Why niche perfumes are a good investment?
Niche perfumes * are part of the luxury goods and services industry. Personally, I discovered them on a trip to Milan couple of years ago. At that time, I fell in love with Love don’t be shy By Kylian. From that moment on I began to sense and appreciate the beauty of niche fragrances, their presence in the urban environment of Paris, Milan, Berlin, Sofia …
For me, having such a perfume is like adding sentences to your own story, something personal, exquisite, tangible, lasting and different from mass offerings, like a kind of stylish upgrade, like joining an exclusive and highly desirable club. That’s why I call it a good investment.
Recently I had the opportunity to get a closer look to the world and the beauty of Frédéric Malle’s fragrances (Éditions de parfums Frédéric Malle). I wasn’t familiar with the brand in details, apart from the story of one of the most iconic perfumes – Carnal flower – which development took about 3.5 years. The concept of perfumes is interesting and innovative because the founder decides to stand out from the stereotypes of mass perfumery in the late 1990s, focusing on perfume (rather than on marketing, colossal budgets for stars-ambassadors, shiny packaging, etc.). For the first time, Frédéric Malle pulls out perfumers from anonymity: the name of the author of the composition is written on the label along with the name of the fragrance.
With Maximе Daulouède, Export manager of the brand, we talked about some elements related to the EPFM experience:
MD: Customer experience starts from entering the boutique and its environment. The first store of the brand (Rue de Grenelle) was furnished with Frederick Malle’s own furniture. The goal was customers to feel good, as if they were visiting somebody. A kind of a “perfume degustation” in order to find the right fragrance. All the boutiques of the brand carry this mix of traditional and modern. The feel of a Parisian apartment – with velvet sofas and paintings on the walls, is combined with elements of an olfactory lab: refrigerated perfume cabinets in which, at a temperature of 16C, the perfumes are stored.
Another innovation are the special two-meter smelling columns in which a flavor is loaded and which disperse it into the air in its fullness – as it would stand after evaporated on the skin, with the full composition of the fragrance pyramid. (Only the top notes of the perfume can be perceived if sprayed on a blotter.) Each store has its uniqueness and is designed in harmony with its surroundings.
An interesting point is the recruitment of consultants – they are people with different profiles and background, coming from arts related fields. They are united by the passion for the brand and tell their story through the art prism.
Luxury and age of the brand
MD: EPFM was established 18 years ago. Exclusive perfumery sector is very attractive – about 20 new players enter the market each month. In fact, brands that are leaders in the segment are 7-8, each with a different positioning. EPFM fits into the universal notion of luxury that is timeless, Parisian and very chic. The brand has partnered with artists in different spheres, on various projects. Among them are designers Dries van Noten and Alber Elbaz.
The role of packaging
MD: At the moment when Frédéric Malle creates its perfumes, it puts the perfume in the spotlight. This logic is also subject to the packaging: a minimalist, inspired by the Bauhaus, which puts the function above aesthetics. Bottles are minimalistic, but with attention to detail, weight, closing. In this sense, the vials and packages are identical. (Except for design collaborations where the authors have worked on the bottle design.) The outstanding element is the emblematic red color that distinguishes Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.
Styleinspiratrice note: Portrait of a lady is the iconic fragrance that brings a very special connotation to me. If I have to describe it: it can make me feel like femme fatale, wearing it with simple jeans and a T-shirt. My other favorites, I strongly recommend to try, are: Carnal flower, En passant, Musc Ravageur, Monsieur, French lover. In Bulgaria the brand is available in Salon Olfactive, 45, Patriarh Evtimii Blvd.
Photos: Martina Todorova
* In this type of perfumery, starting point is the fragrance and its ingredients (noble and expensive included in special compositions), not marketing strategy, audience surveys, trends, etc. The concept dates back to the late 1960s. Currently, mass perfume brands account for about 90% of the market, and niche – the remaining 10%. Meanwhile, niche perfume enjoys growing interest and revenue.67