The first time I told my friends how much I was willing to pay for a bottle of niche fragrance, I thought they were going to organize an intervention. But I don’t need help. I can quit at any time.
What are they?
So, what is a niche fragrance anyway? How I define the difference between designer and niche fragrances is, Designer fragrances attempts to cast a wide net and appeal to as many people as possible. Their distribution is heavy and they’re readily available in any city, at every mall and any store that sells fragrance. Conversely. Niche fragrances are more exclusive and not mass produced. There are limited in run and distribution is very tight. Most niche brands are very selective with their product placement. Some even boast they are handmade. Brands like Le Labo will actually make the fragrance while you wait for it in store. Including a personalized label with your name and date, you purchased it. And for the most part, niche brands are going to use higher quality ingredients. Which leads me to my first point for why you may want to try niche fragrances.
Reasons you may want to try niche options:
1. You want better quality – Construction, Complexity, Authenticity.
The first time I smelled a niche fragrance the first thing I noticed was the difference in quality. There’s was an absence of the alcohol smell. No need to waft or give it a minute to settle down. I could “experience” the fragrance right away. When it comes to the smell the notes were blended to perfection. Meaning the notes used in the fragrance come together to make a completely new scent versus a hodgepodge of notes competing against each other.
2. You want to be unique – Vast Options
The niche landscape is vast and the options are aplenty. If you want a fragrance that no one in your circle is wearing. a niche scent can definitely suffice. Brands like Montale, Bond no.9, and Serge Lutens have dozens of options to choose from.
3. You’re looking for a Signature Scent – All about you
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s a scent that is your go to. Perfect for your climate and lifestyle. And when people smell it they think of you. Even when the scent is on someone else. The chances of you finding “your”signature scent go up with a niche fragrance.
4. You’re looking for Exclusivity – Own it
Niche brand’s distribution and placement of their products are very tight, lots of times hard to find or only in one major luxury department store. Some offer a service to create your own scent. Custom from your favorite notes.
5. You want to be more Creativity – It smells like what?
Niche brands can really push the envelope. Even, strange is on the table. Others
go really complex. Having multiple very distinct phases. I’ve had some scents that made me feel like the most interesting man in the world upon the first spray. By the end, I was smelling more like Mrs. Doubtfire. Others go minimalistic in their approach, but amp up the authenticity of the notes. Freshly peeled citrus for example or a very realistic leather. If you every smelled Coach Leatherwear No. 3. then you understand.
6 You like packaging – Nice bottle/Nice Display
Some brands go all out for how their fragrances are packaged and displaying. being in Graphic design in a former life. I can appreciate the attention to detail and effort put into the packaging.
7. You know and like the perfumer – The Talent
Check the fragrances you already know and love for the nose credited for the scent. You may be fond of the perfumer’s style. If so follow his career. The old and new there may be another scent that fit that profile. Some of the best Perfumers have their own lines as well. Chances are you’ll find something you like.
8. You have a favorite designer House – I just love…
If you love everything a house does. Say, Dior’s Clothes, Shoes,… Some designer houses have launched a private line that rival niche brands. These private or exclusive lines up the quality and creativity of their scents DNA.
9. Your skin eats fragrance and you need something stronger
Niche brands typically use a higher concentration of essential oils. leading to better performing more potent juice. Still be careful with the sprayer. The best advice I’ve heard about wearing cologne is it should be discovered, not announced.
How good it smelled is not on the list. I had a miss conception when I first learn about niche fragrance that if I spent an arm and a leg, It better be the best thing I’ve ever smelt. Truth is that wasn’t the case.