The right fragrance can elevate your mood, boost your confidence, and draw others in. Unfortunately, most stores make finding that fragrance a confusing, high-pressure situation. And with only a limited selection of the usual uninspired brands, you can easily suffer from “same scent, different bottle” fatigue. It’s no wonder so many people steer clear of fragrance counters!
Niche, A Whole New Experience
Experiencing fragrance is deeply personal, and boring department store scents just don't offer the intense sensory connection you can get from a more uncommon fragrance. That's where niche fragrances come in. If you've heard the term, but don't quite know what it means, niche fragrances are made by artisinal fragrance studios that focus on using high quality ingredients and an attention to detail. Because they don't have to appeal to a mass audience, the perfumers have more creative freedom to come up with unique, surprising blends. Production is on a smaller scale, and these scents are often only sold in boutiques. Basically, if you don't want to smell like everybody else, niche fragrances are the way to go.
We've poured our hearts (and noses!) into creating one of the country's finest collection of niche, hard-to find fragrances from independent and innovative brands. You’ll discover evocative fragrances that truly speak to you, revealing the emotive power of scent. Explore our collection here.
If you're new to the world of niche fragrance, trying sample sizes is a fantastic way to discover your new favorite scents. You can experience any number of fragrances, at a fraction of the cost of a full bottle, before you buy. This is the perfect way to explore how a scent makes you feel, its staying power, and how it evolves on your skin before making an investment. Fragrance should be fun, and what’s more fun than trying a little of everything you like? (Smallflower offers convenient sample sizes for all our niche fragrances.)
Eau de What? With so many terms, it can be tricky to navigate the world of fragrance. We've rounded up our customer's most common questions and created a guide to help you on your path towards becoming a niche fragrance aficionado! Read on to learn everything you need to know to get started.
The lightest type of fragrance, with 1-3% perfume essence in a base of alcohol and water.
Eau de Cologne
Typically fresh, light & fruity, composed of 2-5% perfume essence in alcohol and water. The oldest term for fragrance, also used in North America to refer to scents for men.
Eau de Toilette
Popular and affordable, made with 5-15% perfume essence in an alcohol base.
Eau de Parfum
Favored by many niche brands for its longevity, composed of 15-20% perfume essence in alcohol.
Extrait de Parfum
Longer-lasting than any other type of fragrance, with 20-40% perfume essence in an alcohol base.
Other Helpful Terms
Top NotesThe first thing you smell when you spray a fragrance; these are the lightest notes that evaporate first. Sometimes referred to as “head notes”.
Middle NotesAlso called “heart notes”, these compounds make up the body of a fragrance and are usually used to determine the fragrance family.
Base NotesThe longest-lasting component of a fragrance, these notes bring richness and depth while boosting the strength of lighter top and middle notes.
SillageThe trail of scent left behind by a perfume; perfumes with very strong sillage can fill a room, those with little sillage stay close to the skin.
LongevityHow long a fragrance lasts on your skin; affected by the concentration of perfume essence, as well as other factors like where you apply and what fragrance family the scent belongs to.
Fragrance FamilyA classification system that puts individual perfumes into different olfactory groups based on their dominant notes. The four main families are Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh, which can then be further divided into sub-groups.
Scent Guide[GDC_row] [GDC_column size="quarter"] [/GDC_column] [GDC_column size="quarter"] [/GDC_column] [GDC_column size="quarter"] [/GDC_column] [GDC_column size="quarter"] [/GDC_column] [/GDC_row] [GDC_row] [GDC_column size="quarter"]
Comforting and warm, amber provides a beautiful base for many fragrances; it is sweet, resinous, and woody. [/GDC_column] [GDC_column size="quarter"]
Popular due to their rich history and classic appeal, citrus scents are often refreshingly tart or deliciously sweet. [/GDC_column] [GDC_column size="quarter"]