I’ve been wanting to write this post for ages as I’ve recently come across some really fantastic Niche fragrances, each with a story as encapsulating as the fragrances themselves, and so Christmas seems as good a time as any.
For me, niche fragrance is the perfect gift. In the age of social media, in which we have become #obsessed with expressing our individuality, I feel that fragrance is a wonderful way in which to do this. Of course, the best part is that unlike social media which relies on the approval of many relative “strangers”, fragrance is a far more sensual experience, reserved for the judgement of those we come into a physical presence with and I love the romanticism about that fact.
There are so many wonderful brands to experience and fall in love with the stories behind their creation, so for this guide I’ve selected those that have really caught my eye in the past few months. In all cases except for one I have been lucky enough to meet the creators and for me each time I spritz one only these into my skin I’m remind of that experience, the interaction behind it and it gives a sense of pride in supporting each of these highly skilled artisans.
Of course that’s not to say I’ve turned my back on the designer fragrance brands I’ve loved for years (and you can find my favs from those also in my beauty gift guide for women) but rather that my eyes have been opened this year to the joy that comes from wearing niche fragrances.
If you are looking for a store to experience Niche fragrance in then can I suggest both Les Senteurs in Elizabeth street, and Jovoy in Conduit steet, Both are absolutely stunning stores filled with niche fragrances from around the world, selected by their passionate owners and staff who are a wealth of knowledge. You will walk out of each store feeling like you’ve just taken a degree in the history of fragrance and smelling sweeter then life itself!
This brand has quite an usual story, as they are the only brand to create their Parfums inspired by the native scents of Australia, working with a Melbourne based 5th generation perfumer from Grasse, France. Each of the fragrances celebrates a different part of Australia, and Southern Bloom is their love letter to Bruny, off the south coast of Tasmania. It is a limited edition fragrance as it uses the rare scented flower Boronia, which only can only be harvested in September during the Australian “Spring” month. The result is a floral yet musky Parfum that has fast become one of my all time favourite parfums to wear.
In 1907 René Lalique and Françoise Coty came together to revolutionise the perfume industry creating Parfum in stunning bottles at affordable prices. Fast forward to 2018 and Lalique have released three new fragrances each in a signature stunning glass bottle for today’s modern woman. I’ve selected Pink Paradise as I was able to met the creator of the parfum at the press launch earlier this year and so felt compelled to try this one, despite loving all three. I adore its feminine sea breeze scent of musks and woods.
Husband and wife duo set about bringing the “cologne” back into fashion and dispelling images of the “older man” reputations once associated with it. The result is an utterly modern take, with gender neutral branding meaning you can literally discover what draws you in rather then being pointed towards traditional gendered sterotypes (ie floral for women and oud/Smokey for men)
I fell in love with the Silver Iris, which didn’t surprise me as my nose keeps falling for Iris recently. It has an oriental feel which I adore for evenings out. This gift set comes with a 200ml plus a 30ml and leather case which you can have personalised in their store in Covent Garden.
They say that fashion and music work in harmony but Jusbox have set out to prove that music and fragrance also go hand in hand. After all, both are formed of a delicate and multifaceted combination of “Notes”. Just like a song, which can take you back to a memory or experience, smell can transport you back in time. 14 Hour Dream is inspired by the end of the 60s and the psychedelic birth of rock and the multi-sensory experience of LSD. The result is a fragrance layered with saffron, vanilla, ginger, patchouli, cedar wood, sandal wood and guaiac wood.
The brand Nejma is born of the Arabic tale of a woman named Nejma who was sold as a slave but who’s sweetness and natural perfume made her buyer fall in love with her. The seven parfums are inspired by the 7 daughters Nejma gave birth to through their union.
No 5 has a sweet yet musky scent created from Peach, Blackcurrant, Italian Bergamot, Bulgarian Rose, Neroli and Oud Wood which come together to create an intoxicating Floriental fragrance.
Les Bains Guerbois 2015 Le Phenix EDP £159 140ml Les Senteurs, Elizabeth St, London.
In 1885 the Spa Les Bains Guebois was opened and became a temple of beauty and well being, attracting many a famous artist such as Manet, Proust and Renoir. After a stint of reinvention for the establishment as a nightclub in 1978 the location once again was returned to its original form as a 5* hotel and Spa, Les Bains-Douches in 2015. This fragrance pays homage to the history with an oriental and woody parfum
Dusita Fleur de Lalita EDP £168 50ml Les Senteurs, Elizabeth St, London.
Dusita are a relatively new brand to the world of French Haute Perfume but are already making quite a name for themselves, which is no surprise given their stunning and exotic perfume creations. Fleur de Lalita is my favourite, it has a floral yet woody feel owing to the Rose de Mai, Grandiflorium Jasmine, balsamic Madagascan vanilla and Tonia beans. Just a few of the notes on this complex yet delicate perfume. It’s perfect for those who love a feminine yet sensual parfum.
Floris Perfumers Wardrobe 9x 14ml £200 Florislondon.com
This stunningly presented perfumers wardrobe is for for a King or Queen, quite literally as Floris carry the Royal warrant. Containing 9 miniature fragrances from the British brand, which original started in 1730 with a store in Jermyn Street, London, each of the unisex fragrances has been inspired but a person or place and form the perfect “World of Wishes” gift.