What’s the deal with high street fragrances emulating niche perfumery?

Marks & Spencer Seasalt & Freesia eau de toilette

I’ve just done a KonMari fragrance sweep and given a load of hardly-used perfumes to my sister and her friends. Her favourite? An Urban Outfitters eau de parfum called Citron Glacé. I feel her joy; I’ve also kept my Urban Outfitters Macaron Rosé, a light burnt caramel gourmand that was a steal at £15 for 30ml. (I think they might be out of stock or discontinued).

Last week, Jane at British Beauty Blogger posted some pictures of a new high street fragrance line (above) with very chic packaging reminiscent of last year’s Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel bottles. We had to guess the brand and I was thinking along the lines of & Other Stories. (Their fragrances are great BTW.) In fact it’s Marks & Spencer. They are about to launch Seasalt & Freesia, and Nectar & Jasmine eau de toilettes, which will be landing later this month and selling for only £12.50 each.  UPDATE: They’ve launched. High street brands have been selling fragrance for a while, so that in itself isn’t new. But targeting the discerning, niche fragrance customer seems to be the thing now, with minimalist packing that mimics Le Labo, Byredo et al. Jane also flagged a new AllSaints fragrance, a trio of unisex EDPs selling for £49 for 100ml. With their angular bottles and clean fonts floating in plenty of white space, they’re following the same elevated path but at a higher price.

As mass designer fragrances (Gucci Bloom and co) inch into the £100+ bracket, I think there’s room in the £50-and-under space for accessible fragrances that have upscale appeal. Those luxury perfume brands had better watch out…

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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Marks & Spencer Seasalt & Freesia and Nectar & Jasmine eau de toilettes by British Beauty Blogger
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