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  1. #1
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    Default Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I have always had a small collection of fragrances, 12-20 on a regular basis (could easily accumulate several dozens or more).

    This started back in the late 70's/ early 80's with the powerhouse gems (Anteus, Kouros, Quorum, Perry Ellis, etc.).

    In the past 10 years my tastes have gravitated towards niche fragrances (love the uniqueness and the deviation from the mainstream designer norm).

    I love the excitement of finding hidden gems, especially niche blind buy discoveries.

    Does anyone else have a penchant for only niche fragrances?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I'm almost becoming the opposite...I was very much into niche and ultra niche fragrances until a few months ago when I began to appreicate a lot of designer frags. Honestly, with the excpetion of reforms, I can find more consistency in designers. But even the most challenging designer is pretty pedestrian compared to a good niche. Maybe we all just go through phases until we strike a healthy balance?
    Currently Rotating:

    *Mancera Cedrat Boise
    *Imaginary Authors Air of Despair
    *Dior Sauvage edT
    *Chanel Allure Homme Sport eau extreme

  3. #3

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Not so much...

    I like what I like and don’t pay much attention to categorization.

    I will say that my top 10 vintage designers would probably mop the floor with my top 10 niche fragrances.
    I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

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    Currently wearing: Honey Aoud by Montale

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Your definition of 'niche' probably varies widely from mine.
    Something something....something....
    Currently wearing: Battaniye by Pekji

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I feel like I’m pretty much in the same boat. I don’t particularly care for much that I’ve tried from the designer market or mainstream stuff, I love the hunt for the hidden gems!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    More of an artisanal snob.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Although I especially love niche fragrances, I love designer fragrances also.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I am much more likely to explore niche and independent houses these days, mostly because I am gravitating towards perfumes with higher concentrations of natural ingredients, which you just don't get with the average designer.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Not at all. ‘Niche’ perfumery has its fair share of crap, just like mainstream/ designers.
    “...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” - Robin Sharma

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I just dig what I dig. I keep looking under all the rocks to find the next scent that will knock me out. Some of them are ultra-niche while some are ubiquitous designer fare. Some are over-the-top expensive and some come almost as cheaply as peanuts. It's ALL interesting to me...
    Currently wearing: Honey Oud by Floris

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I started this hobby as being into current designers in the early 2000's after "graduating" from Avon and drugstore. Then I was sucked down the vintage rabbithole after returning to Avon and almost became a vintage snob myself. I got tired of the eBay price fleecing game and stuck-in-the-ways mentality found in some of that population, moved into niche, all the while keeping my finger on the pulse of designers at their current stage. I caught up with the last 10-15 years of designer progress in the male market then began exploring feminines throughout history while testing niche selections, often in the same department store or perfume shop visit.

    I started to see price snobbery (more than general niche snobbery) in niche circles, with the fans of more "luxurious" and "exclusive" houses being particularly condescending in almost unintentional satire of the income bracket those scents are marketed towards. I got my hands on some artisnal stuff thanks to friends here, and outside the inherent trouble with natural/homemade perfume (breaking down, longevity, etc) found it nice, but snobbery reared its ugly head in artisanal circles over ingredients sourcing and amount of labor going in, plus the pride of ownership chest puffing seen in forums and fear of missing out frenzy marketing some artisanal perfumers use turned me off.

    I came to the conclusion that snobbery is in the character flaw of the individual, and other than try to explain why you shouldn't feel X is objectively better than Y without object evidence (because perfume like music, fashion, film, cuisine, spirits, and other consumable art is all subject to taste), all I could do was walk a lonely path of not belonging to any group or category to remain snobbery-free. I like what I like piecemeal, regardless of age, price, popularity, ingredients, or intended market/sex.

    There is by ratio more crap than good in the designer and drugstore realm, but only because so many more designer releases get pumped out than nearly any other category, while most modern drugstores (not all) are clones or cheapo aerosols. But there are still diamonds among the designer lumps of coal, and sometimes a mass-appeal fragrance is really freaking good in spite of itself. I love my cheapo vintage Avons and $7 bottles of Lomani, but I also love my Amouages, Creeds, Guerlains, and Penhaligon's.

    I wore YSL Kouros (1981) yesterday and YSL L'Homme (2006) today. My little artisanal stash of Bortnikoff Bonheur and Mysterious Oud will likewise be cherished alongisde my old bottles of Creed Green Irish Tweed and Bois du Portugal. I just bang on the drum of keeping an open mind, and see things like "natural" and "synthetic" as adjectives of color, not signifiers of quality, just as I do "vintage" and "modern". Variety is the spice of life, and I am oh so very spicy~ <3
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    Currently wearing: Explorer by Montblanc

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I haven’t gone too far into niche other than Creed, Parfums De Marley, Mancera which to some isn’t really niche. I don’t really desire to either, I get what I desire from my current wardrobe and most is stuff others near me won’t be wearing. Maybe in time I’ll venture further, there is so much territory to cover in niche it would require a lot of sampling which in niche is still costly hmm time will tell.
    Current Top 10

    Azzaro Azzaro Pour Homme
    Guerlain Heritage EDT
    Chanel Egoiste
    Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT
    Chanel Allure Homme
    Guerlain L’Instant De Guerlain Pour Homme EDP
    Christian Dior Dior Homme
    Ralph Lauren Polo
    Chanel Allure Homme Edition Blanche EDP
    Guerlain Homme L’Eau Boisee

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I don't consider that snobbery, there is generally more artistry and quality with niche fragrances as mainstream and designer fragrances are usually created to be mass-appealing and lucrative. Snobbery is when you look down on others for liking mainstream fragrances or you simply reject a fragrance because it is from a designer house or not from their prive range.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I've gravitated towards niche and beyond because it's so much easier to sample these perfumes in the comfort of my own home. I rarely buy anything without first trying it out and I find the in-store experience lacking (I can't register the range of impressions properly) - this means getting my mits on samples. Funnily enough, where I live there's a healthy abundance of outfits which will sell you niche samples at an ok price - but designer samples are harder to track down and tend to be more expensive when compared to the costs of a full bottle of the stuff.
    That's why it's mainly niche for me.
    At worst, one is in motion; and at best,
    Reaching no absolute, in which to rest,
    One is always nearer by not keeping still.
    Thom Gunn 'On the Move'

  15. #15

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by gimmegreen View Post
    I've gravitated towards niche and beyond because it's so much easier to sample these perfumes in the comfort of my own home. I rarely buy anything without first trying it out and I find the in-store experience lacking (I can't register the range of impressions properly) - this means getting my mits on samples. Funnily enough, where I live there's a healthy abundance of outfits which will sell you niche samples at an ok price - but designer samples are harder to track down and tend to be more expensive when compared to the costs of a full bottle of the stuff.
    That's why it's mainly niche for me.
    That's been my experience as well for a while. I used to request samples long ago for designer fragrances, when I bought stuff in stores and whatnot, but usually it's quite difficult to get samples from designer stuff. And looking for testers where I live is just a pain, since I don't live near enough any big city and usually don't have business elsewhere.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I do not consider myself a snob of any sorts. I'm very salt of the earth, come as you are. But I was recently at a Sephora inside a JC Penny. I didn't see anything that drew my attention at all. I gave a few cursory sprays of things I hadn't smelled in a while on strips, tossed them and made to leave. The girl working there asked me if I needed anything.
    "No." I said as I was walking out. "I was just looking."
    "You don't have to buy anything. I can make you some free samples of anything you want." She said.
    I stopped, looked back at the display I was leaving, then looked at her. "No thanks, I'm good." I turned and started walking again. 10 feet later I was thinking, what was that? Did I just turn down free fragrances? Why? I genuinely did not want anything they had enough to spend 2 more minutes of my time there. I felt snobbish then.
    It’s tragic to think that heroic man’s great destiny is to become economic man, that men will be reduced to craven creatures who crawl across the globe competing for money, who spend their nights dreaming up new ways to swindle each other.
    Currently wearing: Cedrat Boise by Mancera

  17. #17

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I'm afraid so, but only after Sauvage

  18. #18

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    A good fragrance is a good fragrance. I don't care if the materials are cheap, if they're blended nicely to create an interesting effect, I'm going to want to try it. So, no, I wouldn't call myself a niche snob.
    The Brooks Otterlake Swap Thread

    Autumn Favorites
    Aramis Special Blend, Aramis Tuscany per Uomo, Guerlain Héritage EDT, L'Erbolario Méharées, Michael Kors Michael for Men, Odori Tabacco, Perfumes of the Desert Pinon, Rasasi Dhanal Oudh Nashwah, Tom Ford Noir Anthracite, West Third Brand Amérique

  19. #19

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oud Dude View Post
    I just dig what I dig. I keep looking under all the rocks to find the next scent that will knock me out. Some of them are ultra-niche while some are ubiquitous designer fare. Some are over-the-top expensive and some come almost as cheaply as peanuts. It's ALL interesting to me...
    exactly how i feel as well

  20. #20

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    This hobby, like life, is much more enjoyable when you approach things without preconceived notions and with an open mind.
    Currently wearing: Bel Ami by Hermès

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I love artisanal work the most, by people like Sultan Pasha, Prin Lomros, Abdullah of Mellifluence, JK Delapp from Rising Phoenix, Gardoni from Bogue, Anna Zworykina, Ahmed from Elixir Attars, Russian Adam from Areej le Dore, Bortnikoff

    Those are currently ones that I really love.

    I'm much less in love with perfumes mass produced by Ferminich et al. Not closed to it but not nearly as much in love with it.
    Last edited by thrilledchilled; 8th September 2019 at 05:55 AM.

  22. #22
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    Cool Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by notspendingamillion View Post
    I do not consider myself a snob of any sorts. I'm very salt of the earth, come as you are. But I was recently at a Sephora inside a JC Penny. I didn't see anything that drew my attention at all. I gave a few cursory sprays of things I hadn't smelled in a while on strips, tossed them and made to leave. The girl working there asked me if I needed anything.
    "No." I said as I was walking out. "I was just looking."
    "You don't have to buy anything. I can make you some free samples of anything you want." She said.
    I stopped, looked back at the display I was leaving, then looked at her. "No thanks, I'm good." I turned and started walking again. 10 feet later I was thinking, what was that? Did I just turn down free fragrances? Why? I genuinely did not want anything they had enough to spend 2 more minutes of my time there. I felt snobbish then.
    Depending on what she looked like, I think you missed an opportunity there unrelated to fragrances.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  23. #23

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by mistersurgery View Post
    This hobby, like life, is much more enjoyable when you approach things without preconceived notions and with an open mind.
    This

    Like Speckmann, the only "niche" brands I own are Creed, Parfums de Marly, Mancera, Tom Ford. Tauer. Not even sure any of those qualify for the "niche" label (except maybe the Tauer?) so I'm definitely not a niche snob. My favorite house is probably Dior.
    Currently wearing: Layton by Parfums de Marly

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I appreciate both designer and niche, but gravitate more towards niche for its uniqueness.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Most of my stuff is at the niche/designer exclusive level, but I'm not opposed to designer fragrances. Egoiste is my favorite and Dior Homme is wonderful. It's just difficult to find interesting and unique fragrances at the designer level.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    I think a person is only a "snob" if they invariably turn their nose up at designer and drugstore fare. If you prefer niche but still respect other tiers of fragrance, you're not a snob.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    If anything over the past year I've been moving away from being all that impressed by niche stuff and toward exploring and appreciating designers, starting with finally delving into a bunch of men's classics early in the year (fell for stuff like Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Havana, Quorum, Azzaro Pour Homme, etc.). More recently, I've found myself, to put it bluntly, "getting over myself," and finally meeting some "common mainstream" supposed "dreck" on its own terms. The totem of this for me was Sauvage, with which I went through a sort of metamorphosis, going from finding it repulsive, to fascinatingly weird, to finally respecting and even liking. That process was basically me dropping the social signaling that can go along with a hobby ("I'm just not the sort of person who'd STOOP to wearing Sauvage, and I MUST be seen criticizing it whenever possible, in order to maintain my AFICIONADO CREDENTIALS!"), dropping the ego, and finding out that a bunch of those "beneath me" shopping mall designer fragrances are not only good, but some are entirely my thing! So now I'm happily enjoying the Prada Luna Rossa line, some Acqua di Gio Profumo, some La Nuit de L'Homme, aforementioned Sauvage, etc. And, analogous to Zealot above, I'm also a dude with beloved Mitsouko, Leather Oud, and various Amouages in my wardrobe.

    But: when I think about culling my collection, the first on the list to go are a number of niche bottles I bought while I was busy trying to be cool, to have the "right" things, the ones that would betoken my sophistication, my superiority to the hoi polloi. I wasn't conscious of this at the time, but looking at it now, I used this hobby and its associated social group to find a bunch of validation -- what was the group saying a "cool and valid" person should get? well shucks, I'd better get that to be cool and valid! And this, my dear friends, leads indeed to snobbery. Possibly the worst kind.

    Some of my favorites are niche. But most of my favorites are designers. There is just as much crap and crassness and cynicism among niche brands as there is among designers, only with niche it can be that much more offensive because the crap tends to come with high, elite pricing. A great fragrance is a great fragrance, and "niche" or "designer" is just an incidental fact to note afterward. But given niche is now all tied up in airs of exclusivity and "aspirational" class distinctions, I'd say niche is the category more needing to defend itself against pretense and a lot of hot (atomized) air.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Enjoy designers just as much as niche. Good ones and horrible one's on each end.
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26148387-7393.jpg"> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  29. #29

    Default Re: Becoming a niche snob... anyone else?

    Quote Originally Posted by onethinline View Post
    If anything over the past year I've been moving away from being all that impressed by niche stuff and toward exploring and appreciating designers, starting with finally delving into a bunch of men's classics early in the year (fell for stuff like Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Havana, Quorum, Azzaro Pour Homme, etc.). More recently, I've found myself, to put it bluntly, "getting over myself," and finally meeting some "common mainstream" supposed "dreck" on its own terms. The totem of this for me was Sauvage, with which I went through a sort of metamorphosis, going from finding it repulsive, to fascinatingly weird, to finally respecting and even liking. That process was basically me dropping the social signaling that can go along with a hobby ("I'm just not the sort of person who'd STOOP to wearing Sauvage, and I MUST be seen criticizing it whenever possible, in order to maintain my AFICIONADO CREDENTIALS!"), dropping the ego, and finding out that a bunch of those "beneath me" shopping mall designer fragrances are not only good, but some are entirely my thing! So now I'm happily enjoying the Prada Luna Rossa line, some Acqua di Gio Profumo, some La Nuit de L'Homme, aforementioned Sauvage, etc. And, analogous to Zealot above, I'm also a dude with beloved Mitsouko, Leather Oud, and various Amouages in my wardrobe.

    But: when I think about culling my collection, the first on the list to go are a number of niche bottles I bought while I was busy trying to be cool, to have the "right" things, the ones that would betoken my sophistication, my superiority to the hoi polloi. I wasn't conscious of this at the time, but looking at it now, I used this hobby and its associated social group to find a bunch of validation -- what was the group saying a "cool and valid" person should get? well shucks, I'd better get that to be cool and valid! And this, my dear friends, leads indeed to snobbery. Possibly the worst kind.

    Some of my favorites are niche. But most of my favorites are designers. There is just as much crap and crassness and cynicism among niche brands as there is among designers, only with niche it can be that much more offensive because the crap tends to come with high, elite pricing. A great fragrance is a great fragrance, and "niche" or "designer" is just an incidental fact to note afterward. But given niche is now all tied up in airs of exclusivity and "aspirational" class distinctions, I'd say niche is the category more needing to defend itself against pretense and a lot of hot (atomized) air.
    Well said.
    The Brooks Otterlake Swap Thread

    Autumn Favorites
    Aramis Special Blend, Aramis Tuscany per Uomo, Guerlain Héritage EDT, L'Erbolario Méharées, Michael Kors Michael for Men, Odori Tabacco, Perfumes of the Desert Pinon, Rasasi Dhanal Oudh Nashwah, Tom Ford Noir Anthracite, West Third Brand Amérique




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