We don’t just want bespoke skincare, if the growth in the niche fragrance sector is anything to go by, we all want a more unique approach to fragrance too. We chat to our go-to fragrance expert, Benny Castles, about the rise of artisan scent and what the future holds for fragrance.
Why do you think niche fragrances are so popular at the moment?
It is culmination of the growth of niche luxury producers, accessibility of niche products globally, the internet creating an open forum about scent but most importantly a motivated consumer who are looking for a more personalised experience. WORLD Beauty has been on a journey for 10 years to offer the only niche luxury fragrance emporium in NZ, and we have found a motivated, interested and passionate scent customer enjoying the historic and new houses we have been able to present.
Has the way we think about fragrance changed?
People used to be attracted to the same brands as they were perceived as “cool” but now people seem to be looking to fragrance to express themselves. Individuality in all fields of consumerism is becoming more important, people are smarter and more savvy than perhaps ever. People can read a sales pitch that is not genuine and something that is made just to sell is not alluring or inspiring.
People, myself included, want to feel attachment to the things we buy, we want to feel that scent, in particular, says something about who we are and represents us and our individuality. We have personality and so we want fragrance with personality. The days of celebrities being able to bamboozle the public into buying anything with their name on it, and global brands using slick advertising to sell life-less product are coming to an end. Customers demand more for their spend and so with fragrance people want make independent decisions using their intellect and emotion.
What other trends are you noticing in the fragrance industry?
Story telling is one trend that has become a stronger part of the fragrance industry. This is not new of course, early fragrance houses used stories from the past or mythology to build concept and scent. However, it has been reborn in contemporary fragrance houses to create personality and emotion in each crafted note. There needs to be purpose behind any creative endeavour – ‘why does it exist?’ – ‘what is it’s point’ – customers demand reason, we don’t want to just be blindly sold something made for commerce, we need to feel passion and purpose, honest endeavour and conceptualised thought process. Many new brands have used story telling to individualise their fragrances and give an inlet to their brand so that customers can feel an intimate connection with their chosen scent.
Pictured above clockwise from left: Helmut Lang Cuiron (100ml, $359) from WORLD; Grandiflora Sandrine ($229) from WORLD; Mona di Orio Cuir (75ml , $249) from WORLD. Arquiste Fleur de Louis (55ml, $189) from WORLD; Byredo Gypsy Water ($269 eau de parfum) from Mecca; Commes des Garcons Amazingreen ($188 eau de parfum) from Mecca.