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  1. #1

    Default So I think I have a problem ...

    I’ve recently sold some fragrances and have been looking to add some new scents to my collection. I’m mostly a niche fragrance kind of guy and I’d say 70-80% of my collection is now niche or indie scents. With some extra cash I’ve been really thinking about adding YSL Y EDP and Invictus Aqua to my collection. I have the money and know I enjoy the scents but am still hesitant to pull the trigger. So I think my problem is just trained myself into thinking niche is better. I noticed this a while ago too when about a year ago I had a little bit of extra cash and was considering BDC EDP. I already owned the EDT but had my eye on that 100ml bottle. I was looking at it for weeks and then saw there was a pre order for Goldfield and Banks Pacific Rock Moss. Without ever sampling PRM (which I had sold maybe two months later) I pre ordered that instead. So does anyone here deal with similar issues?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kidmetal24 View Post
    I’ve recently sold some fragrances and have been looking to add some new scents to my collection. I’m mostly a niche fragrance kind of guy and I’d say 70-80% of my collection is now niche or indie scents. With some extra cash I’ve been really thinking about adding YSL Y EDP and Invictus Aqua to my collection. I have the money and know I enjoy the scents but am still hesitant to pull the trigger. So I think my problem is just trained myself into thinking niche is better. I noticed this a while ago too when about a year ago I had a little bit of extra cash and was considering BDC EDP. I already owned the EDT but had my eye on that 100ml bottle. I was looking at it for weeks and then saw there was a pre order for Goldfield and Banks Pacific Rock Moss. Without ever sampling PRM (which I had sold maybe two months later) I pre ordered that instead. So does anyone here deal with similar issues?
    I had a similar phase a couple of years back. Thankfully it's gone (which is good news for my wallet).

    My biggest beef with 'niche' is that most don't smell that good, and also lack of wearability. This happens more so with 'artisanal' niche. Not so much with stuff like Lutens or Malle.
    I've been on a major buying spree recently, and bought mostly designer scents as they simply smelled better.

    I had two big niche sample buying hauls (total of 20-25 samples), and I have found at most 2-3 scents that I'd like to buy. The other issue with niche is that I've mostly explored the lines I'd wanted to try, and already have most of the stuff that I thought were spectacular.

    I think the codeword is to keep an open mind and forget the label.

    Currently there is only one niche fragrance on my long term wishlist - L'Homme Sage.
    a bottle a day keeps the doc away

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  3. #3

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    My biggest beef with 'niche' is that most don't smell that good, and also lack of wearability. This happens more so with 'artisanal' niche. Not so much with stuff like Lutens or Malle.
    "most" niche are unwearable? That's a pretty broad brush which doesn't match up with my experience.

    To me, a good fragrance is a good fragrance, niche or mass market designer or whatever. I'll happily wear Joop! Homme or a Frederic Malle.

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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kidmetal24 View Post
    I’ve recently sold some fragrances and have been looking to add some new scents to my collection. I’m mostly a niche fragrance kind of guy and I’d say 70-80% of my collection is now niche or indie scents. With some extra cash I’ve been really thinking about adding YSL Y EDP and Invictus Aqua to my collection. I have the money and know I enjoy the scents but am still hesitant to pull the trigger. So I think my problem is just trained myself into thinking niche is better. I noticed this a while ago too when about a year ago I had a little bit of extra cash and was considering BDC EDP. I already owned the EDT but had my eye on that 100ml bottle. I was looking at it for weeks and then saw there was a pre order for Goldfield and Banks Pacific Rock Moss. Without ever sampling PRM (which I had sold maybe two months later) I pre ordered that instead. So does anyone here deal with similar issues?
    I don't see your situation as a problem. You simply prefer niche scents and there's nothing wrong with that. If there is a designer scent you want badly enough you'll get it when the time is right for you.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    A "niche" vs. "designer" binary makes little sense to me. There's not one style or quality of niche and there's not style or quality of designer. You can make the case that, in sticking to niche, you'll more consistently find more interesting accords and higher-grade ingredients than in the mainstream, but there are still plenty of great, beautifully made designer fragrances that are as desirable as the niche stuff. There are a lot of overlooked gems in the mainstream and there's a lot of overrated tosh in the niche sector.

    Find and wear the stuff that intrigues and transports you, regardless of origin.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    My biggest beef with 'niche' is that most don't smell that good, and also lack of wearability. This happens more so with 'artisanal' niche. Not so much with stuff like Lutens or Malle.
    Mirrors my experience lately, except part of my beef is with myself: the arties that "smell that good" usually equal "unusual or interesting" to me, and don't usually equal "wearable".

    For instance, I've been having an obsessive fling with Grimoire by Anatole Lebreton. There's no freakin' way I would ever wear this out in public, but at home I can't resist little dabs to sniff for hours. It's mesmerizing, it smells like a wet stone cave with a dirt floor and moss growing on the walls. But in public? Never.

    I guess the answer is to have a sub-wardrobe of the weirdos that are intriguing and atmospheric, but are just for my own enjoyment. Kind of like an art collector who has a locked vault where he stores only his erotic etchings -- the stuff that Aunt Phoebe wouldn't appreciate seeing on the walls.

  7. #7

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    No I do not have this problem. My advice to you is trust your nose not your eyes. I've worked professionally in the bicycle and snow sports industry and we had a saying about trying on ski boots that it was best done in a dark room. "Why?", you ask. Well I'll tell you. Often times people make decisions from preconceived notions. It could be any number of things and this is just a few: their friend recommends this, doesn't recommend that, my favorite pro athlete/ski instructor/ski celebrity uses this (I want to be just like them), that product didn't work for me in the past, or something as silly as the color (But it's not going to match my gear). So trust your nose after the scent dries down to whether or not it is worth spending money on not the name, bottle or box.
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  8. #8

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Mirrors my experience lately, except part of my beef is with myself: the arties that "smell that good" usually equal "unusual or interesting" to me, and don't usually equal "wearable".
    There's plenty of stuff I'd like to sniff once or twice that I wouldn't want to properly own. I see myself as a wearer, not a collector, and I don't want to own anything I wouldn't wear regularly.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ultravisitor View Post
    "most" niche are unwearable? That's a pretty broad brush which doesn't match up with my experience.
    Maybe you haven't tried the ones I have.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Niche is a broad umbrella that includes both stuff like Creed and stuff like Zoologist, so your idea of the niche sector really comes down to what you've sample.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Your situation is just about preference and niche or designer seem almost arbitrary in this instance except for the size of dent in your wallet.

    Diversity of scents on the fragrance market are plentiful and sampling might suit you better than full bottle purchases irrespective of niche/designer image. Swapping samples is also a great way to overcome your own scent tendencies and you’ll probably be surprised by a good few you might not have discovered on your own.
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  12. #12

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    There's plenty of stuff I'd like to sniff once or twice that I wouldn't want to properly own. I see myself as a wearer, not a collector, and I don't want to own anything I wouldn't wear regularly.
    Aah, a kindred spirit.
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  13. #13
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    I had a similar phase a couple of years back. Thankfully it's gone (which is good news for my wallet).

    My biggest beef with 'niche' is that most don't smell that good, and also lack of wearability. This happens more so with 'artisanal' niche. Not so much with stuff like Lutens or Malle.
    I've been on a major buying spree recently, and bought mostly designer scents as they simply smelled better.

    I had two big niche sample buying hauls (total of 20-25 samples), and I have found at most 2-3 scents that I'd like to buy. The other issue with niche is that I've mostly explored the lines I'd wanted to try, and already have most of the stuff that I thought were spectacular.

    I think the codeword is to keep an open mind and forget the label.

    Currently there is only one niche fragrance on my long term wishlist - L'Homme Sage.
    Designer particularly vintage/classic fragrance from past decades are definitely worth the investment. I found more enjoyment in these over what ever stuff is released today and throughout the past decade.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Stick to niche that are more wearable in social and work settings like Creed and Bond. I do get the designer side is generally easier to pull off in most all occasions.
    Currently wearing: Brooklyn by Bond No. 9

  15. #15
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kidmetal24 View Post
    I think my problem is just trained myself into thinking niche is better.
    Whatever you enjoy more is better.

    Some of my all time favorites are niche. Some are designer, and some are downright cheapies. And I love 'em all. The trick is to follow your own nose instead of other people's hype online.


    Quote Originally Posted by kidmetal24 View Post
    With some extra cash I’ve been really thinking about adding YSL Y EDP and Invictus Aqua to my collection.
    If you've smelled them and you like them, go for it. I wouldn't buy them blind though. Then again, I don't like either - but you're not me, so trust your own nose and have fun.
    Current Favorites (in no particular order)
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    Currently wearing: Original Vetiver by Creed

  16. #16

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Maybe you haven't tried the ones I have.
    Sure, but between living in New York City and Chicago, I've tried many, many, many of them. And you said most in general, not most of the ones you've tried--big difference there. I can understand if you meant most that you've tried but not most in general.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by kidmetal24 View Post
    I’ve recently sold some fragrances and have been looking to add some new scents to my collection. I’m mostly a niche fragrance kind of guy and I’d say 70-80% of my collection is now niche or indie scents. With some extra cash I’ve been really thinking about adding YSL Y EDP and Invictus Aqua to my collection. I have the money and know I enjoy the scents but am still hesitant to pull the trigger. So I think my problem is just trained myself into thinking niche is better. I noticed this a while ago too when about a year ago I had a little bit of extra cash and was considering BDC EDP. I already owned the EDT but had my eye on that 100ml bottle. I was looking at it for weeks and then saw there was a pre order for Goldfield and Banks Pacific Rock Moss. Without ever sampling PRM (which I had sold maybe two months later) I pre ordered that instead. So does anyone here deal with similar issues?
    Yes....I sort thought like you for a short period of time. But the truth is....If it smells great...It smells great. If you made a list of the greatest and most influential fragrances of all time from say 50 experienced Basenoters my gut reaction is that designer fragrances would probably come Out on top!!
    My All Time Favorites
    Vintage Fahrenheit - Dior
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    Grand Soir - Maison Francis Kurkdjian
    Oajan - Parfums De Marly
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    Currently wearing: Back to Black by By Kilian

  18. #18

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    This may not be a problem at all and all fragrance categories, not limited to designer nor niche alone can have their highlights- one of the most important aspects, if not even the most important one is that you enjoy whichever fragrance suits you, evolves well on your skin and you decide to buy and use, whether niche or not

  19. #19

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Yea I personally don't find niche that great, a few I've tried but overall it's not for me because I am one that doesn't care how many around me are wearing something the same as long as whatever it is smells good. But the thing is at my age and my day to day life I'm not around dudes in clubs or anything so maybe that's a whole other ball game for some but for me being married, work and where I wear fragrances it's not a competition of any sort. I can wear the most popular fragrance and I guarantee I might never bump I to someone who's wearing it as well.

    I see guys list "endless" niche fragrances and there's a point where it's like overwhelming, so I tend to stay in the big designer realm as I find so many that just smell awesome and as I said smelling awesome is my only care.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    ‘Wearability’ of a scent is largely a subjective issue, colored by one’s own perception . An oud oriental-loving aficionado will happily wear animalic artisanal stuff in public, scents that ‘fresh/clean fragrance lovers deem as ‘unwearable’. I have no problems wearing Grimoire out in public as it smells mainly of resins and frankincense on me after the rather forbidding opening. But I understand it may not be everyone’s bag.

    The question thus is not about ‘niche’ or ‘mass market’ but about where your individual taste preferences lie and how expansive your own comfort zone has become. 10 years ago I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing some of the stuff I do today.
    “...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” - Robin Sharma

  21. #21
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    The question thus is not about ‘niche’ or ‘mass market’ but about where your individual taste preferences lie and how expansive your own comfort zone has become. 10 years ago I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing some of the stuff I do today.
    I'm just going to have to strive to be as brave as you when I grow up.

    (Seriously, I think I'll start working on my chutzpah this week. I just ordered some Bal a Versailles in cologne strength, as I never had the nerve to wear the parfum in public; maybe that can be my gateway outing, and I can work my way up to the Grimoire.)

  22. #22

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    There's nothing wrong with liking niche or designer, IMO. Most of my experience is with designer, and nearly all of my full bottles are cheapies. I did recently have an opportunity to sample several niche fragrances, and I have to say that it was a great experience, and taught me a lot about what I like, as well as opened my eyes to stuff I never would have otherwise known existed.

    I feel that out in the real world (among non-fragrance enthusiasts) it seems to make no difference if I am wearing a $10 cheapie, or a sample from a bottle that is approaching $500 for 50ml. I cannot say that I carry no prejudices however, as that bottle priced at unobtanium levels for me, really DOES seem that much better. Perhaps due to lack of exposure to much of that type of stuff, I find myself utterly fascinated by all of it. As in I am shocked (in a good way) at what is happening in perfumery outside of the designer realm.

    I love designer fragrances, and there are MANY on my "to buy someday" list, but I can definitely see how the allure of the exotic fragrances in the niche world can make you want to skip over designer ambroxan bombs and go straight to animalic ouds. They're quite intoxicating IMO.

  23. #23

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    I wish tho that there was an actual designer area, I sometimes feel like most of the discussions are based on niche fragrances and that's fine I just feel like the oddball that doesn't contribute to that area of discussion. But I just find more enjoyment from designer discussions and to me it seems it's just not prominent. A dedicated area would just make it more enjoyable to sift thru. Just thinking out loud tho.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    I think the class structure of cheapie/designer/niche/luxury is a construct used to sell the idea that more expensive is better, since the last 30 years or so that have given rise to the kind of economic inequality needed to foster that mindset, which itself is one that hasn't been so prevalent since the last "gilded age" a century ago when Guerlain and Caron stood where Creed and Clive Christian do now, has placed society's focus on face value.

    My point is, this sort of mindset is what niche perfumers want you to have, and much of the marketing plays into it because without the "more is more" belief in place, you'd just see that a niche fougère is only a few key ingredients away from a designer one, and whatever additional quality increases claimed that may be present are negligible in relation to the price increase, if even present at all. You'd compare "apples to apples" instead of "apples to oranges" like they want you to do.

    It's very similar to wine or spirits where there is a jump in quality or style but a precipitous degree of diminishing returns past a certain price point, and although a lot of mass market or designer houses are also selling snake oil and charging a mint, the niche brands can coast on the brainwashing that "niche is better", since people won't fact check them by comparing their favorite niche fougère to a comparable designer one (compare Chanel Platinum Égoïste to Creed Viking and see what I mean).

    Ultimately it comes down to individual taste, as some niche scents are really just personal art projects of the perfumer, and others seek to be "high end version of X" or "ultra-performance version of Y". I liked Amouage Lyric Man enough to pay for it, even though Cartier Déclaration D'un Soir is also a masculine rose of similar quality at a fraction of the price, but I also ended up buying that one too.

    I guess if there is any key difference it is concept of brand, and some sell recognition while others sell exclusivity, since nobody expects Calvin Klein to carry a premium like Xerjoff, but 10x as many people have heard of CK so you're bound to get complimented, while the Xerjoff will lead to a conversation where you get to explain how and why you spent $400 on a fragrance, which may not always be the best conversation to have with a stranger in an elevator.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    I think the class structure of cheapie/designer/niche/luxury is a construct used to sell the idea that more expensive is better, since the last 30 years or so that have given rise to the kind of economic inequality needed to foster that mindset, which itself is one not been so prevalent since the last "gilded age" a century ago when Guerlain and Caron stood where Creed and Clive Christian do now.

    My point is, this sort of mindset is what niche perfumers want you to have, and much of the marketing plays into it because without the "more is more" belief in place, you'd just see that a niche fougère is only a few key ingredients away from a designer one, and whatever additional quality increases claimed that may be present are negligible in relation to the price increase, if even present at all.

    It's very similar to wine or spirits where there is a precipitous degree of diminishing returns past a certain price point, and although a lot of mass market or designer houses are also selling snake oil and charging a mint, the niche brands can coast on the brainwashing that "niche is better", since people won't fact check them by comparing their favorite niche fougère to a comparable designer one (compare Chanel Platinum Égoïste to Creed Viking and see what I mean).

    Ultimately it comes down to individual taste. I liked Amouage Lyric Man enough to pay for it, even though Cartier Déclaration D'un Soir is also a masculine rose of similar quality at a fraction of the price, but I also ended up buying that one too.

    I guess if there is any key difference it is concept of brand, and some sell recognition while others sell exclusivity, since nobody expects Calvin Klein to carry a premium like Xerjoff, but 10x as many people have heard of CK so you're bound to get complimented, while the Xerjoff will lead to a conversation where you get to explain how and why you spent $400 on a fragrance, which may not always be the best conversation to have with a stranger in an elevator.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    It sounds like you're thinking about status...and how influential it is ... ???

    Quote Originally Posted by kidmetal24 View Post
    So I think my problem is just trained myself into thinking niche is better.
    "...the most expensive fragrances are those you hardly use."
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    If given a blind smell test of a group of scents, an equal number of niche and well-selected designer brand fragrances presented randomly, how confident are you that can succeed in accurate distinguishing the two groups? If you can’t, and I don’t know who can, then factors other than smell contribute to your stated preference for niche. There is nothing wrong with that. The industry is pretty much defined by heaping loads of factors extrinsic to the juice itself into the marketing of perfume.

  28. #28

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Don't think in Niche vs Designer: think in nice and not nice!

  29. #29

    Default Re: So I think I have a problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post

    My biggest beef with 'niche' is that most don't smell that good, and also lack of wearability.
    I agree with you 100% on this. With the exception of houses like Creed and many from Bond, that make generally very wearable, likeable and versatile fragrances. This is why I mostly stick to designer frags, and only buy niche stuff maybe 15% of the time now.

    In OP's case, you're used to higher quality frags, and know where/how to get them, so why revert back to designer? Psychologically it's understandable. Once you get over that though, you'll notice plenty of fantastic designer brands that don't skimp on quality, are versatile, while still having the unique quality that makes you gravitate toward niche in the first place. In the end, you'll save a bit of money too.

    Both Chanel and YSL are higher end designer imo, it's like low end niche prices, for more mass appealing stuff. Ultimately it's your own choice. Nobody can really persuade you, if your mentality is that niche is better.
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