Mirabella the Cat Announces New Niche Brand
“Feline fashion icon Mirabella, Moggy Extraordinaire, announced the launch of her niche perfumery brand today. It features 9 utterly unique scents, each featuring a blissful odor, such as Everglades catnip or Miami fishtail, that Mirabella encountered in her extensive travels through the exotic alleyways of Boca Loca, Florida. Mirabella worked with famous nose Guy Beaucoupdesnarines to bring these precious odors to life. The divine scents will retail for $495 for 30ml and will be available exclusively at Mousey’s department stores.”
I had you there for a minute, didn’t I?? Well, maybe for a second or two. But doesn’t it seem like everyone and their cats are coming out with a niche brand lately? What’s up with that? Do they actually make money? Do they fold after a month or two? Nerd girls want to know….
If you’re like me, you haven’t even started to make a dent in the PLETHORA (good word there) of niche perfumes that came out in 2011. Heck, I’m not even a third of the way through 2009. And now I’m barely a week away from 2012 launches. I’m overwhelmed and suffering perfumista migraine.
So what I want to know is, what impels you to go out of your way to sample one of these new niche brands? What is it that hooks you? Is it the purple PR prose? A personal recommendation? The list of notes? The life story of the personality behind the brand? The nose who created them? I tried to fish out of my tired brain what rules I follow when I’m choosing which tiny slice of the Perfume Pie to sample, and here’s what I’ve got.
1. A certain level of humility attracts me. I’m an ordinary gal, and I don’t really like hearing about these Amazing Women and Their Amazing Travels and Amazing Romances that inspired their Amazing Perfumes. Gimme a break! I call this sort of PR nonsense the Gilderoy Lockhart Effect, and I avoid these brands whenever possible. One of my favorite niche brands has no purple prose, and the nose herself is inspired by locales she really lives near and visits regularly. Like her city’s rose garden. I like that. It seems real.
2. Personal recommendations from other perfumistas. There are many blogs out there, and some are for PR, and some are truly independent. I correspond with other perfumistas, so if I hear good things about a line or a perfume from a perfumista friend, and see the same types of comments on independent blogs, I’m more likely to go out of my way to try something new.
3. Cost. I don’t know about you, but I’m blown away by the inflation happening in the perfume world right now. Most of it is just status inflation, meaning, some ambitious MBA said if you price your perfume astronomically, people will buy it to show off how One Percenter they are. I don’t need that. I’m an Ordinary, 99-percenter Nerd Girl. If the cost seems out of line with the ingredients, I’m not interested.
4. City exclusives and other hard-to-get gimmicks really put me off. I just can’t be bothered. I want a good website, good availability, and friendly service. Paypal is nice, too.
5. A small number of perfumes for the launch signal higher quality to me. When a brand launches with 12 perfumes, I’m skeptical. And I rarely hear good things about them. To my mind, a massive launch collection means a lot of “meh” and “same old” and “a sketch, not a perfume”. A careful, thoughtful launch of 1-5 perfumes signals more attention to detail, and time to create something worthy.
So that’s what I’ve got so far. What rules do you have for sampling the PLETHORA?