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What you need to know about niche perfume
Trying to pick a signature scent from all of the different types of perfumes out there in a all of the different note combinations and price ranges is tough work. You’re probably already familiar with designer fragrances, but to get a more comprehensive look at your perfume options, we need to talk about niche perfume.
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What is niche perfume?
Perfumes that are produced on a much smaller scale are niche. They are normally found in boutiques or perfume specialists and don’t have the same large-scale advertising or celebrity endorsements that designer perfumes do. Designer fragrances have traditionally been found in department stores, though given the increasing market, niche perfume counters are popping up within these same stores.
Often niche perfumes contain higher concentrations of fragrance oils and are likely to be made up of more natural ingredients. They tend to focus on the originality of scents, the craft and are considered more of an ‘art’. Niche brands tend to craft collections rather than one holy grail fragrance. A key part of a niche perfume house is also having in-house perfumers.
Why should you know about niche perfume?
Data from Roy Morgan Research has shown that online fragrance shopping is on the rise in Australia. Given that niche perfumes have always typically been less accessible than designer perfumes, this era of online shopping and Instagram stores has made the market more lucrative for niche perfume.
If you like to wear a unique scent, you should definitely be aware of niche perfumes. With little marketing, less perfumes produced and a smaller amount of stockists, a niche perfume is the way to go to stand out from the fragrance crowd.
What about pricing?
It’s undeniable that niche perfumes do tend to be on the more expensive end of the spectrum. They aren’t mass produced like designer perfumes. However, niche perfumes have normally had more time, craftsmanship and natural, rare ingredients put into them. So depending on where you place your priorities in perfume purchasing, niche fragrances could be more bang for your buck.
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Where do you buy niche perfume?
In Australia, you can purchase niche perfumes at a brand’s boutique store (if available), selected Mecca Maxima, Sephora, Myer and David Jones stores. Libertine Parfumerie is also a perfume store in Australia that sells some of the harder-to-find, niche fragrances.
Niche brands to know
Given that they are a little more under the radar, below is a cheat sheet of some niche perfume brands you can purchase in Australia. Because the perfumes tend to be pricier, you may want to take note of these brands and stockists and go sniff out a sample before you dive in and purchase one. (Not that you could really go wrong – even if you picked at random!)
Juliette Has A Gun
Romano Ricci, founder of Juliette Has A Gun, approaches perfumery as an art form. One of their best-known perfumes is the single note, allergen-free Not A Perfume fragrance.
Available at: Libertine Parfumerie
Image via @Juliette Has A Gun
These days, Swedish brand Byredo is one of the most well-known niche perfume brands. Chances are you’ve probably heard of their woody, bestselling Gypsy Water (Kate Bosworth is certainly a fan). The brand has also recently released a 60s-inspired scent called Velvet Haze.
Available at: Mecca Maxima
Image via @officialbyredo
Le Labo is a New York brand that focuses on craftsmanship and personalisation. They opened their first Australian store in Melbourne earlier this year. You may have heard of one of their most iconic scents: Santal 33.
Available at: Mecca Maxima, Le Labo Melbourne
Image via @lelabofragrances
Diptyque Paris is a legendary French brand known for blending unisex scents. Their bestsellers include the Philosykos and Do Son Eau de Parfums.
Available at: Mecca Maxima
Image via @diptyque
Annick Goutal is a member of the French High Perfumery and still has in-house perfumers. All of their products, bottles and packaging are still made exclusively in France to ensure authenticity and almost all of the decorative finishing touches are done by hand.
Available at: David Jones
Image via @annickgoutal_official
If you need some more suggestions for niche perfume brands, Frederic Malle (Mecca Maxima), Creed (Libertine Parfumerie), Penhaligon’s (Libertine Parfumerie), L’artisan Perfumer (Online at L’artisan Perfumer and Libertine Parfumerie) and Helmut Lang (Libertine Parfumerie) are all worth checking out.
Do you wear any niche perfumes? Do you have a preference between niche perfume and designer perfume?