period of buying mainly oil-based offerings from the Middle East and vintage stuff secondhand.
This pastime has now unfortunately been made hazardous by recent shipping regulations in respect of the former so my search for interesting new products using good quality ingredients in imaginative compositions has brought my searches closer to home.
A fairly broad and random sampling programme has been embarked upon, sampling from both retail outlets and direct and is still in it's early stages.
It has not had brilliant results so far, partly due to time constraints, although a few interesting things have been found and a few bottles purchased.
Price has so far had little bearing on quality.
My current feeling is that some excellent and reasonably priced products are being passed by for reasons not entirely understood by myself.
Often, niche has to do with availability IMO.
If I can buy a fragrance in 'Boots the Chemist' or the 'Perfume Shop' it ain't 'niche'
Subjective , but there are houses known for creating more then their share of "Niche" standard" frags and designers that have certain frags that are "Niche" quality and pricing comes to play also: the more expensive the less designated to populace at large the more so call "niche" it becomes.....Very subjective, and just because is well liked, does not mean it stops being a "niche"....and just because is like by a few does not make it a "niche" either .....subjective again.....will get there some day folks......NOT!! lol
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Once again, just because a House uses only natural ingredient doesn't no compute to A master piece or exquisite blend ...it's not a guarantee, a master perfumer can at times achieve great heights with all natural or part natural, and by the way, what's natural to you might not be allowable in the standards of what natural signifies for others, for everything had to pass rigorous unNatural procedures to be Allowable to smear our skins.....Subjective once Again
"Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "
I wonder how people view Narciso Rodriguez For Him based on their definitions of niche, mainstream, or designer.
^^ Designer. Narciso Rodriguez is a fashion designer, and his fragrances aren't hard to find (Sephora, Macy's, etc.) so that's an easy one.
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For a good example of niche - if we must use the term ...it is Andy Tauer.
Is 'Indie' a better term to use nowadays ?
For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.
Never been a fan of the terms "niche" or "designer" for many reasons. I don't think they're fit for purpose.
Personally I'd simply go with the designs other stuff/only designs fragrances definition. Does this mean that companies which only design fragrances put more effort in it?
I can also see the argument for distribution. Does this mean that a company who ships from its garage puts more effort in the fragrances than one that has made it into Harrods and Boots? The garage ones certainly would be more exclusive, perhaps that's what niche is?
I guess one could also go by smell. Underground smells most people don't enjoy, or high prices and quality? Does this mean A*Men and Kouros are a bit niche as some enjoy them but many dislike them, or do they just have some character? Is something like Diptyque niche when the products are in shops all over town and they make candles and handwash? Anything with a high price tag is automatically niche or is it just too expensive for many? Something that's niche today is mainstream tomorrow once Brad Pitt wears it and his cow pee smell perfume becomes popular?
Let's say 10,000 people read this forum on a weekly basis, including those who have never signed up for an account. I have no idea what the real number is, so I'm just making up a number for the sake of an example. Out of those 10,000 people, 100 of them may use the term niche 100% correctly by definition. So, the question is, if you're trying to communicate effectively with as many people as possible, do you use the term the way those 100 do, or do you use it the way the other 9,900 will understand?
The next time you're drinking coffee at home, ask yourself: am I drinking a cup of coffee, or am I drinking a mug of coffee? People say 'cup' but 99.999% of the time, they're using the wrong word. And that's fine. Most people think of Dior's Privee line as niche. I'm cool with that. Why shouldn't I be?
Every community has its own colloquial definitions. To effectively communicate with the most members of the community, it makes sense to use terms as understood within the community. Or, be that guy who spends his time trying to correct everyone. There's one in every group.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
But... what is the commonly understood definition? From the way these discussions on the definition of niche keep appearing, it does seem like all of us are using 'niche' in multiple ways that frequently but not always coincide.
Well, so be it. Language has its own strange ways of operation and evolution. (By the way, that particular comment was more directed at chopwet, although your own opinion echoed his.)
Personally, I have always preferred using 'mainstream' and 'alternative' as the labels to describe appeal/style (or simply mass appeal versus niche appeal) rather than designer/niche. Moreover, I also prefer to think that appeal labels apply only to individual scents and not to the houses.
Dior's Privée line is indeed niche (narrow distribution) although the house is 'designer' (primary focus is clothes, but more importantly main fragrance line has wide distribution), but what about the scents? I think that many fragrance lovers would classify the majority of the scents as mass appeal (excepting perhaps Leather Oud, Eau Noire), but many would also recognise the difficult in obtaining these scents in the first place.
I prefer to say "high street" and "high end". I think that more closely resembles what most people mean.