Perfumery alternative, niche, exceptional, confidential, or high perfumery, many appellations are possible. This sector has been booming for several years. These perfumes are distinguished from the big brands like Burberry, Dior, Nina Ricci and target a more restricted public. Even if what defines them is specific to each brand, we can distinguish frequent characteristics.
The fragrance is at the heart of these brands, it seeks a true olfactory identity by devoting more time to the development of the perfumes. Fragrances generally show know-how, creativity and more audacious choices.
As the fragrances are less « traditional », the target is too. The clients have a certain perfume education, are willing to spend a little more money and want to differentiate themselves from others by not wearing the same fragrance.
Perfumes are often unisex.
Regarding the creation, there are several types of organizations possible. The perfumer can create his own brand as Pierre Aulas with Egofacto or give his name to the brand as Serge Lutens did. Brands can hire a perfumer in-house or always use the same perfumer in order to create continuity in their product line. It is also possible to use the services of creative companies such as Robertet, Firmenich, or Drom.
Their distribution is ultra-selective. These brands will primarily have their own boutiques, be distributed in top-of-the-range department stores such as le Bon Marché, La Belle Parfumerie du Printemps or in specialized stores such as Jovoy, Nose and Liquides.
The communication is not based on advertising using a brand ambassador, as traditional brands do. Instead, it takes place in the points of sale with creative products and concepts, a specific decor and elements of communication. The emphasis is on the in-store experience with trained salespeople to advise clients in the best way possible.
According to L’Oréal*, « niche perfumes have saved the market » and have brought a renewal to the traditional market which is saturated.
*Article on Reuters.com “Les parfums de niche ont “sauvé” le marché selon L’Oréal”