«With pride of place given to exclusivity and originality, so-called niche perfumes are essential to the world of fragrance, as far as I’m concerned. I am wholly unimpressed by the banality of marketing creations. I’d rather immerse myself with abandon in brands that dare to create outside the box.»
For those in search of original fragrances or atypical scents, the brands known as niche offer a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. The choice of the word niche to describe “small” perfume houses is a strange one; it applies simply because these brands don’t conform to conventional marketing methods targeted to the masses. Whether spurred on by enthusiasts or occasionally by existing perfumers, niche brands operate with greater freedom, without the challenge of having to make everyone like the fragrance from Barcelona to Sydney or Arkansas. These brands often stand out for their truly creative leanings, which yield bold, original compositions.
Some of the most reputed houses include: Diptyque, Serge Lutens, Annick Goutal, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, By Kilian, Fréderic Malle, and more.
This movement, which as of now certainly has the wind in its sails, has caught the attention of the bigger names as well, with special collections emerging more and more: Les Exclusifs by Chanel, Hermessence by Hermès, La Collection Privée by Christian Dior, Le Vestiaire by Yves Saint Laurent, Armani Privé, the Collection Extraordinaire by Van Cleef & Arpels, and more.
The different creations put out by niche brands are not defined by “gender” (a quasi-obligation for wide-release perfume launches) and thus bring perfume back to its roots. Some brands highlight select ingredients with impeccable standards of quality. While more expensive, these perfumes boast a higher degree of originality and allow for more personal choices.
Soon to come on the blog: tales of the niche.