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What are Niche Perfumes?

Do you wonder about how a niche perfume has been created and how the olfactory notes have been modified into the fragrances you prefer? Behind the creation of niche perfumes there is a world which is often unknown and which is made of “noses” that are always looking for inspiration to transform emotions into fragrances. These are some of the characteristics of niche perfumes and there is a lot more: for example they are handmade and unique by nature.


The art of the Master Perfumers is to shape the substance, here the essences, and to give to each scented note an original touch thanks to their unique ability to transform a mix of elements into a perfume which may inebriate, fascinate and affect everyone.

There’s art and there’s also magic during the act of creation as the Master Perfumer combines a mixture of emotions and feelings into the bouquet. In each niche perfume you can feel the wisdom of its creator and the sensations he felt when he chose every ingredient and then there’s the magic of the final result: a rare and unique product.

Thanks to this magic and to my personal history, I’ve began to produce fragrances and to love their compositions. My passion for artistic perfumery has increased over the years. My recollection of the long afternoons passed in my father’s perfume shop, which was established in Rome in 1948, is still lively. That’s the place where I have learned everything I know about niche perfumes and niche perfumery.


If I wish to speak about niche fragrances I have to quote Silvio Levi, soul of Calé Fragranze d’Autore, one of the first promoter and supporter of the creative art of the Master Perfumers. Niche perfumes are characterized by three keywords, which the artists, the developers of the fragrances, never forget during their creative process: continuity, coherence and uniqueness. These three characteristics are far away from other consumer perspectives.

  • We talk about continuity because a niche perfume is always contemporary and never goes out of style. Niche perfumes are fragrances made to last and to be appreciated forever as a work of art. There is not a specific time to define them or to make them out of fashion. This is what happens with perfumes which decorate a very special canvas: the skin of the persons who have chosen them. For this reason their pleasantness never runs out with the current trend but goes beyond it thanks to their continuity.
  • We talk about coherence when the entire productive and sales process respects the peculiarity of niche perfumery: from the style and the philosophy of the company to the distribution channels. When we get into a niche perfume atelier we enter a unique place where we can confront with the creativity which the Master Perfumers use to create their fragrances.

Artistic perfumeries reveal an unknown world, they are a discovery place. The “merchants of perfume” explore the olfactory world for us and propose the best handcrafted fragrances. Small and big creations are all treasures to caress with your nose and to wear on.

  • We talk about uniqueness when a fragrance has been created only to be appreciated and not to satisfy the market demands. Niche fragrances are very often exclusive creations for those who refuse standardization and wish to wear something unique that can reveal new sides of the personality to identify oneself. Niche perfumes are self-portraits and the scented notes are the brush strokes that the Master Perfumer uses to penetrate into the essence of a personality.

These are the basic principles which guide the niche perfumery and all that comes with the technique of the creation of fragrances based on the exclusive use of high level raw materials. For this reason the search of the raw materials is a real voyage for everyone realizing them and a cultural exchange between the searchers and the Master Perfumer who will then work to create the fragrance.

As the ancient heroes the Master Perfumer who creates niche perfumes is ready to go to the end of the world in order to find the correct materials for new scented notes. There are no shortcuts for someone who wishes to give an immortal soul to a perfume.


Let’s put aside the market mindset and think about products that haven’t been created to be appreciated by everyone but to be the extension of someone’s personality and we’ll understand how the world of perfumes can be fascinating. From the choice of the raw materials to their conservation, the Master Perfumers have handed down this art from one generation to another since the golden age of niche perfumes in the 20’s.

In that period perfumes had a precise role, they had to signify independence and contribute to the awareness of the individual. In fact a simple trail of perfume is enough to recognize the person that is wearing it. The first niche perfumes were created for the great movie stars and for an upper-middle-class that wanted to increase its status.

Perfume makers, as Coty or Guerlain, have soon understood the importance of niche perfumery and also haute couture ateliers began to work with great Master Perfumers as Ernest Beaux (Chanel n. 5), Henri Alemeras (Joy by Jean Patou) and Edmond Roudniska (Eau Savage by Dior).


Nowadays this noble art has become a specialization, a philosophy of mind which has been chosen by high specialized companies. And even if the market trends have changed, the world always needs high quality. In these cases niche perfumes are really a trademark, a value of brand awareness for anyone who has decided to maintain that craftsmanship and that uniqueness.

Joy Jean Patou by Henri Almeras
Eau Sauvage by Edmond Roudnitska for Dior

The creation of a niche perfume is a meticulous work, when the material has to be shaped in order to realize a unique product. As in the best artisanal tradition, the Master Perfumer continues in his work because his creation yearns for his idea and his interpretation.

This bouquet of values, like the bouquets which compose the scented notes of the niche perfumes, is disconnected from the marketing trends, those trends which have changed the perfume industry starting from the 80’s.


We all know that perfumes tell us stories, because their evocative power recalls old memories and past emotions. The substantial difference between niche perfumes and industrial perfumes is in the story you wish to tell. Niche perfumes are by nature as unique as the people who wear them.

They have been created with selective raw materials and therefore their trail is long lasting and full of nuances for a long time. That’s because when we wear our perfume the scented notes create their natural allure. The definition of “niche” by itself helps us to understand the substantial difference among perfumes.

In former times a perfume was always unique because it was created on commission. Nowadays we talk about niche perfumes to distinguish them from all the other perfumes on the market, which are produced after a long industrial and marketing process.

Commercial perfumes are created to be appreciated by the majority of the customers. They suggest values to believe in, they contain perfumed notes which are created in a laboratory and they use product endorsement by VIPs to increase sales.


Niche perfumes on the other hand are created to valorize very selective raw materials which combine unique and sometimes daring olfactory nuances. Niche fragrances are richer and full of personality.

Each time we wear a niche perfume we tell a story: there’s the very beginning when the perfume touches our skin, then the scented notes one by one which mingle to evaporate and to give a different result every time.

In the field of the niche perfumery the marketing process doesn’t aim at visibility but at the word of mouth among those who love this kind of product with its coherence, uniqueness and continuity. Once you have found the right perfume you will never change it. Niche perfumes are silent lovers which are looking for an eternal love and an enveloping never ending embrace.


This is the philosophy beyond my company Officina delle Essenze. A personal and professional path made of passion and desire to hand down my family’s history, the expression of the Made in Italy which set our country unrivalled in the world.


About Maurizio Lembo

Maurizio Lembo is the founder of Officina delle Essenze. He has breathed perfumes since he was a child because he used to spend long afternoons in his father’s artisanal perfume atelier in the heart of Rome. That’s the background where Maurizio Lembo’s experience in the artisanal and niche perfumery was born. In 2001 his passion was transformed into Officina delle Essenze. Maurizio Lembo breathes in first-hand the essential oils and chooses the raw materials. That’s the way the creations of the brand are born, a project which is passion, discovery and respect of the tradition in the same way.

2 thoughts on “What are Niche Perfumes?

  1. Avatar for Jose M. Fernandez Jose M. Fernandez says:

    Excellent job, thanks! I’m a huge fan of niche perfumes 😊

  2. Avatar for Chanil Abeysinghe Chanil Abeysinghe says:

    Very useful information. Thanks a lot!

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