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  1. #61
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    If this were true everyone would pile into perfume businesses and make fortunes. It is not true.

    Gross margins are very high but so are operating costs and promotional costs. Perfume businesses are profitable but aren’t money trees.

    And if you want you can buy artisanal perfumes from Areej le Dore, Bortnikoff, Sultan Pasha, Bogue, even Tauer, and not take part in the often high margin mediocre designer world.
    They make millions upon millions. Hell, even billions, I dare to say. That is a tree. A redwood. All companies have promo and op costs. That's built in on a corporate level.
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  2. #62
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    If this were true everyone would pile into perfume businesses and make fortunes. It is not true.

    Gross margins are very high but so are operating costs and promotional costs. Perfume businesses are profitable but aren’t money trees.

    And if you want you can buy artisanal perfumes from Areej le Dore, Bortnikoff, Sultan Pasha, Bogue, even Tauer, and not take part in the often high margin mediocre designer world.
    Oh, you better read this:

    https://www.mordorintelligence.com/i...perfume-market

    Guerlain sells approximately 1 million bottles of Shalimar alone every year worldwide, not including associated products. The fragrance industry (like many other industries) is a big cash cow and capitalism is all about growth, so companies (especially big corporations) are continuously looking at ways of increasing profits. I'm not anti-capitalist but uncontrolled capitalism is destroying the planet and humanity and the fragrance industry is just one part of that entire system.

    We need to give more support to those that are reviving the art of true perfumery, but then we all like a bit of Creed Aventus or Dior prive range.
    Currently wearing: 17/17 Richwood by Xerjoff

  3. #63

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by oudaddict View Post
    Oh, you better read this:

    https://www.mordorintelligence.com/i...perfume-market

    Guerlain sells approximately 1 million bottles of Shalimar alone every year worldwide, not including associated products. The fragrance industry (like many other industries) is a big cash cow and capitalism is all about growth, so companies (especially big corporations) are continuously looking at ways of increasing profits. I'm not anti-capitalist but uncontrolled capitalism is destroying the planet and humanity and the fragrance industry is just one part of that entire system.

    We need to give more support to those that are reviving the art of true perfumery, but then we all like a bit of Creed Aventus or Dior prive range.
    I can't really argue against this but it does seem a bit pointless to single out any particular company as scammers.
    Having said that DUA and their team of shills seems a glaring example.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Well, Andy, this is how I can answer your comment above solely from my perspective: First, I have never owned or collected anything originating from the Middle East, from Byredo, or from Bond n. 9 so that's not an issue. As for Atelier Cologne, I own everything they have released and while I might not have been wowed by every release of theirs, I like and enjoy them all. For me, houses are either simply designer or niche. I have never thought of a house as "pseudo-niche as others do, nor would that ever matter to me how they represented themselves as long as I like their product. Finally, you're probably right, in that I am be rightly or wrongly diplomatic and not objective in the eyes of many here when it comes to this matter, but I am OK with that.
    Many of your posts give me the impression they were written on autopilot ( an observation rather than a criticism) so it was nice to read something a little more personal

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Nobody forces you to buy perfume. Willing buyer + Willing seller = a good transaction.

    Most of these posts are anti-capitalist.

    If you pay your money for something, and you are happy with what you get, it can’t possibly be a scam.

    That aside, GROSS margins are high in the perfume business, but OPERATING margins are not.

    There are just so many expenses, failed promotions, high marketing costs, high distribution costs...

    If you want to buy juice that is high value itself, go with small artisanal houses.

    But most of us want to buy what we really enjoy, not what costs the most to make.

  6. #66
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    Nobody forces you to buy perfume. Willing buyer + Willing seller = a good transaction.

    Most of these posts are anti-capitalist.

    If you pay your money for something, and you are happy with what you get, it can’t possibly be a scam.

    That aside, GROSS margins are high in the perfume business, but OPERATING margins are not.

    There are just so many expenses, failed promotions, high marketing costs, high distribution costs...

    If you want to buy juice that is high value itself, go with small artisanal houses.

    But most of us want to buy what we really enjoy, not what costs the most to make.
    Yeah, I agree with you. I don't think for the purposes of this thread the word scam isn't being used in an absolute literal sense. Obviously you are conducting a business transaction that you enter into. Fair enough.
    Abstractly, and yes, anti-capitalist (which I have no problem with profiting in business) it's a huge scam. If you think about the ratio of dollar profit to product expense. Then go a step further and look at the dollar amount going to execs versus the bottom rung warehouse factory workers. It's all normalized in this day and age, but they're all being scammed.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
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  7. #67

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    Fully agreed.I'd add
    Bond n.9
    Jo Malone
    Maison Margiela
    AdP
    The Different Company
    Atelier Cologne
    Jusbox
    Mizensir
    By Kilian
    Tom Ford (except for a few exceptions)
    MFK (with some exceptions)
    Creed (with some exceptions)
    Ex Nihilo
    House of Oud
    Fragrance du Bois (yes, them also, a house created to jump on the oud train)
    SHL
    Olfactive Studios
    De Nicolai (an historical house, but their price tag is simply ridiculous for what it is)
    Swiss Arabian
    Clive Christian
    A loooot of high end designer lines like the high end lines of YSL, Bvlgari, Givenchy, Gucci (as well as regular lines, obviously, too many to list here)

    But the kings are really Byredo and PdM in this category
    These are way too many imo. Patricia de Nicolai is an artist I believe. Le temps d‘une fete is just great. Also Tom Ford has released a few unique creations during the years.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    And if you want you can buy artisanal perfumes from Areej le Dore, Bortnikoff, Sultan Pasha, Bogue, even Tauer, and not take part in the often high margin mediocre designer world.
    I’m afraid there’s at least one con outfit in your list. I’m not going to go into any detail – I know what I know…

  9. #69

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    That’s why I stopped reviewing fragrances.

    I felt I was wasting my time analysing/criticising the same overpriced, pretentious swill over and over again. It also doesn’t help when most people (supposedly) interested in niche perfumery have their blinkers on and deem most forms of criticism (constructive or otherwise) as ‘being negative’.

    Over the last ten years, the number of interesting or worthwhile fragrance discoveries has greatly diminished – so much that I haven’t bought a new niche fragrance in at least five years and am f***ing glad I’m no longer ‘addicted’ to this hobby.

    No more visiting fragrance boutiques and department store fragrance counters, no more ordering pricey samples, no more (blind) online bottle purchases, no more ebay sales/purchases, no more scouring the sales board, no more anxiety as to when a newly enjoyed discovery will be reformulated…

    It was actually bloody liberating drawing that line and just enjoying my small collection, which I’ve built up over the years.

    Now, if the general quality of fragrances were as good as they once were (across the board), and the prices were still reasonable, I’d still be here giving my two cents about the current releases. Not anymore, as there are too many opportunists and con artists selling snake oil, while proclaiming their releases as ‘luxury’ and ‘works of art’. Yeah, about as luxurious and sensual as a frigging lab coat…

  10. #70

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Well, here's an idea: let's say I go buy some Cafe, Lomani, or some other really cheap fragrances, add some iso e super, put them in niche type bottles and call the company "The Scent of Royalty," with some sort of backstory (such as that the founder of the company was fixated by his/her sense of smell since the age of 2). How many would consider that 100% a scam, no question?

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    That’s why I stopped reviewing fragrances.

    I felt I was wasting my time analysing/criticising the same overpriced, pretentious swill over and over again. It also doesn’t help when most people (supposedly) interested in niche perfumery have their blinkers on and deem most forms of criticism (constructive or otherwise) as ‘being negative’.

    Over the last ten years, the number of interesting or worthwhile fragrance discoveries has greatly diminished – so much that I haven’t bought a new niche fragrance in at least five years and am f***ing glad I’m no longer ‘addicted’ to this hobby.

    No more visiting fragrance boutiques and department store fragrance counters, no more ordering pricey samples, no more (blind) online bottle purchases, no more ebay sales/purchases, no more scouring the sales board, no more anxiety as to when a newly enjoyed discovery will be reformulated…

    It was actually bloody liberating drawing that line and just enjoying my small collection, which I’ve built up over the years.

    Now, if the general quality of fragrances were as good as they once were (across the board), and the prices were still reasonable, I’d still be here giving my two cents about the current releases. Not anymore, as there are too many opportunists and con artists selling snake oil, while proclaiming their releases as ‘luxury’ and ‘works of art’. Yeah, about as luxurious and sensual as a frigging lab coat…
    Have you managed to curate a collection which you love and which provides you satisfaction in that you no longer feel the need to search for anything else? If so, you have won the game that many Basenoters (often with hundreds of bottles) are still playing.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    no it's not a scam if someone who buys it likes it.

  13. #73

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Well, here's an idea: let's say I go buy some Cafe, Lomani, or some other really cheap fragrances, add some iso e super, put them in niche type bottles and call the company "The Scent of Royalty," with some sort of backstory (such as that the founder of the company was fixated by his/her sense of smell since the age of 2). How many would consider that 100% a scam, no question?
    How is this a scam? The person who is buying it is a rube, but if you are selling a product and you are not lying about what the product is and is not, and people choose to buy it, then it is not a scam. I think lying about the heritage of your product is morally wrong, but I also am not sure the courts would agree with me. There are lots of companies who buy cheap Chinese shit, repackage and slap a logo on, and sell it to people to make a profit. That is not a scam either.

  14. #74

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    It was actually bloody liberating drawing that line and just enjoying my small collection, which I’ve built up over the years.
    I'm in the same boat. The spell is broken and I've checked off most of the boxes I intend to check. Just one or 2 more procrastinator bottles... yada yada... and I'm done. I still appreciate having the access and options, but that helped me draw a line that much faster.

    I'm back to being jaded after smelling/testing a certain rare new elusive exclusive niche line and being underwhelmed. Even after taking home a sample of my favorite of the bunch. The performance just doesn't reconcile with the price. I'm not the audience for amazing 2-3hr and poof scents. I'm not. There's stuff 1/3 of the price that performs 3x better and I'm tired of it. Tired of trying to justify... anything. I wouldn't say that like scents or brands are scams, but I would certainly feel scammed if I bought them. I don't want to talk down on the brand/line because I want my source to be prosperous, but that sort of thing causes people to drop out of the hobby and become disillusioned (maybe for the better).

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Great discussion!
    On a positive note, I'd like to mention Rogue Perfumery/Manuel Cross. Small batches, outstanding quality of ingredients, fairly priced and basically a big stick up IFRA's ass. Imho.
    Non IFRA Compliant & proud of it!
    Currently wearing: Versace l'Homme by Versace

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Primatesinplaid View Post
    I agree with the amateur influx in niche during the past decade.
    I believe it might be due to a very young generational mindset that younger folks ( not all of them but a good amount) believe they can do anything without much training or knowledge and if they nail the marketing of their brand they can be successful.
    A small percentage luck out or have some naturally born talent or have taken the hard road and trained their butts of but they are the exception and not the majority.
    The market became way over flooded and I slowly pulled away from niche indie focus in my purchases.
    I Became really tired of spending a ton of money on scents that were incomplete for me in some area and started to feel dumb with buying into an image thru marketing.
    A couple years ago I took an intensive course on perfumery- it was my first time working with materials which was pretty much the same level of experience of almost everyone in the class. Offhandedly during breaks the conversation (from both the students and the instructors) would lead to, "So when are you starting your brand?" I thought all were joking at first but upon completion of the course I saw several of the students start their own lines- which had me scratching my head. I thought the aim was to get GOOD at this stuff and develop some sort of aesthetic before attempting to take anything to market. Silly me!
    Currently wearing: Cairo by Penhaligon's

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    I’m afraid there’s at least one con outfit in your list. I’m not going to go into any detail – I know what I know…
    Can't comment on your views of Sultan Pasha as I haven't tried or researched any of those products, but I would certainly not consider Tauer to fall under this thread. I am into his releases for 10 full bottles and pleased with each of them. I find his products to be a very high value considering quality and performance vs cost. At least to my nose. I am even more into Areej Le Dore. Why cast suspicion on all those mentioned? Please do share. Don't we all deserve to know if we are being mislead? I let a certain amount of marketing BS go by as just that but a con outfit goes beyond. I don't want to be the victim of a scammer and I would guess most forum members would not want to be scammed. A PM is always welcome.

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by gunmetal View Post
    Can you elaborate on why you feel de Nicolai (this is Nicolai parfums right?) is a cash grab?

    I'm curious, any thoughts on Xerjoff then?

    I tried 10+ De Nicolai frags when stopping by their shop in Paris. I can tell that they were all 9/10 in terms of ingredients quality and blend quality, but none wowed me, and only a couple met my required criteria of creativity for a full bottle buy.

    Here are my impressions for the ones I tried (the grade reflects the level of creativity, pleasure, and overall worthiness - not the quality of bledn, that is top, has I already said before):

    - Cuir Cuba Intense: nice cigar tobacco scent, but didn't have the twist for me to foster my interest more. 7/10
    - New York: forgettable citrus scent. 4/10
    - New York Intense: nice, green/mossy, but very overhyped for what I can tell. 7/10
    - Vetyver: thin-bodied spicy vetiver, but again, nothing memorable 5/10
    - Neroli Intense: nice neroli. But there are plenty nice neroli around at much lower prices 6/10
    - Patchouli Intense: yes... nice. Another patchouli fragrance. Like many other nice ones. 6/10 (I may have been biased though for that one, since I stopped by the Jovoy store the day before, and Jovoy Psychedelique killed the show)
    - Rose Oud: another one. Good. Another good rose/oud combo. 6/10
    - Amber Oud: nice, still, not worth the price tag 7/10
    - Incense Oud: while not the most original around, I can tell that the blend is really well done, and performance is great 8/10
    - Vie de Chateau Intense: Nicolai's masterpiece for men. 9/10

    Also tried a few other ones that I don't remember (that says it all). I may get a decant of the latter two, but even if these were great, they were composed on very classic themes, and I would not spend the amount asked for them (for 100ml bottles: $180 for the regular ones, $220 for the ouds), because after having tested and owning a bunch of frags, I now need creativity and a high "wow" factor to justify a full bottle acquisition. Most of Nicolai's frags would tick boxes that I already ticked in my collection, in most cases with juices at a lower price tag, similar level of ingredients quality, and higher level of creativity.
    The only exceptions I make in terms of "double-box checks" is for vetiver frags (of which I own ~30 bottles and tried ~100), but Nicolai's take on vetiver hasn't impressed me at all.

    In summary: very crystal clear blends, high quality ingredients, but low creativity and overpriced compared to the current huge offering of other house. A historical houses, that offers very "politically correct blends". It's a little like an old Rolls-Royce from the 60's vs a brand new Ferrari: both are legendary cars, but driving the 60's RR could become a little boring for some at some point compared to a Ferrari. (that said, if offered to, I'd love to drive a RR... if offered to. But had I to buy one, I'd opt for the Ferrari any day!

    Why cash-grabber? Because what deserves cash imo, is originality, not copying over and over old recipes. Just my personal opinion.


    As for Xerjoff, I don't know that house enough to comment on it. The couple of frags I tried from them didn't foster my interest at a point in which I'd rush to test the rest of their offerings. But it will probably happen at some point.

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    I'll throw Eight & Bob in the ring. I'm sure others like some of their offerings but nothing blew me away and the whole backstory sounds too good to be true.
    Currently wearing: Wanted by Night by Azzaro

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    I’m afraid there’s at least one con outfit in your list. I’m not going to go into any detail – I know what I know…
    In your opinion.

    I highly doubt we would agree. Let’s say that 1) I found out that in $200 bottle the ingredients cost ten cents, and 2) that the perfumer was not making it himself, but lying about who makes it. I don’t condone that, but if I loved the perfume and bought it and was happy, then to me it would not be a scam. It wouldn’t be ethical, but it wouldn’t be a scam.

    A scam is when you order perfume but the bottle contains water. Or you order X and you get Y. That’s a scam. In my example the perfumer was unethical, but STILL if I was happy with the $200 bottle, no scam.

  21. #81
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Creative marketing is not a scam. Lying to people about what they are purchasing is.

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by djkoo View Post
    who knows tho, maybe niche products are so overpriced that 90% of people hating it can still keep them in business.
    Exactly. Niche is a french word that (in this case) means "recess", like the small holes where church statues are usually placed (in old churches). And that's exactly what Creed admitted (not that 90% hated them, but that the whole house makes 90% of its income with Aventus, and even if they ditched the whole line, they'd just need to keep producing Aventus to survive... on a side note, that makes me think that Aventus sells as much as La Nuit de l'Homme... not so niche anymore in terms of volumes... my definition of luxury mass market).

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    There are just so many expenses, failed promotions, high marketing costs, high distribution costs...

    If you want to buy juice that is high value itself, go with small artisanal houses.

    But most of us want to buy what we really enjoy, not what costs the most to make.

    As I stated before, I think that scam is not the appropriate word here. That said, any company (in any field, not only perfumery) that is designed with a scope of capturing value (and subsequently make profits) before a real goal of making something great (also indie houses want to make money, but not only) is a cash grabber in my dictionnary.

    Obviously that depends of the defintion of value in perfumery: it is very subjective, and that has changed between the starting point of my frag journey and now. Before, it was the best average scent that would please most. Now owning 100+ fragrances, value, for me, is creativity and uniqueness (in the sense of something that I haven;t smelt before and wows me).

    You seem educated in perfumery, and like me, pretty much forward in your journey. Like you said, artisanal houses are out there to fullfill our need of creativity. And that's my point: these should get much more exposure and recognition. When I go to Saks, I don;t want to have 10 houses exposed that have many frags similar from one to the others (because owned by the same big corp that included them in a business strategy income aimed at satisfying first the shareholders, before the customers). And on the other side, are the customers: if I had smelt January Scent Project or Tauer before YSL and Dior, I probably would have never bought from the latter ones. But as a beginner, I have only been exposed to the latter ones.

    That's the negative effect of capitalism: everything is becoming global, even the tastes and smells. When one walks in a dept store in 5 different countries, there's no way to tell in which country you are. I'm not even talking about Sephora or mall frag stores, but luxury dept stores, since you will find the same identical booths: the LVMH-owned ones (Dior, Guerlain, MFK, Givenchy, AdP...), the Estee Lauder-owned ones (Aeris, Frederic Malle, Zegna, Jo Malone, By Kilian, Le Labo, Tom Ford...) and the L'Oreal owned ones (Armani, Khiel's, Lancome, Viktor & Rolph, Atelier Cologne...). Some indie houses go through "distributors" like Europerfumes (Xerjoff, Roja, Montale, Amouage, HdP...), but still, one should fit the minimum sales requirement for the distributor to take them in the portfolio.

    Nothing bad in all of that, and I own several ones of these, but the owned by big corps (LVMH, Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, Shiseido...) are not "houses" anymore, but "brands" (or a "line", call that as you want).


    I don't think that people are anti-capitalistic (and even if they were, they would have the right to express their dissent, since there is freedom of speech - at least where I live, as of today - and there it would be little scientific to deny the evidence showing it has serious flaws, and the reality is far from what has been described at the beginning).
    I think people are just expressing that they are tired of the directions things are taking, now even in the fragrance world: an homogenization of the offerings - what some would wrongfully summarize as "scam". But that's just about semantics here, as even the most pro-capitalistic people cannot disagree that there is an ongoing standardization of the "easy to locate" fragrance offerings, that is negatively impacting creativity.

    There's also a standardization of the logical thinking of people because of that, something that leads to categorize as "haters" or "anti-something" persons who simply express their opinions, sometimes (fortunately) diverging from the ones that the majority has (if that's the case) - but that's out-of-topic here, let's stick to fragrances!

  24. #84

    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    That’s why I stopped reviewing fragrances.

    I felt I was wasting my time analysing/criticising the same overpriced, pretentious swill over and over again. It also doesn’t help when most people (supposedly) interested in niche perfumery have their blinkers on and deem most forms of criticism (constructive or otherwise) as ‘being negative’.

    Over the last ten years, the number of interesting or worthwhile fragrance discoveries has greatly diminished – so much that I haven’t bought a new niche fragrance in at least five years and am f***ing glad I’m no longer ‘addicted’ to this hobby.

    No more visiting fragrance boutiques and department store fragrance counters, no more ordering pricey samples, no more (blind) online bottle purchases, no more ebay sales/purchases, no more scouring the sales board, no more anxiety as to when a newly enjoyed discovery will be reformulated…

    It was actually bloody liberating drawing that line and just enjoying my small collection, which I’ve built up over the years.

    Now, if the general quality of fragrances were as good as they once were (across the board), and the prices were still reasonable, I’d still be here giving my two cents about the current releases. Not anymore, as there are too many opportunists and con artists selling snake oil, while proclaiming their releases as ‘luxury’ and ‘works of art’. Yeah, about as luxurious and sensual as a frigging lab coat…
    I'm glad to read this. I was never as passionate as you were but I was glad to realize I no longer had any addiction to trying and purchasing scents.
    I've got bottles of mainly vintage designers that are better to me than the vast majority of stuff getting pumped out now, designer or niche.
    We can argue for ever about whether the conduct of certain companies constitutes scamming, it depends on which dictionary definition anyone references.
    Whether anyone does or doesn't see employing shill reviewers or lying about your companies heritage as scamming is their business. Who cares ?

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post

    I highly doubt we would agree. Let’s say that 1) I found out that in $200 bottle the ingredients cost ten cents, and 2) that the perfumer was not making it himself, but lying about who makes it. I don’t condone that, but if I loved the perfume and bought it and was happy, then to me it would not be a scam. It wouldn’t be ethical, but it wouldn’t be a scam.

    Agreed. What I call value at my stage of my frag journey, is creativity and how much I am "wowed" by the frag. I don;t care about the market value of the oils in there, since in a regular YSL frag sold at Sephora there may be $2-5 of oil, while in a niche frag $2-30, so at the end, a cheap frag is probably making more profits since all the costs are already "streamlined" and the distribution channels already opened.

    I may find a cheapie worth much more than it's price tagged, and an expensive frag worth much less that it's price tagged. The issue is for frags like Byredo and PdM, which are expensive, and not even one wows me... at that point I seriously raise questions on the overall value and real goal of the "company" (a word fitting more these ventures than "perfume houses" imo)

  26. #86
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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    I agree that there are a lot of “same as” dreck at department stores. Not that it’s bad, but it’s quite same-sy.

    I think brands like By Kilian are very overpriced. Serge Lutens too. They are good companies but they are very high priced. But is it a scam? Of course not.

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Prince View Post
    Creative marketing is not a scam. Lying to people about what they are purchasing is.
    Scam is definitely not the right word.

    Now if I tell you that what you call "creative marketing" consists in analyzing customer reaction, decision-making process and have found ways to influence the choices of customers without the customer being aware of that (neuro-marketing), at such a point that a customer doesn't know exactly why he/she's such attracted by a product, don't you think that that may be at least qualified of influence abuse? Don't you think that exploiting the weakness in the human decision-making process is a category of abuse, in which the company intoxicates the customers with attractive messages, logos, and images in order to be able to impair their decision-making ability and abuse their wallet?

    Obviously, that's not specific to fragrances, but if I have my wallet to be abused, I'd like at least to have something that excites me at the end. A little like McDonald's: amazing pictures, but the burger is never like it's pictured.

    If the average joe entered a dept store that sells all the available frags in the world, and(let's say) tried them all, the big corp owning Tom Ford, Byredo and other Bond n.9 would be bankrupt for sure.

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    I agree that there are a lot of “same as” dreck at department stores. Not that it’s bad, but it’s quite same-sy.

    I think brands like By Kilian are very overpriced. Serge Lutens too. They are good companies but they are very high priced. But is it a scam? Of course not.
    Yes, By Kilian (Estee Lauder), another good example. Serge Lutens (Shiseido) too (that's why I buy the ones I like around ~$50-80 for 100ml bottle online when i get the occasion - would never pay full reatil, even if I love some of them), especially their new "gratte-ciel" line, that is basically the best of the regular collection rebottled, with a few new ones. (by the way, Lutens's regular line is now sold at Sephora in France, that says it all imo).

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedracer View Post
    I'll throw Eight & Bob in the ring. I'm sure others like some of their offerings but nothing blew me away and the whole backstory sounds too good to be true.
    Agreed, I love the original, but the rest is uninteresting. I had high hopes for Nuit de Megeve: very disappointed.

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    Default Re: Are any niche companies basically a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    If this were true everyone would pile into perfume businesses and make fortunes. It is not true.
    Of course it is! open your eyes and look around! The current $ amount of investments for new brands is historically high, because the cosmetics industry is currently having an exponential growth, and is planned to do so until 2022. We're talking of a market of ~$400B/year (forecast for 2022 for all cosmetics - not just fine fragrances), and it is just natural that a lot of sharks are attracted by this goldmine, like the same where in the early 00's by the dotcom stuff. Fragrance is the easiest sub market to enter, since frags don;t promise anything, thus do not have to demonstrate their effect like for example a "moisturizing nutritive cream have to". (or at least should)

    This is reflected by a crazy amount of new perfume houses popping up every week, and a crazy amount of new releases by each and every luxury-market brands (aka fake niche in my dictionnary) in order ot that each and every customer finds something they like in their lines, but without being too creative in order to fulfill the majority of tastes (aka the average rich joe). It's called product diversification, a basic concept of business strategy: increasing the range of products (offering new frags so that each customer finds shoes that fits well), or making various version of an existing product (flankers). First is the choice of big corp-owned luxury mass market brands (aka niche), the second of regular lines of such brands (aka designers).

    Issue is: I noticed a correlation between such strategy development of some luxury mass market brands (Byredo, By Killian, Bond n.9...) and the decrease in quality level. It's pretty easy to spot: in old times, houses were releasing one frag, than a couple of years later another one.... now new houses START their lines with 4 to 8 frags, of which there will always be:

    first step:
    - a green or fougere
    - a citrus
    - an oriental/woody
    - a fruity/floral

    second step:
    - a vetiver
    - a blue
    - an incense/resinous/oud
    - a gourmand

    No science here, just basic observation.




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