As I was shopping around some of my favorite beauty sites, in hopes of finding a quickie purchase to ease the onset of depression that comes with the sun setting in the middle of the afternoon, I came upon something at L'Artisan Parfumeur that continues to boggle my mind: a $10,000 perfume. That's right, for the cost of a used car you can have your own exclusive scent fashioned by Parisian perfumer L’Artisan Parfumeur. The noses at the haute house have created seven exclusive scents (there's no number 5 for obvious reasons), accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Buyers are granted four 100ml, 50 ml and 15 ml bottles at first purchase. Refills are available for the certificate holder only at $450 for 100ml. The document may be willed or gifted, so the personalized scent can outlive its purchaser. Can you imagine willing someone perfume? That's just plain ridiculous even in a booming economy. This begs another question: Does the value reflect market conditions or does it increase with age?
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Our Favorite Niche Fragrances
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.