With so many celebrities rolling out fragrances and so many millions of consumers buying them, it’s easy to forget that creating a scent is actually an art form. It takes talent, skill, and inventiveness.
I was reminded of this fact earlier this week at Elements Showcase where an impressive collection of niche fragrance brands came together to present their diverse products. The bi-annual showcase that first premiered last January, is the vision of Jeff Lawson, owner of an events consultancy, Ulrich Lang, a former L’Oreal exec, and Frederick Bouchardy, founder of Joya, a creative collective specializing in fragrance.
The goal of the event was to connect fragrance designers with the media and buyers from top distributors like Barney’s and Henri Bendel, while at the same time, highlighting the artistry and craftsmanship of the exhibitors’ products.
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In this age of globalization, corporate conglomerates, and big box stores, there’s something very comforting about finding a product that no one else has. You can get small-batch olive oil. There’s an entire cult on Twitter that is in search of unusual teas. And finding a new local fashion designer often feels like a delicious secret when everyone around you is wearing something from the mall.
So with everyone looking for a way to express individuality in a world that is becoming increasingly commercial, niche perfumes are the perfect antidote to conformity.
I’m a lazy fragrance user. I own and have used quite a few in my day, but never very regularly. Days will go by when deodorant and toothpaste are my signature scents. This is really sort of unacceptable.
Enter Marian Bendeth. Marian, a fragrance expert and consultant who has worked with over a thousand brands, is based in Toronto, Ontario. She writes about scent, teaches about it, argues about it, collects it, and lives for it. She only wears vintage fragrances, but wouldn’t reveal them to me. I could have talked to her for hours about finding my signature–niche–perfume, but here’s the short version.
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For those of us obsessed with signature scents, our ultimate fragrance should be one that few others possess. While I adore Marc Jacobs (the original), I’d prefer to wear something on a daily basis that’s a bit more unique to me.
A long-time contender has been Histoires de Parfums 1969, but after a visit to Avery London’s outpost in New York’s new Limelight Marketplace, I’ve got a slew of new options.
Avery, which opened in central London in May, is the first retail store from Intertrade Europe, a company that deals in niche perfumes, as well as slightly bigger brands like Miller Harris and Bond No. 9. I’d heard of some of the scents previously–particularly the Nasomatto series, distinguished by its carved wood toppers–but I had smelled only a few.
So last week I popped by Limelight to get an idea of what Avery has on offer.
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