Sometimes a gift of perfume can feel a bit uninspired. It's easy to run out at the last minute and grab your sister/best friend/mom a bottle and call it a holiday. But there's a way to give fragrance without looking like the last-minute gift shopper you secretly are.
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.