In Perfumery, a distinction between normal perfumes like designer or celebrity perfumes and so-called niche perfumes is made. Per definition, the word niche means something that isn’t developed or produced for a preferably big target group. Most of the time, niche can be defined as the opposite of mainstream. So, what exactly are niche perfumes? And do they even matter?
Niche products are produced for a small target group with extraordinary demands and expectations. When it comes to the perfume industry, the concept of niches is used differently. Perfumes are always made to please the nose – no matter who the target group may be. In fact, the distinction between normal perfumes and niche perfumes doesn’t really relate to the target group, but to the producing company.
Most perfumes are created by designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel or Hermès. There are also many stars, who launch their own scents. Christina Aguilera has done it and so has Ariana Grande. But there are also companies that focus on the production of scented things such as candles, body lotions and – of course – perfumes. The Essenza website offers a broad selection of the best niche perfumes.
Even though the mere production of a perfume is a chemical process based on formulas and reactions, perfumery is an art, a creation. Fragrances consist of three layers – the top, the middle and the base. The different layers have to me harmonious, but can also play with each other or complement each other. But how exactly are niche perfumes made?
Scents are always inspired by, and most of the time extracted from natural ingredients. Depending on the raw materials used, the time this process takes, varies. During the so-called solvent extraction, petroleum is added to the raw material in rotating drums. Afterwards, alcohol is added, which causes the scented oil to rise to the top, where it can be skimmed off.
When it comes to niche perfumes, experts come together to create a blend that pleases the nose. Finding the perfect combination of fragrances is possibly the most challenging step, as it decides upon whether or not a perfume will be successful on the market.
Once the blend has been set, the oil is combined with alcohol and a small amount of water in order to reduce the potency of the scent. Knowing what exactly the perfume smells like, designers can begin to design a bottle that matches the scent. If the creators are satisfied with the result, the perfume can be launched.
As, in perfumery, the word niche refers to the producing company, not to the scent itself, it doesn’t really make a huge difference to the buyer. There are niche perfumes that have gone through the ceilings. Still, it is harder to become successful for brands that completely focus on scents. For fashion designers or celebrities, a new perfume is merely an additional source of income. In order to promote it, they can draw on their name recognition and their marketing budget.
When it comes to scent and quality, there isn’t really a difference between normal perfumes and niche perfumes. In fact, niche perfume brands are sometimes even more result-oriented and open-minded as normal perfume manufacturers, who are limited to creations that match their product range.
At 1,29 million USD, Shumukh is the most expensive perfume in the world. It comes in a leather display of two meters height and with tons of ornaments. Having that in mind, it becomes obvious that the packaging makes a big difference in price.
Creators of niche perfumes usually invest less in packaging and marketing, which saves them money. That money can be invested in high-quality ingredients, which take the scent to a higher level. That way, you might even get more for your money.