Podcast #3: The Art Perfumes Formerly Known as Niche

25 minutes, 19th September, 2014

In the third episode of The Basenotes Podcast our panel discuss the idea of “niche” in perfumery – can we define what is, and what isn’t niche? We also smell the Bacon Candle mentioned in Ep. 1, talk about Frazzles (again), and whether Callum would use it as a ‘bedroom candle’. Plus The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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Nick Gilbert

Nick has been working in the world of fragrance for over 15 years. He is co-founder of Olfiction, a creative scent agency offering fragrance development, training, copy and content production. He is frequently quoted in the press and has provided perfumery training globally, from London to Seoul.

Callum Langston-Bolt

Callum Langston-Bolt worked for several years in fragrance after accidentally landing a job in a perfume shop while studying English. From the West Country he has been settled in London for seven years. His interests include fragrance, film, wine and dogs. He helps run the monthly fragrance meet-up Perfume Lovers London with Odette Toilette and Laurin Taylor.

Odette Toilette

Odette Toilette organises perfume events, as well as co-hosting the Life in Scents podcast.

Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne is the founder and editor of Basenotes. Grant has two children, and a dependence on tea, haribo and bacon.


Persolaise is a four-time Jasmine Award winning writer with a lifelong interest in the world of fine fragrance. His perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published in English by Hardie Grant and in German by Süddeutsche Zeitung. He has written for Sunday Times Style, Grazia, Glass, The Scented Letter and Now Smell This, amongst others.

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    • furrypine | 21st September 2014 07:17

      Thanks for another hilarious podcast! The message is clear; niche is dead. Unless it has bacon in it, then it's not only niche but possibly Art. :2vrolijk_08:

    • penny.perfumer | 29th September 2014 12:52

      Loved the podcast. Agree the term niche doesn't describe anything about odour and now doesn't even describe it's heritage either.

      Thanks for the giggles too!

    • Timothée Kal | 16th December 2014 10:11

      Don't you think Arabic perfumes can be referred to as niche?

    • Bon et Copieux | 4th August 2016 06:15

      Wouldn't you agree that 'designer'/commercial houses have a more limited range in terms of the styles and genres of perfumes that they produce? And if this is the case then the term niche is useful in describing fragrance businesses that compose, market and sale a greater variety of more creative fragrances. After all, niche perfumers came into being filling a creative vacuum. There are in fact perfumes that designer houses haven't produced and will not produce because of the relatively low return on investment compared to products targeted to a mass audience. So part of the definition of niche would be related to a narrower audience of potential buyers which larger designer/commercial enterprises are content to ignore

    • hednic | 4th August 2016 19:12

      Had not listened to this before. Quite entertaining!

    • Bavard | 10th August 2016 13:04

      I like the term niche, at least in certain contexts. If I were speaking with people with limited interest in perfume, I would use the term niche to describe the broader market of smaller volume producers who sell fragrances they have never heard of.

      For brands that are now being sold in Sephora, I can understand moving away from calling them niche.

      I notice some posters choosing words carefully, and using the term niche in contexts I find informative, although generally I consider it miscommunication when niche is used to imply higher quality perfume.

      I am on the lookout for Podcast 4. For a new voice, I consider Basenoter Epapsiou entertaining.