17th December 2019

7 Niche Fragrance Gifts For Perfume Aficionados

Best niche perfume gifts for christmas 2019

When we took a deep dive into some of our favourite niche fragrances earlier this year, we talked about how the genre is all about unearthing the obscure and unusual.

To buy a niche fragrance is to seek out something that not everyone else is wearing and to take yourself on a journey of exploration throughout the world of olfaction. On this journey, niche perfumery takes us to the most unexpected of places. To celebrate the fascinating world of niche, I’ve put together a finely-tailored selection of niche fragrances that make perfect gifts for Christmas. From blindingly beautiful florals to bang-on-trend sandalwoods, there is a little bit of niche for everyone.

 

#1 Something Beautiful…

Miller Harris Secret Gardenia Eau de Parfum Spray
Miller Harris Secret Gardenia Eau de Parfum Spray

Miller Harris do niche in a novel, accessible, high quality and beautiful way. Everything they produce tells a story, using familiar materials and styles to take us on unexpected, and exciting journeys. Secret Gardenia tells the story of a hidden garden in an urban space. The garden is abundantly filled with gardenia flowers that create a white out of scent and colour. Dewy and juicy, Secret Gardenia is both fresh and intensely floral, proposing an endless sea of gardenia flowers that overwhelm the senses.

 

#2 Something Sensual…

Annick Goutal Nuit et Confidences Eau de Parfum Spray
Annick Goutal Nuit et Confidences Eau de Parfum Spray

Goutal Paris is an iconic French house that was one of the founding members of niche. It has a penchant for classical compositions, but in recent years, Goutal has modernised both its olfactory and visual aesthetics. Nuit et Confidences is part of Goutal’s new guard – a sumptuous vanilla fragrance that is rich and silky. Tonka bean is used to increase the sweet, confectionary element, whilst cedarwood brings spice and smoothness. The result is a sensual and indulgent fragrance for those that like to smell edible AND expensive.

 

#3 Something New…

Comme des Garcons Copper Eau de Parfum
Comme des Garcons Copper Eau de Parfum Spray

Comme des Garcons are one of the early pioneers of niche. Ever since their first perfume launch in 1994 – the avant-garde Comme des Garcons Parfum (a fragrance that they marketed with the tagline “works like a medicine and behaves like a drug” – they have subverted expectations of what perfume can be. While a Comme des Garcons fragrance may not be hard to find, nor will it empty the contents of your wallet too much, it most certainly will get you to rethink perfume entirely.

Copper, the latest offering from the Japanese fashion house, is no less surprising than the rest of the range. Inspired by bronzed bodies covered in sunscreen, Copper is a fascinating fragrance that blends fresh, green notes with a woody, nutty warmth. It’s evocative of fields of grass but also warm skin soaked in the coconutty notes of SPF and the salty-mineral goodness of the sun. It’s so unusual, so enjoyable, and so Comme des Garcons.

 

#4 Something Unexpected…

Serge Lutens L'Eau Froide Eau de Parfum Spray

Serge Lutens L’Eau Froide Eau de Parfum Spray

You may expect a fragrance called “Cold Water” to smell oceanic and mineral, with strong, ozonic-aquatic notes, but when that fragrance comes from Serge Lutens, it’s best to expect the unexpected. For Serge, L’Eau Froide (Cold Water) is a chilly, solitary fragrance based on the coolness of mint, the refreshing herbaceous quality of rosemary and the icy, silvery facets of frankincense. Together, these materials form the image of an icy forest – of bare trees, all stoic and grey. It’s a silent fragrance. A contemplative, aloof fragrance and the most unexpected thing about it is the fact that it’s strikingly beautiful.

 

#5 Something Trendy…

Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Santal Blanc Eau de Parfum Spray
Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Santal Blanc Eau de Parfum Spray

If you were to ask me what is the most on-trend material at the moment, I would say sandalwood; given a renaissance by Le Labo (if you don’t smell their iconic Santal 33 when walking around any major city you’re simply not paying attention). Sandalwood is having a moment, with many brands reinterpreting the note to show its fresher, more diffusive aspects. Van Cleef & Arpels’ Santal Blanc opts to celebrate the softness of sandalwood, boasting a cosy, tactile texture that is perfect for the winter months. The creamy, lactonic feel of sandalwood is amplified by fig milk and warmed by delicious tonka bean. If they want the trendiest thing but also something not everyone is wearing, then this is the coolest fragrance gift you’ll find.

 

#6 Something Eye-Catching…

The Merchant Of Venice Blue Tea Eau de Parfum Spray
The Merchant Of Venice Blue Tea Eau de Parfum Spray

Niche fragrances don’t just apply their meticulous eye for detail to the juice; they also ensure they are “bottle beautiful” too. Blue Tea by The Merchant of Venice is a gorgeous niche fragrance in an even more magnificent bottle, painted with a watercolour ship on a voyage in an inky shade of blue; the white bottle perfectly evokes the porcelain freshness of the fragrance. Dewy blue tea leaves elevate sparkling neroli, handsome vetiver and airy musks — it’s the perfect package to satisfy both the eye and the nose.

 

#7 Something Classic…


Houbigant Fougère Royale Eau de Parfum Spray

You really cannot beat a classic; they are, after all, a fail-safe option! None are more timeless than Fougere Royale by Houbigant which, you may not know, was the very first, ever fougere! Birthing this iconic masculine genre, Fougere Royale forged the structure of the fougere signature, blending bergamot, lavender, geranium and coumarin to create something so effortlessly handsome. Millions of men across the generations have worn it. It may be a classic, and it may be over 100 years old, but it’s as relevant today as it was when it first launched.

Want to learn more about fougere fragrances? Read this.

Discover More:

10 of the best niche fragrances of all time

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