If you love to smell really, really good-like, strangers-chasing-you-down-the-street-to-ask-what-you-are-wearing-you’ve come to the right place. Especially if you want that status of olfactory charm without sharing it with the rest of the perfume-wearing masses. Don’t get us wrong. We love the well-known, mostly worn signature scents from designers like Dior, Gucciand Tom Fordand we stand by our declaration that every perfume wearer should own at least one bottle of Chanel in their lifetime (pick your poison here), but there’s just nothing smarter than finding the ultimate niche perfume that doesn’t come from a super famous designer brand. If you’re really looking for a unique, signature fragrance, you’re far better off trawling the niche perfume market to find your fragrance soulmate.
Unlike more mainstream perfumes, niche fragrances are produced on a much smaller scale, are not available in the popular retailers you might see at the mall, and are not household names. (Although a few on our list may well get there.) Instead, you’ll typically find the best niche perfumes at a fancy fragrance store, a perfume specialist, or solely through their own websites. That said, some may offer limited selections at super-exclusive retailers like Saks, Neiman Marcus or Bergdorfs. These types of scents are rare, *usually* expensive, and sometimes even a little bizarre in their inspiration. For example, one brand on our list, Serge Lutens, offers a fragrance inspired by the smell of teeth called Dent de Lait. Yes indeed.
If you’re like us and in the mood to find a new signature scent to debut as the world starts to open up again, you’re in luck. Below, we’re sharing 10 of the best niche scents (in our opinion, at least) in addition to a selection of runners-up you might be into too. Keep rolling! Your next new perfume obsession is waiting to be discovered just below.