With an abundance of happenings in the ever-expanding world of niche, we look at: ‘affordable niche’ …the next big thing? Eco-options becoming available, including natural and sustainable fragrances, refillable packaging and ethically sourced ingredients. In packaging, raw materials’ origins, new molecules, oil houses and perfumers now regularly get a mention – unheard of just a few years ago.

A highlight of the year for niche fragrance in Australia is MECCA Cosmetica Perfumeria. International brand representatives are in attendance with press invited to experience the latest scents and in addition discover a few exciting new brands showcased.

Frederic Malle launched Music For A While featuring lavender, lit with pineapple on a base of amber, patchouli and musks. Perfumer Carlos Benaïm arranged these everyday sounding ingredients in his elegant, classic and yet modern style, referencing Henry Purcell’s musical composition of the same name.

Diptyque celebrated its 50th anniversary, with two nostalgic fragrances celebrating raw materials of 1968. Tempo, composed of three varieties of patchouli, ethically sourced from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Patchouli represents rebellion, spirituality and freedom. Elegant, woody and earthy with violet leaf elevations. Fleur De Peau celebrates musk blended with iris, ambrette and pink peppercorn, a soft unisex skin scent. L’Eau de Neroli, a floral citrus blend of bergamot, neroli, orange blossom, patchouli and white musk was also launched, with perfumer Olivier Pescheux taking us on an olfactory journey in the south of Italy.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian launched Aqua Celestia Forte & the Candle Collection. The 5 candles are based on the houses Francis Kurkdjian has lived in, including his French West-coast beach house and current Parisian apartment and are presented in thick white porcelain from Limoges with coloured interiors.

100 Bon, new to Australia and founded by ex-Hermes fragrance developers, who have created an all natural, affordable ‘eco perfume brand.’ The concept means you buy the bottle once and then refill it at the perfume “bar.” Affordability is also a focal point with the price astonishingly low compared to other niche on the market. The brand fuses interesting ingredients such as ginger and vetiver, elemi and ambre and davana and vanilla. Prices are as low as $73 for 50ml!

Belgian designer Maison Margiela’s REPLICA collection focuses on reproducing familiar scents and moments in various locales and times such as Flower Market Paris 2011, By the Fireplace Chamonix, 1971, Lipstick On Chicago, 1952.

From NYC Nomenclature owners, Karl Bradl and Carlos Quintero launched Shi-Sõ a zesty fragrance based on Japanese shiso leaf by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. The fragrance is a modern, green eau de cologne also containing cardamon, spearmint, lemon verbena, blackcurrant, almond, anise and rhubarb. The featured molecule is Glycolierral® from Givaudan adding a sweet, sap-laden effect of crushed ivy leaf. The duo also led us through the full collection whose focal point is to highlight a unique star molecule in every fragrance.

Kavi Moltz, one half of D.S & Durga captivated with her knowledgeable presentation of the cool and edgy collection, which is sure to be a hit for Mecca. Not new to Australia, the brand has existed in some small fashion boutiques until now. With inspirations from places, songs and events including the Pixies song Debaser, Burning Barbershops, sandalwood Radio’s of Bombay and Bowmakers studios, it really is a brand to explore!

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