3 Mainstream Perfumes That Smell Like Niche

Dear Scent Diary,

As a fairly frugal fumehead, I get a lot of joy out of finding ‘mass’ scents that smell as if artisanal care, talent and ingredients went into them. Here are my top three:

Narciso Rodruigez For Her

Jean Paul Gautier Fleur de Male

Adam Levine For Her

This last one is my latest discovery and the one that prompted this post. I am essentially mortified to buy anything with Adam Levine’s name on it since I detest his music. But I’ll have to get over it because I love this perfume. If it weren’t his I’d feel much less sheepish and embarrassed, I’m sure.

The fragrance is a slightly sheer, spicy sandalwood that’s warm, absolutely lovely and miles away from the fruitchouli’s and ‘clean’ scents that dominate the mainstream. It’s fairly linear but its sillage is beautiful. The cap on the bottle looks like a microphone just to make me cringe a little more. Perhaps I’ll decant it and throw away all the packaging.

Are there any niche-like mainstream scents I haven’t listed that I should try? Let me know, please.


6 responses to “3 Mainstream Perfumes That Smell Like Niche

  1. I’m not a huge fan of mainstream perfumes but let me try to play your game. So, here’s the list of mainstream perfumes that, in my opinion, could have been released by a niche brand:

    – Prada Infusion d’Iris
    – Bottega Veneta Parfum
    – Prada Candy
    – Thierry Mugler A MEN Pure Havane
    – Many Hermes perfumes from the regular line (e.g. Kelly Calèche, Terre d’Hermès, Un Jardin sur le Nil)
    – Most of Tom Ford’s perfumes from the Signature line (e.g. Black Orchid, Violet Blonde)
    – Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris

  2. Gianfranco Ferre de Ferre- created by Pierre Bourdon, has a mainstream/High Street price tag and smells SO like Malle’s (Bourdon’s) Iris Poudre.

  3. Das

    Hi Lorraine,
    I must confess … I’ve been looking for a tester of the Adam Levine perfume at Macy’s because it didn’t sound like the typical fruity floral celebuscent. Unfortunately, the Seattle stores don’t have a tester. The SA’s helpfully tell me it’s available only online and they have no samples. They also said “it’s geared toward ages 40-49” – that also seems less than usual these days. Thank you for your description and confirming it’s not boring/clean. I’ll keep checking our store to see if they ever get a tester!

    Also, I completely agree with you on the Narciso Rodriguez (haven’t tried the Gautier yet) and agree with Undina’s list too. I’m sure I’ll think of others only after I post my comment. 🙂

    • Hi Das!
      That’s strange that they don’t have a tester. Maybe they have low expectations since it’s geared toward 40 – 49 yr. olds! I just checked the Macy’s website and it’s getting a lot of love in the customer reviews (some of which sound south of 40). Hope you get a chance to sniff it because it is gorgeous. If you think of any others I should try, let me know!

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