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  1. #1
    Rüssel's Avatar
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    Default Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    If you can boil it down to a fairly typical consumer of niche perfumes (age, income, education) and the reasons why they seek out niche?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Perhaps a bit older as they have been exposed to a greater variety of fragrances over the years; perhaps in a higher income bracket as they are less restricted by what they can choose from and after many years perhaps more informed as to what's out there and of the quality of the product being produced. Just a guess.
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  3. #3
    Basenotes Member ION-ONE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Interesting question,

    I'd say its a lot more complex than, for example, who buys designer clothing or expensive watches - less of a status symbol really.
    using your demographics (age, income, education) I would suspect.
    Age: Older people are more likely to buy Niche as they have literally had more time to cultivate more diverse tastes that are not satisfied by the mainstream market.
    Income: People on a higher income for obvious reasons.
    Education: Massive generalisation here; but I would think more educated people are more likley to be more thoughtful and philosophical and therefore more likley to buy niche. It would depend what form of education eg more artistic vs more scientific. I would think those with a more artistic education are more likley to buy niche whereas a scientific person may be more matter-of-fact and not willing to spend that kind of money on some cheap chemicals that happen to smell nice.

    Just my gut reaction to an interesting question. I'm sure many more demographics come into play.

  4. #4
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    They buy them because they're more expensive and they think they're better.
    http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-How-Lux.../dp/0143113704

  5. #5
    Buysblind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    They buy them because they're more expensive and they think they're better.
    http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-How-Lux.../dp/0143113704

    Is that why you buy them?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Still not sure what 'niche' is exactly , but some mainstream Designer brands are certainly more expensive than many indie ones.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    They buy them because they're more expensive and they think they're better.
    http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-How-Lux.../dp/0143113704
    Do you restrict yourself to cheap perfumes because you know expensive ones are a "rip-off" in all cases?

    I'm always happy to find a bargain. I care ONLY how the juice smells. My bottles are stored in a dark cupboard. They could be in a fruit jar, it would be fine. The source is of no importance, I am only interested in making sure it isn't fake. I often get great deals on vintage on Ebay. I personally dislike most of the stuff sold in dept stores to mass markets. I just feel it is often inferior (in USA), not always, but often. So I've sought out other sources like LuckyScent, Madini, Ajne, Luscious Cargo- where I can get higher quality, better smelling juice. Sometimes it costs more, but not always.

    Also, I realized I could spend $80 on 3 mediocre bottles that I never wore or $250 on one fantastic bottle that really put me on the moon. No contest.
    Last edited by kumquat; 15th February 2014 at 02:41 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    No, I don't think you can boil it down to a typical consumer at all.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I buy niche because it's interesting, offers the unexpected, in contrast to department store offerings which often seem very similar. I'm 41, middle class and I choose to purchase fragrance and forgo other items which don't interest me.
    I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Well, if you want demogaphics: I'm 22 and in college, and I own ~40 niche bottles/large decants. I buy them because they smell good and are at least fairly unique in my area, so I am not that likely to come across anyone else smelling like me (which is really just a bonus). Most of my school is Axe/Lynx (for you non-US people), but 1 Million is fairly popular as well.

    That being said, I don't think there is really a typical consumer. I bought my mom a bottle of Slumberhouse Pear and Olive and I don't think she falls into the "typical consumer" that we'd come up with, as all her life she's worn Windsong and occasionally a Chanel.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    People that appreciate quality and scents that standout from the usual drek at fragrance counters. Some people can discern differences that others can not, and those folks seek out scents that have a certain intrigue. Others can't tell the difference or don't care. Certainly having more disposible income helps, but good taste and olfactory abilities crosses all income levels. Those that can tell the difference are the ones that buy niche and indie perfumes.
    My Favorites
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I regretfully admit that initially I was the consumer that plural described in his post. As I became exposed to more houses/fragrances I became more interested in more complex fragrances. Of course they must still smell good to me so kouros is out of the question unfortunately, lol!
    Finally, I want to smell different than 99% of the people I come across. It may be an impossible task but it sure is fun trying!
    Current faves (Subject to change at a moments notice!!):
    Roja Dove Diaghilev
    Amouage Interlude Man
    Pure Distance M
    Creed Royal Oud
    Xerjoff Kobe
    Absolue Pour le Soir
    MDCI Chypre Palatin
    MDCI Invasion Barbare
    Ronia J Oud Assam
    Goti Smoke Essenze

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Speaking strictly for myself, perhaps the fact that niche tends to experiment with less mainstream and more unusual, rare, exotic notes is the main reason.

  14. #14
    Basenotes Member Linsul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I like niche for the novelty of smelling something I can't identify yet is amazing. There are a lot of surprises and ah-ha moments, it's just fun. I'm 33 and have long browsed counter offerings and I'd say 30% are boring, 30% are an olfactory pistol whip to the face, 30% are really quite nice, and the remaining 10% are either not my thing or do weird things on my skin. Niche is like starting over in a way where even the letdowns are a discovery.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Those that get into niche perfumes on average are most likely snobs in one area or more in their lives. I have been in this hobby since 2008 and have only sampled a handful of niche fragrances and that wasn't enough to convince me that I should spend the big bucks on them. I'll stick with my mainstream designer fragrances.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I just purchase what I like and can afford. Doesn't matter if it's niche, designer or a nice cheapie.
    Last edited by sjg3839; 15th February 2014 at 06:10 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    A lot of people buy niche for various reasons.
    What's mind boggling is how people think what they're buying is niche.

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  18. #18

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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Can't say whether there's a set demographic for niche - but suspect it may overlap widely with the BN, Fragrantica, or even MakeupAlley demographic. Which may not be terribly helpful, as it spans all ages, incomes, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, etc.

    I buy any perfume primarily because I like how it smells. But I seek out niche because there tends to be a more interesting selection and I like the idea of supporting smaller guys who are taking risks and doing things differently.

  19. #19
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    Can't say whether there's a set demographic for niche - but suspect it may overlap widely with the BN, Fragrantica, or even MakeupAlley demographic. Which may not be terribly helpful, as it spans all ages, incomes, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, etc.

    I buy any perfume primarily because I like how it smells. But I seek out niche because there tends to be a more interesting selection and I like the idea of supporting smaller guys who are taking risks and doing things differently.
    You sound like a terrific snob to me. ;-) (wink)

  20. #20
    Basenotes Member Linsul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    ....I like the idea of supporting smaller guys who are taking risks and doing things differently.
    ^that right there is a big draw for me as well.

  21. #21
    Basenotes Junkie Trilby Lark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I surmise there's high correlation to the luxury shoppers who possess high end department store credit cards, dine at gourmet restaurants, and seek out avant guard arts and entertainment. Typically, educated, mature, and higher income. As usual, there are many exceptions.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I'm a little bit of a snob and would buy a niche fragrance to standout from just the average Joe. But failing as a snob currently and haven't got any niche because most of them I don't like the smell of.

  23. #23
    Super Member Mrnybluesman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    This was an interesting question. I agree with most of what has been stated. Age and income, what one has been exposed to. I also agree that the only thing that matters is how the scent smells. The uniqueness and the quality of ingredients play a part. The mass market sometimes is uninteresting. I also believe believe once you become interested in something you want to learn. The more you learn and the more exposure you have, more things are open to you. There was a great point main regarding price, if you buy one bottle for $250 that you really love or three mediocre scents for $80 each that you soon grow tired of. Quality versus quantity??? Laughing....which will be my rationale when I spring for Armani's Prive Cuir Noir.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I feel it comes down to your level of interest in fragrances. I'm 24 on a modest income but I still go for niche here and there (nothing major mostly Bond no.9 and Creed). What I find rewarding about wearing niche is the fascination with the complexity or uniqueness of the scent itself as opposed to wearing something to please others in professional, social, or intimate environments. I'll sum it up...

    pros:
    -complexity
    -uniqueness
    -quality of raw materials
    -scent
    -wearing a elite artisan creation

    cons:
    -sometimes these scents aren't exactly 'sexy' to the public (face it, girls will insist on Acqua Di Gio 8/10)
    -certain ones seem to lack in longevity (uhm Creed...possibly due to the non synthetic quality of the raw materials)
    -expensive/hard to find

    I think once your interest and knowledge in fragrances expands to a certain point you will naturally gravitate towards niche. By then they won't be simply fragrance purchases but investments into your passion.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Different people will have different reasons for why they buy niche, so, I can only say why *I* buy niche. I buy what smells great to me, and what wears well on me, regardless of whether it's designer or niche. If I were to list my top 10 scents, it'd be a 50/50 mix of designer and niche.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  26. #26

    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trilby Lark View Post
    I surmise there's high correlation to the luxury shoppers who possess high end department store credit cards, dine at gourmet restaurants, and seek out avant guard arts and entertainment.
    this is so me :P - though I am not rich haha - I love gourmet food (also can cook and bake on my own if I want to), love the arts, theater arts and music. though I have a poor taste in fashion :P not interested at all.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Who buys niche perfumes and why?

    I got into niche because it was the natural progression of things. Im sooooo glad I did too. The world of fragrance would be very boring and mostly uninteresting if it weren't for niche. I can actually smell real notes and different things thanks to niche. If it were a designer world, we would all smell like sweet bubble gum.

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