Is there an indie or artisan perfumer you think deserves more attention?
Which of their perfumes do you suggest we try?
Do you have a preference for small perfume brands in general? If so, why?
Or have you yet to explore the world of indie perfumery?
On a recent perfume crawl around London I got to try several perfumes by Angela Flanders and 4160 Tuesdays. Small brands like these don’t get a lot of attention but I suspect there must be lots of them out there. I really loved 4160 Tuesdays’ Sunshine & Pancakes, but could have easily missed out on it. It made me think that we should pool our knowledge and hopefully make some new discoveries. A recommendation of a particular perfume would also be very helpful as a starting point.
So please share the love for your favourite indie and artisan perfumers and fragrances!
I am always amazed at how you keep coming up with questions on Mondays: this one is yet another interesting one. I could suggest Parfums Satori in Tokyo, whose signature scent is a more incensey, more Japanese take on Feminite du Bois…
We have Tara to thank for this particular MQ.
I guess we are both inquisitive minds. 😉
Thanks for sharing Satori, that sounds like a very good perfume.
But now – B out, over to Tara… 🙂
I’m so glad you came up with a brand localj to Tokyo. That’s just the kind of thing I was hoping to hear about.
I think a more incensey version of Feminite du Bois would be appealing to a lot of people.
I visited Parfum Satori in July 2015. I’ve written a short review at my blog at voyagedeparfum.com. I’d love to get some feedback from other perfumistas!!!
So bizarre to read this now. I have just been there today and done an interview with the perfumer. Expect a post on it soon. Good perfumes, good atmosphere.
I very much would like to support “small” brands, which produce exceptional quality but having a very little marketing budget (or non of it at all). But I don’t know yet, how I could learn about them…
I think a major reason why we don’t hear about them is exactly because they have limited funds for markeing.
Hopefully we will learn about quite a few small brands we haven’t heard of before in the comments today.
I enjoy discovering small brands and their products. 🙂
The one that seems to lost in all the perfume crowd is Burren perfumery – I don’t wear any of their perfumes (I just can’t buy another bottle of anything) but I like them a lot and I do use their cosmetic products (I’m very satisfied with those).
I wonder what will other people suggest – I am really looking forward to all ideas. 🙂
I wondered if Burren were based in Croatia but I see they are in the West of Ireland! There skin and body care products do look really nice.
Great way to start the week…
I have just discovered Byredo…not sure if it’s a big name but this is a Swedish brand and I love their products including the body care range. Birgit; how come you have not reviewed any of their stuff?
I must admit I have yet to try any Byredo fragrances, although I have wanted to for a long time. I think they are only available in Liberty in London but I never seem to come across them when I go. Must try harder as La Tulipe sounds particularly lovely.
I played with Byredo at Barney’s in Chicago last fall. I love the line, especially La Tulipe and Pulp! Very quality stuff, beautiful and unique work.
Thanks, Annina. Pulp does sound good too.
Nana, I have the same answer as Tara. I never seem to think about Byredo, but it is time to change that. La Tulipe and Pulp sound interesting, and so does Bal d’Afrique.
Yay!…can’t wait to read some reviews on the Byredo range. I am stalking the Bal d’Afrique and the Black Saffron one. There is only one shop that stocks this brand and the price is absolutely ridiculous. I could not even get a “mother’s day gift” out of my better half as it was way way too much!
Oh that’s too bad about the Mother’s Day gift, Nana. Hope you can find a more reasonable outlet.
Bal d’Afrique is phenomenal.
Nice to see 4160 Tuesdays being mentioned,I have read about them,and it sounds so interesting!!I’ve recently discovered a wonderful perfume called Corpi Caldi by Torre of Tuscany,which made me want to find out about their other line,Profumi del Forte,am waiting for a decant to arrive of Roma Imperiale,a perfume quite a few people rave about-I guess these are not that obscure,but there is another Italian brand,which is not well known called Cerchi nell’acqua,I have not tried anything yet,but so would love to!
Thanks for name-checking several fragrance brands based in Italy, ariane.
Italian perfumery is something I know very little about, I must admit.
Agreed with Lady Jane Grey….I am an avid supporter of small indie/artisanal perfume lines…outstanding quality and gorgeous affordable perfumes without the marketing and “hype”….there are quite a few that I love…1000 Flowers, Ineke and of course (you all knew this was coming :D!!!) Sonoma Scent Studio! I have never tried 4160 Tuesdays but have heard wonderful things about this company and the perfumer behind it from both you, Tara, and Liam…one of these days I hope to sample some of their offerings!
brie, it’s a shame that 4160 Tuesdays can’t post outside of the UK because of our new strict postal restrictions regarding perfume. I hope you do get to try something by the brand one of these days.
I have had bad luck with SSS and Ineke unfortunately. Bad chemistry (mine) is to blame I think. I’ve heard of 1000 Flowers but don’t know anything about them.
I have tried a number of the Soivohle scents recently and really enjoyed most of them. I have a ton more samples to go through and am looking forward to it. I also recently blind bought a couple of scents from Sweet Anthem (Seattle) because they sounded really interesting and the price is at a point where I don’t mind taking a risk (cool packaging as well). Finally, there is a locally made Dubai brand called Opeer that I really want to try sometime soon as well. Great question! I can’t wait to read everyone’s suggestions.
I’ve heard of Soivohle but not Sweet Anthem – great name. I think it is really helpful if small brands can afford to do an inexpensive sample set to encourage people to take the plunge.
I hope you have success with Opeer. It’s great to discover and support a local brand.
Would love to have a chance to sniff around your part of the world.
Two not much known brands that I’m familiar with are Laboratorio Olfattivo from Italy and also LM Parfums. I recently reviewed the latest release from LM Parfums beautifully called Vol d’Hirondelle and none of my readers heard of this brand before
I’ve heard so many good things about those Olfactive scents. Interesting concept too.
It’s great that you are introducing small brands like LM Parfums on your blog.
I like the powdery texture of the Oriza L.Legrand perfumes and what a co-incidence:I review my favorite from the line Oiellet Louis XV on my blog today:-) http://parfumistansblogg.blogspot.se/2013/05/orizia-llegrand-oeillet-louis-xv.html
Also like Abdes Salaam Attars/La Via Profumo:s natural perfums and the creative LesNez fragrances and…:-)
Great timing then Parfumista!
This is obviously a topic you know a lot about.
Great topic Tara, thank you! My latest “find” is Imaginary Authors. It’s the most original concept I’ve come across in ages: each perfume is based on a book written by an imaginary author, complete with the author’s bio and the book summary, and how the perfume’s facets follow the storyline. I have sampled The Soft Lawn and Memoirs of a Trespasser and love both, esp Memoirs, which I’m planning as a fall scent; it smells of campfire smoke and dark golden vanilla. Anyway, do check out the website and read more about the authors and perfumes, and admire the quirky artwork. I’m smitten and look forward to sampling others in the line. Thanks for letting me ramble!
Hey ringthing! I’m glad this MQ is giving people the platform to share the indie brands they’re passionate about. Imaginary Authors has such an original concept and quirky, attractive packaging, which is an added incentive. They have great names for their fragrances too and how great is it that The Soft Lawn features notes of Linden blossom and tennis balls?!
Oh, and a couple others: Olympic Orchids, which has orchid based scents, scents based on locations, and some speciality perfume. Ballet Rouges is my favorite so far, a full blown rose. Prices are very reasonable and she has a great sample program. And Providence Perfume Company; I haven’t tried their perfume line yet but the artisan soaps are gorgeous.
Olympic Orchids and Providence Perfumes both seem like exceptional indie brands with strong identities, from what I’ve read.
Good quality artisan soaps can be a real joy.
And Providence is all natural…which I love!
Good to hear!
I love Florascent. The shop where I used to work offered their amazing creations, but they’re now only available outside the US due to postal restrictions. They are German perfumes created in an “old-world” tradition, using only natural ingredients and fixatives. The bottles are plain, but housed in handmade, cylindrical paper boxes that are gorgeous! I have yet to find another natural line that compares even a little to Florascent’s quality and longevity.
Thanks for telling us about Florascent.
There’s something very appealing about that old-world traditional style of perfumery.
I like the quality and feel of Maria Candida Gentile scents a lot, especially her rose scent Cinabre. Her brand seems to be a bit under the radar.
I certainly hadn’t heard of it, so thanks for sharing Maria Candida Gentile with us. It’s helpful to get a perfume recommendation too.
So far I’ve just tried Sideris from this line (a labdanum, rose, incense fragrance, I believe), and it is outstanding! Really unusual and so beautiful! Many of my perfumista friends agree. It is not all natural, but has a high proportion of naturals and you can really tell the difference. I’m so excited to try more from this line!
Thanks for seconding this line, Nina.
Someone onTwitter was suggesting Harry Lehmann perfumes from Berlin.
Hové Perfumer in New Orleans sounds like an artisanal brand that I’d very much like to try.
I love to read about those small brands from all over the world, thank you for the great question, Tara!
That’s two new ones on me, so thanks B!
I’m not sure that I’d qualify these as “little known” indie brands, since many people are now doing reviews of them, but I would say EnVoyage Perfumes (Vents Ardents is a favorite), La Via del Profumo (many faves), Slumberhouse (I’ve on tried Baque and the discontinued Rume, but am quite impressed) and April Aromatics (many favorite scents … I own a bottle of Jasmina and can’t wait to purchase her Rose L’Orange sometime this year).
Ah, typos! Under Slumberhouse, I meant to say that I’ve “only” tried Baque and Rume. 🙂
No probs Suzanne!
April Aromatics is another one of those indie brands I’ve heard good things about on the grapevine and would love to know more.
Another mention of La Via del Profumo, I see. EnVoyage and Slumberhouse are both names I recognise but that’s as far as it goes so I’m pleased you brought them up, Suzanne.
Slumberhouse is great! I own a few drops of their gorgeous cocoa scent, “Ore”.
Thanks, Safran – I’m thinking of ordering some samples, so I’ll definitely check out Ore.
I received a sample of Pear + Olive, not expecting to like it and it’s lovely. Now I want a decant.
Ooh, that good? I’m adding that one too – thank you, ringthing.
It’s funny: when Christos of Memory of Scent reviewed the Slumberhouse scents awhile back, I said I wouldn’t be ordering them due, to not wanting to add more to my overwhelming samples pile. And now that a friend sent me two samples, and you and Safran mention how good the ones you sampled are, I suddenly want to smell them all! 😀
I’ll vote for Hove’ Parfumeur in New Orleans. Their “Rue Royale” is my favorite chypre’ of all time. And also for Olympic Orchids in the US Pacific Northwest. “Ballets Rouges” is one of my top 3 roses (the others are Perles de Lalique and Amouage Lyric), and it’s also a classic chypre’. Great question, I’m enjoying the answers!
OK, if B also likes Hové Parfumeur and their Rue Royale is your favourite chypre of all time they go straight to the top of my list. How could I not have heard of them before?
You’re also the second person today to be a fan of Ballets Rouges so it must be good. I do love a well done, sophisticated rose.
Another small brand, that I like, is Oliver & Co., a spanish company. I am a proud owner of their quite unusual tuberose scent, “Dunard”. Also, D.S & Durga is a brand, that is not often heard of, at least not here in Europe. I love their “Bowmakers”, a woody scent, that reminds me of great male scents of the 80s and “Silent Grove”, one of the most beautiful linden blossom scents, I know of.
Thanks for the further suggestions, Safran!
It’s nice to hear of a Spanish brand. Carner Barcelona is also on my To Try list.
Tara! this post is killing me…the list of everything I NOW want to try just keeps getting longer and longer :D!!!
Ha ha brie! I totally agree. I wanted to hear about some great new-to-me small perfume houses but from the affect it will have on my wallet it’s back-firing rather 🙂
I tend to gravitate toward indie perfume lines, because often I can get scents that are just as good or better than niche scents, at a much less price. Some of my favorite indies (Tauer, for one) are pretty big-time these days. But here are some that I love that are not as well known:
-Sweet Anthem – actually I know the perfumer for this line – she was one of the reasons I got into fragrance in the first place!
-Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
More love for Hove and Sweet Anthem! I’m starting to also think that indie could turn out better for me than niche – which I haven’t had a lot of success with and the prices are getting ridiculous.
DSH perfumes have a lot of fans and for good reason.
Not necessarily a little known perfume brand at all, but I just wanted to share:
The EDP’s from the Le Labo guys at Anthropologie are amazing. I had read that their Belle du Soir was the copy of the fabled and discontinued Deneuve, but never smelled it their version in person. Then, yesterday on a lark, I was browsing in the store and came across almost the entire line at 75% off.
Belle du soir is indeed very, very, very good 🙂 What a happy day, no?
A happy day indeed! I hope you indulged!
I did 🙂
This is the stuff perfumista dreams are made of!
L’Eau de Cassis and Parfums Gaglewski are two that I discovered in travels and don’t encounter much in online chats. Didier Gaglewski runs his own shop in Grasse. It’s great to chat with him while sampling. The Cassis branch of l’Eau de Cassis is a warm, friendly space. The shop in Grasse is pleasant, too, but not quite the full experience,
Thanks for mentioning a couple of perfumers with shops in Grasse. I hope to go there one far off day.
A perfume I discovered a few months ago and I like more and more is Geste by Humiecki and Graef. I’d like so much to read your thoughts and feelings about this perfume and the others of the line, which are not easy to wear but very interesting.
Happy sunny day dear Birgit.
Great choice, Humiecki and Graef is a fantastic niche line
Humiecki and Graef is another name I know of, rather than about. It’s good to know of a perfume in the line that you really like as a pointer.
I’m sure Birgit will add this to her never-ending list of things to try!
Hi Tara, if you have the chance, try, please, this Geste, very light and fresh but sensual and ambery, violet, musk, very graceful………
Noted! It sounds wonderful.
I’m totally in love with the artisanal and independent side of perfumery at the minute.
Flor Azteca by Juan Perez of The Exotic Island Perfumer is probably the best tuberose I’ve ever tried – all out tropical and in your face with a big dose of chocolate on top – mmmm!
Shelley Waddington of Envoyage Perfumes is also a new love. Durango is a brilliant scorched earth and salty fragrance unlike any other. Chang Chang is an outstanding, almost futuristic/surreal floral. Her new fragrance Zelda looks exceptional – can’t wait to explore her line more.
Thanks for your input Freddie! It’s great to hear from someone so passionate about indie and artisanl perfume lines.
Envoyage has had a few mentions today but The Exotic island Perfumer is a new one. That tuberose would suit The Candy Perfume Boy down to the ground, I think.
Seconding SOIVOHLE (Liz Zorn’s line) and DSH!
Thanks, Elisa! When more than one person champions a brand it does make me take more notice, I must admit.
I was plaesantly surprised by Frau Tonis parfums’high quality(http://www.frau-tonis-parfum.com/), especially as it is located next to check point Charlie in Berlin, i.e a very touristic place. The range of scents is huge and of best taste, for a very good price. As I am a forties fan and I love violet scent, I could of course not resist the allegedly marleen Dietrich preferate parfum: Veilchen. Linden Berlin ( “Fresh green foliage paired with the unctuous sweetness of linden blossoms and subtle honey notes”) sounded also very interesting. But as said, there is there something for every taste, and they deliver abroad. The only drawback is that I found Veilchen of very short longevity: this might be due to my skin, as I have often that problem with parfums, and I have to try more of that trademark before judging, but I wonder if any of you had the same experience with Frau Tonis’?
Thanks for the tip, Isabelle. i’m still looking for the perfect violet scent and one inspired by Dietrich sounds good to me.
I hope you find out if Frau Tonis is generally short-lived on people or if it’s a skin chemistry thing.
I definitely have a soft spot for the little guys, and sampled from many of the ones already listed: Sonoma Scent Studio, Olympic Orchids, Imaginary Authors, 1000 Flowers (very satisfying to smell great and feel patriotic at the same time), Angela Flanders, Slumberhouse, Soivohle and INeke. Andy Tauer fits in here too, if we’re talking indie/artisanal, and it’s lovely to see him hit the big-time.
I’d add to that list Smell Bent, Ava Luxe, Opus Oils (just bought a bottle of Strawberry Passion Green that Kedra Hart did as a commission for Monica Miller/Skye Botanicals) and Wing and a Prayer perfumes.
Lines that are on my Sampling Wishlist include Sweet Anthem, Aroma M, Hové, Exotic Island Perfumes and La Via del Profumo.
Thanks so much for sharing so many of your favourites, plus those on your To Try list.
It would have been a shame if no one had mentioned Smell Bent, Ava luxe, Opus Oils, Aroma M or A Wing and A Prayer.
It’s great that you are such a supporter of the “little guys”. Andy Tauer shows just far they can go.
I’ll also throw in a mention for Aftelier. I’ve tried several of Mandy Aftel’s perfumes and have really liked them. My favorites so far are Parfum de Maroc, Honey Blossom, and Cepes & Tuberose. I’ve been wanting to try some from Providence Perfume co. and Ayala Moriel as well.
Jennifer, thanks so much for mentioning Aftelier. I can’t believe we got this far without talking about Mandy Aftel’s all-natural creations.
Outremer is an old, old perfume company that sells through Merz Apothecary/Smallflower. They make artistic renditions of single notes (peach, tea, etc.) and sell them in art deco looking bottles.
It was nice to hear about Outremer, Joan. Sounds intriguing. I’m a big fan of all things Art Deco.
I prefer well-established perfume brands: I had a better luck with them. But I keep trying everything I come across and I found interesting perfumes from many of the small brands that others have already mentioned.
I want to contribute one more name to the list: COGNOSCENTI. It’s a small San Francisco brand that launched less than a year ago. I think their perfumes are interesting and unusual. They are for those who prefer unisex perfumes (not overly girly or feminine).
I seem to have more luck with well established brands too but I so want to find an indie brand that works for me.
It’s nice to hear about a new San Francisco based perfume line. Interesing and unusual is a good thing in my book.
Hello, and sorry for being late to the party! This has been a wonderful post to read, and I am now off to see if Imaginary Authors post to the UK, I love the concept. The only name I would like to add to the list is The House of Kerosene, I have only tried a few of these scents, but am really enjoying the twists they take.
Yes of course, Kerosene. I’ve seen that line mentioned a lot on Facebook Fragrance Friends. Thanks, Alex.
I’m glad Imaginary Authors chimed with you. I’ll keep my crossed that they post to the UK.
Hello Tara, I am also sorry I was late to the party, your post has brought up some interesting perfumes to look out for, some of which I have never heard of before, I am going to look at the Tuesday website now as I would be one of the lucky ones who can buy from there.
I don’t know if it counts, especially as she has just got her fragrances into Selfridges but I have been enjoying my bottle of white leather by Bella Bellissima, there is not much info on the web about this perfume which meant that for a change I had to buy this based solely on my nose and what I felt about it (rather than other reviews and comments)
Not too late at all, Andrea!
It’s great to read about all these small but obviously much loved indie perfume lines, isn’t it? I have learnt of a few I’m going to explore further myself. I hope you get on well with 4160 Tuesdays. Three of her perfumes are at Les Senteurs, including Sunshine & Pancakes which is my fave.
I’m glad you trusted your nose on White Leather – that’s the most more important thing to do.