In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit. That is one of the most iconic starts on any book ever. Today we are going to speak about holes in the ground, opportunities, scarcity, and what makes a product be desired and needed.
In a niche in the whole fragrance industry there lived plenty of opportunities.
Most of the fragrances that lived there were designer or commercial and suddenly, the need for something more special, more unique, more luxurious started to show up. Not that they were never there before, it is just that when we finally saw one, we actually adjusted to reality with many more facets, opportunities, and alternatives.
So, this market with more than the usual suspects to be acquired, showed us that there are three types of fragrances. Designer, Exclusive, and Author. Designers are the ones that is available in most department stores in the world. Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, Armani…. Just to name a few Exclusive are brands, that may be designers, that want to be perceived as super unique, special, elitist, magical… and they can be found less easily than the regular commercial ones, but because they are not that easily found, we can rely on the fact that if we wear one like that not many people will wear it too. Tom Ford, Creed, Parfums de Marly are several examples that belong in this group.
The author is normally a guy in his house, almost a mad genie or an alchemist, that loves fragrances so much, that decides to do limited editions of his collection and try to sell it either online or in very specific markets. These are normally fragrances that are daring, complex, and addictive. Some even grow and became giants. So, when you hear someone say Niche fragrances… such as myself… he is referring to the second two types that I have mentioned. What other things set niche from designer apart?
Abundance vs scarcity. Designers are easy to find and they are everywhere. The niche you have to look for them in the special holes in the ground. Logistics. Designers have already solved how to sell in your country. Some niche fragrance brands have not and never will.
Cost of materials
Designers are cost-efficient and have to be able to sustain a great number of people (who do you think is paying for all the high couture catwalks we see models at? Surely it is not the “interesting” creations they wear on the runway).
The cost of producing it is ridiculously low, the rest is marketing and profit, brands make a profit, logistics make a profit, the store makes a profit, the distributor makes a profit, Charlize Theron gets paid as well… Niche brands invest much more in materials per bottle, they are not as cost-efficient and, do not have such well-oiled machinery. Statistics. Designers are actually developed to be liked by a very high percentage of a defined demographic, so you know that if you buy one you are going to be liked and you are going to belong.
Niche are for the selected few that may or may not belong but they bring their own mentality and taste into the game. Designer and Niche are both used for getting laid, for work, and for being memorable, so that is not that different from one another after all. In the end, is a question of being honest and think… do I want to belong, do I want to have the approval of the crowd without showing my individualism in a more radical way or I do not care to belong and I do not mind to have the approval of the crowd, I can live by myself the rest of my life?.
Maybe the explanation is overly dramatic but I hope it shows the point. In a hole in the ground, there were the niche fragrances, but they are not just a hole in the ground they are the rabbit hole where Alice got lost in wonderland Do you want to try something new, or do you want to stay with what has worked for you until now? I am not judging, you coward zero risk-taker.
Ok, maybe I am judging, the thing is that this rabbit hole has changed my life and I hope it changes yours too. Actually, I am happy with whatever makes you happy, the idea of the article is for you to understand that there is a different world out there and it is great to try it.