It's not enough that performer-perfumers of the niche market with their own eponymous brand under their belt shun perfumistas, considering them irrelevant audience that needn't be cajoled because they don't really matter. It's not enough that indie niche perfumers have the guts to spell out the truth and state that perfumistas account for less than 1/4 of the total sales they make. Now Big Companies buy out the smaller players, at least the ones with the highest profit margins... First Le Labo was bought by the Estee Lauder Group, the fusion effective this November 2014. Now Editions des Parfums Frederic Malle is being bought by the conglomerate., according to an article by Julie Naughton on the Financial side of WWD. [Read the rationale on Vogue UK online, very quick to pick up the news]
I've been saying it a lot during the last couple of years (and initially articulated the thought back in 2010) but I have been accused of being cynical: Niche is (now) dead. Marketing is not a dirty word. Presenting an "updated" segmentation within a luxury brand is a plan to have your cake and eat too. When you hear too much art talk, you know something is fishy. Fragrance costs little to produce. Above all, think of what gives you pleasure, what is beautiful, and choose to support the ideas that matter to you and additionally not be swayed by fear-mongering. I suppose what I'm saying is "use your head". And we all know that the head is very purposefully elbowed out of the equation by the fragrance industry for decades, all that fluff talk about emotions, dreams, sentiments blah blah blah....
Let's re-iterate: Perfume aficionados form a very small, insignificant segment of the actual buying audience of perfume niche market. Expect the winners to be bought off by big brands, the struggling unoriginal ones to wither and die via survival of the fittest and the dedicated artisanal indies to continue to cater to a small, cottage-size industry. Consider where your buck flows carefully.
Bottom line, what bugs me most: The perfume aficionados have been USED as a stepping stone in order to build covetable brands that would bring back the investment by being sold off later on.
You call it business acumen. I call it exploitation. Let's agree to disagree.
NB. I was alerted to this news snippet originally via Basenotes.