Emerging Trends: Men & Niche Perfumes
A few nights ago, I sat down at Min New York with others who had a mutual interest in the niche perfume market: among us were bloggers, a niche perfume retailer and curator, a YouTube video blogger and a founder of a Facebook group. This could have been any diverse group but for their unique perspective.
All were men. All had an interest to varying degrees in the niche perfumery market — the area of the market defined by small manufacturers of fragrance, sold by selected retailers, with a very defined appeal to specific tastes. At least a couple of us were married or in serious relationships, no one resembled androgynous metrosexuality. And all of us had one thing in common:
We didn’t seem like the target demographic for perfume enthusiasts, a market typically dominated by women. That trend seems to be changing. I’ll take a moment to introduce us:
- Carlos Powell – Facebook group: Peace Love and Perfume
- Harry Sheff – Blog: Cocktails and Cologne
- Cody Sulaimana – YouTube Video Blogger: Dracdoc
- Chad Murawczyk – Founder of Min New York
…and someone who authors a Niche Perfume Blog entitled “Scentrist“.
It was a chance for us to share our experiences with fragrances, how we became interested in perfumes, and why our interests might seem different to others. Within our conversation — which was recorded for a future article to be published for the London Sunday Times — there were some common points of agreement worth sharing.
- We collect a lot of fragrances. One has a collection of over 200 separate bottles, not including samples or decants (this wasn’t me, honest).
- Our interest isn’t “gender defined”. We largely agreed that there are perfumes that were unisex in nature, or some scents associated with women could just as easily be worn by men (and vice-versa).
- Our interest in perfumes isn’t always shared by our significant others. Many of our wives and significant partners didn’t share the same tastes, though a couple of us found that our mates supported our enthusiasm.
- The niche perfume market offered far more than the mass-market or designer markets, though not all of us agreed that was to the exclusion of one or another.
- Men as perfume writers and bloggers are a very small minority. In fact, it’s difficult to find more than the few of us gathered who actively write about perfumes. More of a minority were those who wrote largely about niche fragrance.
The men’s fragrance blogging world is perhaps the niche to the niche in many respects, since most fragrance blogs cater to a female focus. Guys? We’re the minority, though we feel we serve an important purpose in opening up the exploration of scent to an emerging market. Men are exploring it increasingly as the trend toward men’s personal grooming grows overall.
It’s also a market with the potential to grow since many men aren’t satisfied with the defined limits of the major retail chains, designer fragrances, and the general mass-market fragrance industry.
One other area we all had in common? Our interest wasn’t to impress others, but one we liked as a finishing touch to our own wardrobe, and considered as an essential part to feeling “complete”. Scent to us was as important as the choice of jacket, tie, or shoes in feeling dressed for the occasion.
For the other observations? I won’t post a spoiler here as I’m sure the article will explore those in much greater depth. For those of us who already know the details, the piece might seem a beginners’ rehash about guys who are perfume fanatics. For others, it should prove enlightening. And anything that opens the hearts and minds of others can’t be terrible.
Once the article is published, I’ll be certain to post a link so you can read the piece for yourself.