Saturday Question: What Was Your First Niche Purchase?

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Portia

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Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.

 

Saturday Question: What Was Your First Niche Purchase?

Remember? It might have been an accidental find of a shop while on holiday. You found a blog online and it fascinated you. One of your buddies is a fragrance enthusiast. Could be you read about niche in a magazine. You read, or tested, or smelled someone walking by and you HAD TO HAVE IT! The lemming was so strong that you laid down an flabbergasting amount of cash for something that is basically 100% glamour.

My Answer:

I came to niche late. It was around the 2010 mark, maybe 2011, when I discovered the online community on the scentbloggosphere. My first blog was Olfactoria’s Travels (now defunct) and the bug bit hard. Always fragrantly oriented since my mother always smelled amazing and was given bottles by the various reps in Mum & Dad’s Jewellery, Watch and Gift Shop. They knew that if Mum (the friendly glamour girl) was wearing the fragrance then the men who came shopping would buy that amazing scent for their loved ones. (Did you know that cheating men would often buy the same fragrance for their wives and lovers so they wouldn’t get caught by scent!)

Anyway, It’s early November 2011 and I decide to buy my BFF Kath and myself niche fragrance for Xmas. I went to the Tauer Perfumes site, having ordered samples beforehand and tested and decided, and ordered a bottle each of 02 L’Air du Desert Marocain (for her) and 12 Eau D’Epices (for me). They arrived about six weeks late but when they got here she was so excited, as was I. In the pack even came a hand written apology for the lateness of the delivery from Andy Tauer himself. Amazing! The whole thing was utterly addictive. the rest is VERY EXPENSIVE history.

12 Eau D’Epices Tauer Perfumes

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Spices, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, coriander, red mandarines
Heart: Orange blossom, jasmine, orris root, incense
Base: Wood, cistus ladaniferus, ambergris, Tonka beans, vetiver

My Saturday Question to you is:

What Was Your First Niche Purchase?

143 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Was Your First Niche Purchase?

  1. I think I came to fragrance via soapmaking. I was stuck on finding an amber scent and my husband went online and found Perfumed Court, hello Tom Ford Amber and Ambre Fetiche. Went to Paris and Annick Goutal. Got the bug, and …well, you know!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My really first niche bottle was actually a partial one bought from a facebook group, Tonka Imperiale from Guerlain. Wow, i remember i was simply shocked on the first sniff 😍 i could not belive it exist such a exquisite -refined smell in a fragrance. I was blown away 😀…so there it was the beggining of my story 😄

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  3. I came to fragrance in the late 60s via stealing from my mum’s collection on a daily basis….started collecting around 1970ish. I don’t think niche existed then but someone can correct me if I am wrong.

    Not sure if Antonia’s Flowers is considered niche but I had the pure perfume around 82 or 83. Otherwise it was mostly drugstore, dept store, Avon and the designers such as Chanel, etc. and whatever was exclusive (like Giorgio) at the high end stores in NYC.

    My first trip to Paris in 1994 I discovered Annick Goutal. Then I found it at SFA in NYC which was the only store that carried the brand. I always did the BOGOs that went on several times a year. So essential 200 ml of Annick Goutal for a whopping total of 90 USD. Needless to say, I must have had 10 or more bottles in my collection. I will always view AG as my first niche love.

    I moved out of the city in the late 90s so I no longer had access to a lot. And I think Malle and Serge Lutens and Lartisan appeared on the scent after that so I could not get my mitts on any of the stuff. Keep in mind there were no online decanters at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been a long-time perfume lover, since my teen years and always had Chanel, and many of the newest mass marketed releases during the 90s and early 2000s. I thought I had a lot of perfume back then LOL! I came to niche when I discovered Luckyscent in 2007. I would read their fragrance descriptions for hours, completely captivated. And then started my sample buying! So technically, my first niche purchase was many samples (I looked at my Luckyscent order history and the first purchase included samples from Montale, Isabel, Indult and Il Profumo in 2007. My first niche bottle of perfume purchase was Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum in 2008. How I loved (still do) that perfume!
    Fun question Portia, I enjoyed looking back through my early years Luckyscent orders!

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  5. I’ve been a long-time perfume lover, since my teen years and always had Chanel, and many of the newest mass marketed releases during the 90s and early 2000s. I thought I had a lot of perfume back then LOL! I came to niche when I discovered Luckyscent in 2007. I would read their fragrance descriptions for hours, completely captivated. And then started my sample buying! So technically, my first niche purchase was many samples (I looked at my Luckyscent order history and the first purchase included samples from Montale, Isabel, Indult and Il Profumo in 2007. My first niche bottle of perfume purchase was Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum in 2008. How I loved (still do) that perfume!
    Fun question Portia, I enjoyed looking back through my early years Luckyscent orders!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My first niche was Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise. I was starting to be interested in perfume and vanilla was a gateway note. I think I found it on fragrancenet (very little of interest to be found locally!). The first thing that blew my mind with the idea of perfume as art was L’Air du desert marocain, though. That’s the one that cemented my slide down the rabbit hole. (I still only have a sample and a mini, surprisingly!)

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  7. I guess I need to revise my answer, I didn’t realize Annick Goutal was considered niche! I had Eau d’Hadrien in the early 2000s. I purchased from a department store, where I typically shopped for fragrances at that time, and therefore didn’t think it was niche.

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    • Hi Kathleen! If I am not mistaken the first Annick Goutal fragrance was Folavril which came about in 1982, I think. Annick Goutal was not easy to come by in the 80s and 90s so this is why I considered the brand niche and also because the fragrances to my nose were different. Looks like we both loved to same one, H’Adrien.

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      • I love to learn, and the history of Annick Goutal is interesting. I had to research, and per fragrantica Eau L’Hadrien, Folavril, Eau de Lavande were 1981. The oldest I see is Eau de Monsieur in 1980. Eau de Ciel was 1986.
        The SA at the time in Neiman Marcus showed me the Annick Goutals, and I was smitten with the bottles. Eau d”Hadrien was so fresh and pretty. Soon afterwards I purchased Petite Cherie, and I’ve added a few more Goutals to my collection over the years. Now I am coveting Songes.

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        • I read an article about Annick Goutal years ago. The first product she sold was a face cream and women loved the smell so much that the first perfume was born from that and it was Folavril ! I loved the bottles too and at one point had 30 empties in my basement! I had Folavril, eau de Ciel, Petite Cherie, H’Adrien, eau de Camille and let Chevrefeille and probably more that I am forgetting now. Songes is beautiful too! And I also love Passion .

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          • Oh how I would love the experience of sampling all the Annick Goutals at the department store again! Perfume shopping was fun. Many years ago the Neiman Marcus in Denver carried many perfumes, now the fragrance department is a ghost of what it was. The last time I went in, it was a 1/4 the size, and featured mainly Creed, Tom Ford, Francis Kurkijian, and the current releases of Dior, some Guerlain’s. Nothing I was really interested in, and the prices were prohibitive.

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            • I know it’s really sad that the department stores have cut back on their offerings. I live in a relatively rural area now but in the 1990s before Chanel began their exclusives line I could purchase Chanel no 22 and No 5 at my local Macy’s…. even the extrait!!! Not anymore 😭

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              • I’m very sad as well that more exclusive fragrances are not available at department stores. Denver Neiman Marcus now has very little square footage for fragrance, and features Tom Ford, Creed, Francis Kurkijian, some of the current reformulated Diors and Guerlain’s and a small variety of others. And the prices are much higher on most than you can find elsewhere.

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                • I know. The high prices are very discouraging. I remember buying no 22 EDT for around 37 dollars at my local Macy’s. Now that it’s an exclusive it’s completely out of my comfort zone for cost with two in college! But on the plus side, the online discounters have amazing deals on great fragrances! I was just looking on fragrancenet for their Annick Goutal offerings and I noticed that they are selling travel sprays .27 oz of many niche offerings like Serge Lutens for around 12 dollars with the coupon code!!!! Happy shopping!!

                  Liked by 1 person

        • Get that Songes soon, as there are still some in the original bottle to be had. In fact, I’m wearing it today, and lots of it as I now have two backup bottles of it, loads to last me the rest of my life.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I consider it a niche brand as well, even though I could buy it in an upscale department store. And I can buy Malle, Byredo and a couple of others at an even more upscale department store. So I don’t think department store availability automatically relegates AG to non-niche.

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  8. I don’t think it’s really considered “niche”, but my first true foray into less common fragrances (after having worn Chanel and other designer scents for decades) was Hermes’ Un Jardin Sur le Nil and the other Jardin fragrances, after reading Chandler Burr’s book “The Perfect Scent.” And down the rabbit-hole I went! Penhaligon’s and Amouage followed soon thereafter. Penhaligon’s really suits me, though I haven’t pursued the “Portraits” line. I like their fragrances in the classic bottles, especially the sadly discontinued Ostara.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 2014. I wanted a new perfume and bought Wood Sage and Sea Salt from Jo Malone. I always loved reading the perfume blurbs in magazines and wanted to learn a bit more about the perfume. Found NST and Bois de Jasmin and a whole new world opened up. Olfactorias Travels and APJ were early favorites as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Olfactoria’s Travels was my entree into niche perfume also. And my daughter live in Dubai then, so there were many opportunities to try niche scents, I believe Equistrius by Parfum d’Empire was my first niche purchase, but I really am not sure. It was certainly an early purchase, that sent me on my way of collecting perfume.

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  11. My love of perfumes started when I was around 5 (or at least that’s how early I remember) and went through my life, but the first perfume that I classify as “niche” was Antonia’s Flowers Tiempe Passate. I first tried it in 2003 and got in 2010. Here (https://undina.com/2013/01/31/my-first-niche-perfume-tiempe-passate-antonias-flowers/) is a story of it and an extremely cute picture of Rusty (he was even “fluffier” in his younger years than he’s now).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I honestly can’t remember! Could be Lutens La fille de Berlin or Clair de musc, I don’t think I even own more than twenty niche bottles now: while there are a lot of pretty good scents, I only want to keep those that take my breath away (figuratively, of course).

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    • I knew it would be a Tauer!!! And that’s my favorite one!!! Was the bottle different from what it is now? I remember reading somewhere that the first Tauers had different bottles.

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      • Yes, it is a tall rectangular bottle (100ml) with a silver matte plastic cap. That was the only scent he released in that bottle. Then he went to smaller rectangular bottles (50ml) with shiny gold caps. Finally he went to the cobalt blue pentagonal bottles. I have every bottle style he’s ever made. LOL. 🙂

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        • I LOVE that you have every style of his bottles. I also LOVE that you have the very first batch of LDDM in the original unique and different bottle……you are a true perfumista in my eyes!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

  13. I tested a lot of niche scents after discovering a new niche perfumery only a few blocks away. Around 2012? Sadly that shop didn’t survive long term roadworks in the adjacent high street. Anyway, I think Teint de neige by Villoresi was the first one, but I quickly fell out of love with that one. Then my sister and BIL brought me Tauer Une Rose Chyprée, bought in London at Les Senteurs. While many Tauer perfumes are not for me, I love several of them. Just wish I found one in a BLUE bottle to really love now.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I cannot say what my first niche perfume was, though I can remember my first bottle of my very own, it was Avon Charisma, and I was all of five or six years old when I got it. I do know that NST was my first perfume blog, and that was what started the perfumemania. I even remember how I hit on the blog, I was looking online for a particular essential oil, and among the results Now Smell This popped up. I’m thinking this was about 2006-or-7 but can’t swear to it. It was like I had found a little corner of heaven. So many of the comments and articles were about perfume houses I hadn’t even heard of until then. And upon further snooping I came to find the Perfumed Court, where I purchased my first set of samples, but as I said, can’t remember for the life of me what they were.

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  15. I always liked scents, but my early options were limited to drugstore availability. I bought zillions of samples from STC, with Smell Bent being my first truly new to me house, but I think they are considered indie.
    I remember buying a FB of Philosykos and Guerlain Idylle Duet during a wonderful trip to Montreal.
    I knew I was in deep trouble though when I purchased a PB of Tihota from the Perfume Shoppe – simply a goner…..

    Liked by 2 people

  16. For many years I had Dioressimo and Cristalle and that was it. There’s a niche perfume store near work and the owner spritzed on some Parfumerie Generale L’Eau Rare Matale on me at lunch – at coffee break I went back and bought it. Alas, I soon had perfume heartache when I bought a backup bottle and it was smaller, more expensive AND much fainter. Fortunately I have found many, many other perfumes to love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey AnnieA,
      I never smelled L’Eau Rare Matale but did you get your nose on his Le Croissierre (yes, I really did a job on that spelling, sorry. Too lazy to check) line? They didn’t get a lot of good press but I really enjoyed the offerings.
      Portia xx

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      • The croisière range has made my sister interested in trying niche perfume (she has previously used some Un bateau pour Capri by Eau d’Italie and various French and American perfumes mainly). She has nearly emptied a bottle of Paris-Seychelles, so now looking for something less floral and more woody, for use in the office and on a long train commute. Any ideas?

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  17. I hate the fact that I do not really remember which was my first niche purchase but I have a feeling (not very reliable) that it was an L’Artisan creation.

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  18. First came Antonia’s Flowers on holiday in Naples, Florida. Probably around 1987. Then the floodgates opened in 1991/2 with loads of Annick Goutals. I think Eau de Charlotte came first. Quickly followed by Eau de Ciel, Folavril, Eau d’Hadrien, Gardenia Passion…..and the rest, as they say, is history.

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  19. Sacrebleu by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur bought in a small perfumery in a Stuttgart in the middle of a terrible winter for the last penny. An unforgettable moment to me. Then Premier Figuier by L’Artisan Parfumeur.

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  20. Update: Had a revelation at around 4 a.m. Further to finding NST, within the articles for Sampaguita I discovered Ormonde Jayne. Purchased the discovery set almost immediately and loved many of them. First fb was Frangipani, bought by hubby for Christmas, and Followed by Sampaguita, Champaca, Zizan and Orris Noir, not necessarily in that order. So I’m thinking that Frangipani was my first full bottle niche. I may have further recollections at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning. 😳

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        • it really is a PITA!!! For me what happens is that I am beyond exhausted at 6pm and passing out while watching TV with Mr Marzipan. IF I was retired and did not have a long drive to work I would not mind so much. But having to drive when sleep deprived is NOT fun.

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    • OJ was the brand that actively sent me down the rabbit hole of niche perfumery. Before then I was just a perfume enthusiast 🙂 Ta’if, Tiare, Frangipany, Champaca, Orris Noir, Tolu, Woman – and I don’t think it’s the complete list of what I wear from the brand (mostly, from their convenient travel sprays but I have couple of bottles as well).

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  21. My sister was an early fan of Eau de Ciel, and dragged me to Barney’s (I think they had AG exclusively in the 80s in the US). I fell in love with Eau de Camille – can’t remember the exact year, I wore it for so long. We are so competitive, but luckily I was never tempted by Ciel nor she by Camille.

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  22. I bought about $70 worth of manufacturers samples from a local perfumery. A few months later I went back and bought my first niche bottles, Montale Jasmin Full and Nicolai Eau Soleil.

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  23. My first niche perfume purchase, if I remember well, was a set of DSH minis: Cafe Noir, Au Lait, Powder, Pamplemousse and Menthe Modern. Loved them insanely at that time, since they opened a new olfactory experience to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hello my dearest fragrant family! I have missed you all soooo much. 😘😘
    Mine was SL Tuberose Criminelle. I freaking love tuberose and this was amazing!

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    • Jyotsna!!!! Welcome home! We missed you too! So happy to have you back where you belong. You are smelling superb, so nothing’s changed in that department 😉
      I’ve thought of you frequently, especially your love of rain 🤣🤣
      Stick around for a bit, won’t you 😘

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      • Marcella!! 😘 I have missed you! I hope the summer is beautiful & warm & that you are having a glorious time. I am going to binge read the APJ archives all week.
        Feels so good to be back here.

        Liked by 1 person

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