We would like to introduce You to the philosophy of Niche perfumes through an interview with Maja Milojević, Retail Director of the first and one of the most beautiful sales concepts of this type in the country METROPOLITEN ART PERFUMERY.
METROPOLITEN opens its doors for us to explore the fragrant novelties of this spring, and to introduce You to the wider picture of the magic of perfume.
How can we define Niche perfumes?
Creative freedom. Boldness. Unusual. Provocative. Small batches. An experiment. Stepping
away from current trends. Selective. Attitude. In short – perfumes that have personality.
– Which notes are the global trend this spring?
Niche perfumes are not guided by trends, but their creators, e.g. “noses”, which is the name for
perfumers in the perfume world, often return to well-known ingredients, offering a new, their
own interpretation: rose, vanilla, bergamot, incense, tuberose, vetiver, etc. There is only a
certain number of scent notes, but the possibilities of combining them are unlimited and through
this process perfumers exhibit their skills, convey their ideas, tell a story, evoke memories, etc. A
search for a suitable niche perfume for each of us is rather a search for a scent that will depict
our character, give us a personal signature, and there is no place for trends.
– What is most often the basis of top perfumes?
The olfactory pyramid is similar for most perfumes in a way that the notes that last the longest or
bind other ingredients well, are the ones that form the base of the perfumes, they are so-called
lower notes, followed by middle and upper notes, for which there aren’t too many rules. A
perfume can have only one ingredient and a complete absence of the classical olfactory pyramid.
For example, the brand Escentric Molecules became famous for such perfumes, the so-called
Molecules. They contain only one ingredient in high concentration (these ingredients are usually
used as base notes in perfumes) and smell different on each skin.
-How do You see the expansion of Arabic oud fragrances on the territory of Europe and beyond? How to explain the popularity of those specific notes?
Oud is still more popular outside Europe. However, since this trend has reached us as well,
European brands have offered their own versions of this ingredient. Oud has many faces:
slightly smoky, a little bit sweet, earthy, bitter, to very animalic. European brands generally offer
this smokier, woodier and, for most people, more wearable version of oud. Oud perfumes have a
very sensual and mysterious demeanour. At the same time, oud is one of the most expensive
ingredients, which gives these perfumes an additional note of luxury.
-Does the bottle tell us something about the fragrance itself?
I’d say that a perfume bottle and packaging tell us more about the brand itself and its concept
and philosophy, as well as the roots of or inspiration behind certain collections.
The brand Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle releases perfumes like books, in editions. All
perfume packages are red and black, identical, and the perfumes are created by different
authors, e.g. perfumers, while Frederic Malle is the editor and art director.
Le Labo perfumes are placed in the same unmarked bottles, without any labels. All bottles and
boxes are personalized only at the moment of purchase in front of the client, where the client can
choose his/her name or a short message with which they wish to personalize the bottle and give
it their own signature.
On the other hand, with their bottles’ appearance, brands Nasomatto and Orto Parisi sometimes
give us hints of what we could expect from the fragrances in them. The perfume Cuoium by Orto
Parisi is a leather-based fragrance, but it is also packed in a sleave made of imitation leather of
vegetable origin. Nasomatto perfume caps (made of different types of wood) also visually tell us
a story about the ingredients in a perfume or perfume’s character.
-Would you tell us the names of the current top 5 (or 10) world’s most popular Niche perfume brands?
Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Byredo, Diptyque, Kilian, Le Labo, Editions de Parfum Frederic
Malle and Ex Nihilo are amongst the most sought after and fastest growing niche brands, and we
are very proud to have brought them all together in one place – Metropoliten Perfumeries.
-What are the Metropolitan favorites?
Just like our portfolio, the taste of the Metropoliten team is quite diverse, but we always prefer to
highlight brands that are a real rarity in Europe, as well as more widely, partly due to a strong
artisanal approach and handwork, partly due to a very limited and selective distribution.
Fueguia 1833 – a perfume house from Argentina uses rare plants from Patagonia in their
perfumes, and is one of the pioneers in designing new technologies for soaking, filtering or
ripening of ingredients. Worldwide production is limited to 400 perfume bottles that are filled
and packed by hand, therefore each box and bottle is numbered from 1 to 400.
Perfumer H – unconventional and slightly bohemian perfumes, or as the brand likes to say
“a unique olfactory experience for the user with curious intellect”. Craftsmanship is the hallmark of
this brand, as the containers for large candles and perfumes are made of hand-blown and hand-
shaped glass that takes several days to be produced.
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