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The niche fragrance brands that made waves in 2014

It’s been a big year for so-called niche fragrances, the smaller and more bespoke fragrance houses whipping up more exclusive concoctions for select audiences. We track 2014’s biggest developments from some of the industry’s most exciting names:

Kilian

Expansion has been the name of the game for Kilian Hennessey this year. The fragrance expert announced a range of new boutiques in Europe and the Middle East to join his New York City and Moscow stores. He also released the Studio 54 range of jewelry (!190 to !270), which is designed to be filled with one of the house’s 35 fragrances.

Kilian's Studio 54 collection © Kilian

Kilian’s Studio 54 collection © Kilian

Mark Buxton

British perfumer Mark Buxton has been ticking along nicely in 2014, but the highlight must be the scent he created along with Parisian fragrance store Nose to celebrate Wes Anderson’s hit movie "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Named Eau de Panache, it is designed as a facsimile of the cologne Ralph Fiennes’ character Monsieur Gustave H. sprays on himself. In real life it’s stunning, but sadly you won’t be able to get your hands on it unless you’re friends with Wes.

Le Labo

This was another big year for the New York-based label Le Labo, which made waves earlier this month when it was purchased by Estée Lauder. It’s part of a wider trend, with the niche fragrance boom being noticed by the cosmetics industry’s giants. And Lauder struck again swiftly, also purchasing fellow independent brand Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

Byredo

The Swedish fragrance house created in 2006 by Ben Gorham was one of the niche industry’s major successes of the past decade. This year Byredo got a smart new M/M (Paris) rebrand and also launched a new perfume named ’Mojave Ghost’ inspired by the desert.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The Paris-based perfumer created the scent signature for the Biennale des Antiquaires event in Paris. Designing for his namesake brand, he released a number of new fragrances and also unveiled a cool new ’Globe Trotter’ fragrance travel case concept (in gold or zinc finishes), which can be taken on a plane as carry-on luggage.

AFP/Relaxnews

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