We are going to be talking about the wonderful world of niche perfumes today. If you are wondering what is so particular about niche perfumes when you can just get great fragrances from almost any store, let me first tell you my story:
I have always been a fan of perfumes since childhood. In my teenage years, I looked forward to my birthdays, Christmas, and any other occasion to get a present from my mother as I knew it would most likely be a new bottle of perfume.
My favourite present from her was a small vintage bottle of Joy de Jean Patou.
I had been given a lot of perfumes including my first bottle of Chanel Noº 5 in the past, but with Joy, it was different. The symphonic floral fragrance of this perfume filled my amateur senses with a different kind of high. It was ‘THE’ perfume!
Truth is, I had already dreamed of this perfume before I had it. I had read about in old novels and remembered it being Jackie Kennedy’s favourite perfume and also the costliest perfume in the world back in the 70s: I was more than happy to have one also knowing no one I knew had it.
That was the beginning of my love affair with rare niche perfumes.
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Don’t get me wrong, I would never turn down a great bottle of designer perfume with great longevity and sillage, but it is difficult to get the same sense of exclusivity and satisfaction derived from wearing niche perfumes with generic designer brands.
What Is so Niche About Perfume?
As previously mentioned, niche perfumes are not just expensive designer scents, unlike mass produced designer perfumes that you can get by walking into top departmental stores, niche perfumes are fragrances made for true scent connoisseurs looking for a unique scent and in small scale production.
To buy niche perfumes, you have to go to high-end fragrance stores or perfume specialists. You can also find a lot of niche perfume stores and boutique perfume houses online.
Photo Credit: Arquiste Parfumeur
Honestly, niche perfumes are way more expensive than regular designer brands because of their complicated artisanal production processes, their ‘fresh’ unusual fragrance compositions and the rare natural ingredients put into them.
The delight of having signature scents that people obsess over and the fact that you might never come across someone who smells like you makes going into niche perfumes worth it, but, It is an expensive hobby.
One of the first things you need to know before you embark on the niche scents journey is the important niche perfume houses such as:
As one of the top luxury perfume brands, Creed is a Paris based British multi-national perfume house that has been handcrafting original perfumes for royal houses and distinguished clients for over 250 years.
Creed perfumes promise tradition, luxury, and longevity.
Created in 1983 by the Emir of Oman, the traditional ingredients used by this luxury perfume brand include incense, musk, agarwood, rose and spices.
Uniquely, the covers of their women’s perfume bottles are shaped like the Palace Ruwi Mosque in Oman, while the covers for the men’s fragrance bottles are in the shape of the hilt of a Khanjar, Oman’s traditional dagger.
UK-based luxury niche perfume house, Clive Christian, was established in 1999 with over 60 unique fragrances to its name and the fame of producing “the world’s most expensive perfume”.
In 2012, Clive Christian was announced as the recipient for an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his contribution to the British Luxury Goods Industry as a designer.
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Céline Verleure, a French perfume creator, birthed Olfactive Studio in 2011 and the new niche line is a blend of scents and modern art photography.
Her idea was to use photography and perfume to capture moments and rekindle memories of past experiences which is what her original, never-smelled-before aromatic creations deliver.
Founded in 2011 in New York, Arquiste is the brain-child of Carlos Huber, an architect specialising in Historic Preservation.
Arquiste was created with the aim of transporting its wearers to evocative moments in history, and the award-winning niche perfume house is well known for its use of the finest, most exclusive and rarest ingredients such as the Couroupita flower.
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Other notable brands include Diptyque, CB I Hate Perfume, Juliet has a gun, Montale, Jo Malone, Annick Goutal and a whole lot more.
Building a Niche Perfume Collection
A little bit of research never killed anybody, and hey, what do we have the internet for? Look for different brands, look into their history, read the reviews on the brand and the product. This helps you narrow down on your preferences. Be it in smell or composition.
Do Not Be Afraid to Experiment
Try to sample first to avoid impulsively buying expensive rare perfume and ending up hating the cloying smell that makes you nauseous. Ask and buy niche perfume samples and be open to different scents because you might find a new fragrance that grows on you.
Patience Is Key
You do not have to jump and buy the first bottle you see. Ask for a sample or samples and understand how they make you feel. The ‘drydown’ is the way the scent changes as it evaporates from the skin and it is an essential factor to reflect on when buying niche perfume.
Thou Shall Know Thy Perfumes
Know what kind of scent you want to wear. Decide in if you want a floral, woody, oriental, or fresh fragrance. Also, take into account on if you want a ‘once in a blue moon’ parfum, a heavy statement Eau de parfum, or an everyday, light Eau de toilette or Eau de cologne
Armed with this basic knowledge, you can now enter into the world of niche perfumes and get ready to go on a ride that will arouse your senses.
“There are no women who do not like perfume, there are women who have not found their scent” – Marilyn Monroe