One of my guilty indulgences at lunch time during a work day is watching YouTube videos of perfume collections. There are thousands out there, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say all of them are starting to blend together. I prefer the videos where the person gives me a reason as to why they own a particular perfume. A few life stories are intermingled among the collections. A clear description of the fragrances they own. And of course, if one has a massive collection of niche fragrances, my ears often perk up.
There’s something about knowing what someone’s fragrance collection looks like that helps me form an idea of what other scents they would like and what kind of similarities in fragrance choices I have in common with them. YouTube features a large population of young women who fit into my demographic or younger. They often have big collections of perfumes. And from what I’ve seen, I can draw a few conclusions:
1) Most of them love sweet, candy-like, floral perfumes.
2) “Smells good”, “smells fruity”, “sweet and happy” are words often used to describe their collections.
3) I see the same four or five fragrances in everyone’s collection.
So it’s hard to see how someone with a big collection of mainstream fragrances can get a decent recommendation these days when they have most of what they want and so do most people they go to for perfume advice. So for all those folks who already have Miss Dior Cherie, Coco Mademoiselle, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Britney Spears Fantasy, and Viva la Juicy here are some niche, harder-to-find, more unique recommendations for your collections:
Aroma M Geisha Pink
Sampled during one of my sweet tooth phases, Geisha Pink smells like sugared flowers and fluffy, puffy vanilla pastries. It screams “girly” and if you’re looking for an alternative to the sugar rush of Viva la Juicy or Vera Wang Princess, Geisha Pink has you covered. It’s priced at $55 for a roll-on of perfume oil.
Annick Goutal Eau de Charlotte
Eau de Charlotte is a beautiful full-bodied berry scent that will make you think you’re wading through gourmet jam. It’s a more natural interpretation of blackberries with a wonderful base of vanilla and cocoa. Perfume for the person who wants something fruity and sweet but hates the apple jolly rancher smell of DKNY’s Be Delicious. Eau de Charlotte is $128 for 100ml.
Calypso Christiane Celle Bellini
Bellini is my answer to a spring, summer light fruity floral. It’s got the basic building blocks of a mainstream fruity floral but does things in a much more delicate manner and with a flare of understated sophistication. Bellini is a good alternative to most fruity floral Bath and Body Works or Victoria’s Secret scents. At $60 for 100ml, it’s not too bad.
Il Profumo Musc Bleu
Musc Bleu might scare some way because they’re tempted to say, “Musk? Ew, I hate musky fragrances”. But don’t judge the musk before you try it. Musc Bleu is actually the opposite of what one would consider, “musky” in that it’s a bright, clean, and soft perfume with a nice light dry down and it might just change your mind about the word, “musk”. Musc Bleu is $110 for 50ml or $165 for 100ml.
Looking to smell a little tropical without resorting to lathering yourself in coconut? Amaranthine is a lush tropical perfume with a rather prominent banana leaf top note and a very complex composition. Possibly too complex if all you’re looking for is an easy tropical, but if you want to sample something with a lot of personality and challenge your nose then give this a try. Amaranthine is available for $135 for 100ml.
Going niche for me has been something of an adventure. I still have a collection of fairly mainstream fragrances and a lot of mainstream offerings are fabulous, but the niche market has been rather nice to me too and it wouldn’t hurt to start investigating the niche side of things–especially when you already have most of what you want from big perfume houses with big perfume marketing budgets.