Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Future of Niche

They say the '40s trend is now, but I say it's the '30s, if the retelling of the Joy perfume story in this LA Times article today is an indication. In essence, the current perfume market is favorable to niche because perfumes are products that seem couture without having to spend too much. As the article quotes, "Niche fragrances have experienced double-digit growth this year, according to Grant of the NPD group". It's all thanks to the small, fanatical crowd who follows the scent trend, the perfumistas of the world. It looks to me this small fanatical crowd is about to become the new mainstream in no time at all. The fact that niche perfumes are more accessible to everyone is a great thing; thanks to the niche market, we now have diversity of perfume choices. But alongside perfume appreciation is a growing sense of perfume wearers feeling judged by their choices, conscious or not. So, what do we do about the growing trend towards refinement and aesthetics? Are we ready to confront the side effects of the fanatical obsession with purity of form?