Best value niche/quasi niche houses

philosophe

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
In your opinion, what are some of the current best value niche or quasi-niche houses? I'm trying to build my humble collection on a budget, so I'm always on the lookout for these kind of finds. I know of a few houses that fit the bill, and that seem to be great value for money - Serge Lutens, AdP, Guerlain, Montale, Mancera...do any others come to mind? Looking for quality, uniqueness, and class without relying too much on fragrances from the massively hyped, marked up niche houses. I already have too many of those on my wish list lol.
 

NighthawkAtTheDiner

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2020
Essential Parfums is a house everyone's talking about - and available at almost designer prices. I intend to check them out myself, heard great things about a few of them including Bois Imperial.

Lush has a very solid range of perfumes too, very eclectic, rough edged, and definitely niche. Worth seeking them out if you can get with the aesthetic. Try Breath Of God, Cardamom Coffee, Goddess.

Histoires De Parfums is another house worth checking out. They have reasonably priced 15ml/60ml bottles and some really quality fragrances. Check out 1740, 1725, Ambre 114, Noir Patchouli.

And of course, Comme Des Garcons are always worth a sniff. Unique, dry, austere, all must be tried at least. Favourites would be CDG EDP, CDG 2 EDP, CDG 2 Man, Wonderwood, Blackpepper, Incense Series, Concrete.
 

SubUmbra

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2018
I just posted about this brand on its dedicated thread, but I have to say January Scent Project. I'm also partial to J-Scent - they're doing some really fascinating work for a decent price.
 

ImaFedec

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2019
Histoire de Parfum,
Etat Libre d'Orange,
Diptyque,
Parfum d'Empire,
Annick Goutal,
Olfactive Studio,
Miller Harris,
Parfumerie Général,
Comme des Garcons,
Frapin

All about same class range, have unique offerings and overall very good in quality (my preference going to HdP, CdG, Diptyqie (pre-2015) and Parfum d'Empire)
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
My favorite is Etat Libre d'Orange, I think they go for around $100 for 50 ml. They have many standouts and in general I find their perfume very solid and interesting.
 

LinePlaneVolume

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
For Parfum d'Empire, keep an eye on beautyhabit sales. You can often find them for 20% off.

Adding Nicolai Parfumeur Createur to the list. You can also find their 30ml bottles at the aforementioned beautyhabit sales for 20% off. Being able to pick up New York Intense and Patchouli Intense that way is a must.

Also on beautyhabit
Diptyque
Comme des Garcones
Histoire de Parfum
Etat Libre d'Orange
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
In your opinion, what are some of the current best value niche or quasi-niche houses? I'm trying to build my humble collection on a budget, so I'm always on the lookout for these kind of finds. I know of a few houses that fit the bill, and that seem to be great value for money - Serge Lutens, AdP, Guerlain, Montale, Mancera...do any others come to mind? Looking for quality, uniqueness, and class without relying too much on fragrances from the massively hyped, marked up niche houses. I already have too many of those on my wish list lol.

Guerlain (classics)
Hermes (classics)
Serge Lutens (Collection Noire)
Etat Libre d'Orange
AdP (the brown/black line)
Lorenzo Villoresi
Lalique
Montale (only a very few - a lot of crap also)
Atelier Cologne
Cartier (regular line)

All these houses offer 100ml bottles under $100 (or way under $100) at online discounters and ebay. But there are plenty of single exceptions within various houses. While those houses generally offer a good creativity/price ratio, I'd not focus just on these.
 

philosophe

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
Thanks guys! Some great options here. Never heard of Parfums d'Empire before, but glancing at the website, Cuir Ottoman and Equistrius look enticing.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

LinePlaneVolume

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
Thanks guys! Some great options here. Never heard of Parfums d'Empire before, but glancing at the website, Cuir Ottoman and Equistrius look enticing.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

Cuir Ottoman is a really nice one, too. Haven't tried Equistrius yet. I really like Le Cri, Azemours les Orangers, Corsica Furiosa, Eau de Gloire, and Cuir Ottoman.
 

chypre

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2006
Agree with Parfum d'Empire, Diptyque and Miller Harris. Adding Santa Maria Novella, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and Pineward Perfumes.
 

Marty McFly

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2020
Just curious, for those who mentioned them, what makes Commes des Garçons a niche brand? They were foremost a Japanese fashion house and I was familiar with their clothing and accessories long before their fragrance line, which is scant compared to the rest of their catalog?
 

SubUmbra

Well-known member
Jul 9, 2018
Just curious, for those who mentioned them, what makes Commes des Garçons a niche brand? They were foremost a Japanese fashion house and I was familiar with their clothing and accessories long before their fragrance line, which is scant compared to the rest of their catalog?

I think some folks think of them as niche because they behave similarly to a niche house: it doesn’t feel like they intensely focus-group their releases, which themselves can be a bit strange or otherwise not commercial-smelling. Even categorizations in the scent world are a bit subjective.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
I think some folks think of them as niche because they behave similarly to a niche house: it doesn’t feel like they intensely focus-group their releases, which themselves can be a bit strange or otherwise not commercial-smelling. Even categorizations in the scent world are a bit subjective.
This. Technically, CdG is “designer,” but given founder/designer Rei Kawakubo’s avant-garde aesthetic, the fragrance line is closer to niche philosophically.
 

philosophe

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
Agree with Parfum d'Empire, Diptyque and Miller Harris. Adding Santa Maria Novella, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and Pineward Perfumes.
Oh yeah, I saw the thread on Pineward. That looks interesting, as I love evergreen scents and don't have any such full bottles. Fell in love with MM Soul of the Forest via sample, but I think it's now discontinued and hard to find.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
Diptyque, Rogue, Zoologist, Parfum d'empire, Guerlain, Olympic Orchids, Serge Lutens, January Scent Project, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Strangers Parfumerie
 

Ken_Russell

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
Many great recommendations already, also taking the liberty to add in otherwise no further particular order:
GFT, Taylor's of Old Bond Street, Hugh Parsons, Etro, Molinard, Molyneux, Houbigant, Le Couvent des Minimes, Knize, R&G, Rasasi (though admittedly some of these do already have a certain significant, though not necessarily over-hyped following, that happens to still be and remain quite solid at least by BN standards)
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
Histoire de Parfum,
Etat Libre d'Orange,
Diptyque,
Parfum d'Empire,
Annick Goutal,
Olfactive Studio,
Miller Harris,
Parfumerie Général,
Comme des Garcons,
Frapin

All about same class range, have unique offerings and overall very good in quality (my preference going to HdP, CdG, Diptyqie (pre-2015) and Parfum d'Empire)

Good list.
 

NighthawkAtTheDiner

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2020
Tauerville has a few gems. Smaller bottle and lower prices does help.

Good call - seems quite a few are getting discontinued though.

The last I heard was they're only keeping Rose Flash and Vanilla Flash. On the website right now, seems he also has Tuberose Flash and Fruitchouli Flash, but wouldn't be surprised if that's just leftover stock.

Which, if true, is a pity. I really enjoyed Patch Flash and Amber Flash too.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
Just curious, for those who mentioned them, what makes Commes des Garçons a niche brand? They were foremost a Japanese fashion house and I was familiar with their clothing and accessories long before their fragrance line, which is scant compared to the rest of their catalog?

Because of their marketing, bottle design, and 'studies' series that makes them appear more 'alternative'.
Niche or designer, it doesn't really matter anymore, since both uses big chem corps to design their fragrances. What matters is the ratio (creativity+pleasure)/price, because what count is the juice, not packaging. I wish all the fragrances where sold in plain glass bottle, all transparent juices... the ultimate comparison.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
Tauerville has a few gems. Smaller bottle and lower prices does help.

Lower price because of less juice, but the price/ml is nearly identical to the main 'Tauer' (blue bottles) line. That makes the main line vastly superior to my nose, because although the juice are good in the Tauerville line, I perceive them as being a step lower compared to the main Tauer line, for a similar price/ml.
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
+1 on Francesca Bianchi. Potent stuff indeed!

Considering how well they retain (sometimes even appreciate) their resale value, I would include Areej Le Doré in this category, especially if one enjoys the house style of perfumery.
 

Dunedain

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2016
I think Caron deserves to be mentioned. They might not be exactly niche per se, but the quality and tremendous value you get is very real.
 

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