The Best Niche Fragrances for Men


Looking for a fragrance that commands the room as soon as you enter? Or maybe you are looking for something subtle, mysterious, and understated—a scent that makes its presence known only at close proximity. Most of all, you’re looking for a fragrance that requires restraint and patience to source, something that says you’re a man who bides his time, and spends his money with purpose.

This is where the niche fragrance market comes into play. For a truly luxurious, unique, and playful experience, seek to wear a scent like no one else you cross paths with. Perfume is more than a cosmetic product; it’s an experience and an affirmation of who you are, and who you want the world to see. 

A gift for others

Are you looking for a special gift for someone in your life that shows you truly care? Something you can’t just find in any old department store, or hurriedly order the night of their birthday or other special event?

You have come to the right place.

The niche fragrance market is the place where truly creative and limited perfumes flourish and the art of perfumery is kept front and center. None of that sportswear brand or celebrity=branded perfume, made only to be generic and highly saleable—this is where perfume exists as art. And art makes a truly heartfelt gift.

A promise

We love the most the way a new fragrance given to yourself or another, can act as a promise. A promise to yourself, to strive and grow. To go after what you are seeking in life. Or a dedication of yourself to be in someone else’s life. To show up, to provide, to love.

Use a new fragrance to remind yourself of what is important in life, and set this intention with every spray of your new scent. Take the time to make the promises in life that matter, and follow through. You’ll be grateful you did.

1. Blu Atlas – Atlantis

Blank Perfume Bottle In Hard Box For Branding, 3d Render Illustr

In first place in our list of best niche fragrances for men, is the unstoppable Atlantis by Blu Atlas. Blu Atlas creates premium skincare for the modern man, with health, nature, and science rolled together to create the most powerful elixir we’ve tried.

This cologne represents a life well lived, all modes of living rolled into one. Moving from the higher beats of a fast paced adventure in the jungle, to the slow sensual decrescendo of a warm night by the beach, this is a fragrance that takes us on a journey, inspired by the rhythms of Bali. 

Pick your pace

The fragrance profile follows the changing moods of life. There are fresh notes for when you are hitting the ground running, chasing your goals, living at the edge of tension at which nature and man meet.

There are fruity notes for when you are living up your life, with a bit of fun and play. When the working day ends and the weekend begins, the fruity, light-hearted fun of time in the tropics takes over.

Finally there are the deep and sultry musky notes, for when the light dims and the breathing slows. These are the subtle glances and brushes with the dance of fate, that ground us back into our body and soul.

Play up any angle of your adventure with the Atlantis eau de parfum.

My body, my temple

We love that this crowd pleaser with rave reviews is a clean formulation, good for both your body and mind. There are no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates in this formula. You are free to enjoy the adventure with your health in good hands.

We also love that Blu Atlas makes their products in the USA, abstains from animal cruelty, and that this product is certified vegan. It’s perfect for the man who likes to stick it to large and unethical corporations. He is his own man.

2. Maison Criveli – Patchouli Magnetik


When the summer stay on your island vacation turns to drama, thunderstorms, and magnetic tension, it’s time to reach for the Maison Crivelli Patchouli Magnetik. This enigmatic concoction flashed its way to second place on our list of the best niche fragrances for men.

This is for the fierce and electric man, who plays hard and fast, day and night. Shrouded in mystery, but occasionally illuminated by a bright strike of lightning, this cologne by Maison Criveli, has your personality wrapped into its deepest essence.

Every now and then, the lucky see the gentler side of you. They witness the  man who detours on his motorcycle adventure to take in the quiet beauty of a field full of patchouli. The scent lingers on your skin, leaving others only to wonder who you are, and where you’ve been.

A surprising contrast

To compliment your multifaceted personality and enigmatic energy, we love how the creators at Maison Crivelli have contrasted patchouli, the darker ruminating scent from the woods, with the warm and spicy experience of sandalwood.

Your composed, gentle but firm approach when needed, is hinted with the zesty yet creamy notes from the gardenia flower, with the gentle scent of frangipani floating by on that tropical humid wind.

The old and the new

Maison Crivelli crafts its scents from ingredients from the illustrious Givadan perfume house. The company is all about the exciting contrasts of modernity and pursuing boundary crossing creative experiments.

In contrast with this modern pursuit, Maison Crivelli also prides itself on its slow perfume approach—akin to slow food or similar movements. Every step in the process is treated with the reverence of an age-old craft, from the growing and harvesting of ingredients, to design and production.

If you are here in a moment, and gone in the next, the Maison Crivelli Patchouli Magnetic might be the match for you.

3. Solid State – Hash


This is a scent made for the man who brings the thunderstorm indoors with him to the party. Charming, witty, making the most salacious of moves and comments, and yet with the laid back certainty of man of the hash, this smokey palette by Solid State surprises and brings fun to the table.

And this time the perfume comes in a solid state—a wax-based fragrance that leaves spraying to the fussy man.


His needs are simple, and this is reflected in this unique formulation. Perfumes often come with a long list of chemical ingredients we can’t pronounce—this bar comes with only seven ingredients, and almost all are recognizable at first glance.

We love the caring and warm moment of application, that glides on with the gentle and soothing castor and jojoba oils, beeswax, and shea butter. All without leaving any residue or evidence behind, besides that unique cosmic and herbaceous scent.

The notes in this blend take us on a desert journey, from warmer base notes such as cashmere musk and cedarwood, to herbal heart notes such as cannabis, fir and violet, right up to the old smokey cabin scents of leather anisic and tobacco.

Chunky and hunky

Solid state is an awesome company, founded in 2015. Averse to the idea of selling diluted watery products to men, in bottles that quickly emptied, solid state came in to create an entire company on solid products, for solid men.

As well as the last to your pocket, a solid product and its packaging tend to be better for the environment, so you can get out and enjoy its beauty to the max.

If your man has never been much into a spray of perfume, this could be a way to introduce him to the power of scent.

4. Creed – Silver Mountain Water 


Ice and snow are a beautiful enigma that can range from a gentle glistening and glow in the morning sunlight to the speed of a skier shredding up a slope in the alps. Eventually snow melts and transforms into the sparkling silver mountain stream that inspires this perfume.

For a man who likes to get away from time to time for a relaxing adventure, and can slow down to enjoy the spring flowers peeking up from the melting snow, number three on our list of best niche fragrances for men is sure to strike a positive note.

An established man

Creed has a long history, first established in 1760. When it comes to prestige, and a loyal following of the famous and the royal, Creed really takes front and center stage. 

From being the Court of England’s official fragrance supplier, to having clientele such as Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana, this is a company for the established and regal family or businessman.

When you want a perfume that really says Old Money, this is the one for you.

A holiday in the Alps

Creed has taken care to capture every aspect of a holiday in the alps in this delightful bottle. 

The base notes are warm, to battle the chill, and emanate some warming brew that might greet you back in the chalet.

The heart noses are fresh and ozonic, with refreshing green tea and the appearance of budding blackcurrants, peeping their way through the snow.

The top notes include a citrusy lift of mandarin, neroli and bergamot, to mimic that fresh rejuvenation of spending time away, and outdoors.

5. Xerjoff – Groove Xcape


We’ve rested, we’ve rejuvenated, and now it’s time to hit the dance floor.

For number five on our list of best niche fragrances for men, Xerjoff has come pumping with a mixtape that blends the slow burn experience of scent with the restless world of sound.

For a mystic man who moves to groovy and eclectic base beats, following the sound of his heart, this is a perfume escape from reality like no other.

This is also a brand at the height of luxury, designing each bottle like a precious jewel, and using rare otherworldly ingredients within.

The boundary breaking extraterrestrial in your life will love how this product moves through the highest of creative spaces, while tethering him to earth with sultry and musky tones.

Sound and scent

This is a collaboration with music pioneer Max Casacci, founder of Italian rock band Subsonica. He has created a new track based on the sounds formed using this perfume.

In spinning reciprocity, the notes of this perfume are designed to mimic the metallic and mystic beats that come through in the music.

If you are into self-exploration and want to experience the boundary where sound and scent collide, we think this blend will quench that thirst.

Italian elegance

The Italian spirit of artistic expression really comes through in this product. The Xerjoff group as a whole combines a legacy of perfume making from way back in 1888 with the brand Casamorati, to new and exciting endeavors and relaunches that move with the times. 

6. Byredo – Mixed Emotions


Are you more of an epicene man, leaning neither strongly into masculinity, nor identifying much with the feminine essence? Do you like to explore the spaces in between what is said and what is meant, resting peacefully into the gray that bridges a black and white experience?

If you feel comfortable in a more neutral space, with tones that are neither here nor there on the matter, number six on our list of best niche fragrances for men, the Byredo Mixed Emotions eau de parfum, could be the perfect match for you.

Is it also a great match for the no nonsense man, who strives for simplicity and understated minimalism in his life.

Best of all is the fit for a man who is content to sit and watch his conflicting feelings and thoughts float by like a cloud in a mindful sky, finding peace in the confusion of our time.

Venture in the woodlands

This scent profile takes us on a little stroll through the local woodlands. While the overarching impression this scent imparts is an intense woodyness, it is also peppered with gentle hits of other things we might encounter in the woodlands.

The bitter leaves crunching underfoot as you walk are represented with violet leaves, mate, and ceylon black tea.

There is a gentle top note of fruitiness, brought about by the bunch of black currants you pick along the way.

The earthiness and sharp spiciness of a fallen tree is represented by papyrus and birch wood base notes.

Gender who?

Many classic or drugstore fragrances are aggressively gendered, and stereotypical. In sharp contrast, this delightful blend is a neutral or shared experience that can be used by any person of any gender identity.

If you as a couple wish to partake in a shared promise, this could be the scent that brings you together and reaffirms your intentions.

7. Escentric Molecules – Molecule 4


Raw, simple, distilled, scientific.

These are the words that come to mind when describing the innovative approach to perfumery undertaken by Escentric Molecules.

These creators describe themselves as radically minimalist, suspending in water only the singular perfume molecule that makes up each scent. They call this the bridge between art and chemistry.

In line with a kind of scientific notation, these scents are named by the number of the molecule, from molecule 01 through to molecule 05, a collection that sits alongside their Molecule+ and Escentric ranges.

This unique approach to perfumery allows maximal selection and minimalism when it comes to applying a scent to your skin.

Not quite sandalwood

We are a fan of the subtle scent emanating from Molecule 4 in particular, that has been described as not quite sandalwood—the molecule Javanol.

If you like the direction a sandalwood scent goes towards, but find it generally too strong or overpowering, then we may be on the same page.

Javanol brings together a freshness so sharp it’s almost metallic, with sweet and creamy overtones that we’d expect from a sandalwood-esque sense experience.

Suspension and release

Suspending a single molecule type into water, feels like a breath of air held under water, a feeling of peace before the rush to hit the surface hits again.

We love the way this scent ebbs and flows, just like the human body throughout the day. It will waft back to greet you and ground you to reality like a welcome and unexpected hug.

8. The Different Company Tokyo Bloom


We can’t get through a list of the best niche fragrances for men, without a visit to Paris, France.

Although France has a rich history with long and established parfumeries, The Different Company, established in 2000 as the first independent niche perfume brand, looks to create without creative restraint.

Bold, experimental, disturbing

Sellability, markets, all those boring business-first pretenses are swung to the side for pure unbridled creative experimentation. The brand looks to surprise, looks to disturb, and bring pleasurable and deeply emotional artistic experiences through the medium of scent.

And there is nothing more French than to pleasurably disturb on purpose.

In the spirit of unexplored territory, the Tokyo Bloom fragrance looks to explore between categories—the so-called ‘5th season’ in Tokyo, that sits between spring and summer when all the famous cherry blossoms lining the city streets spring to life. 

The fifth season

There is something about the fleeting nature of this spectacular show of beauty that brings a subtle edge of melancholy to this season.

This is reflected in the unusual tension between the aromatics and floral scents blended together in this brew. From the herbal scents of freshly cut grass, basil. and dandelion, to the mournful clash of deep musk scents, to the lighthearted beauty of the cherry blossom, every conflict in this liminal space works together to create a beautiful and daring piece of art.

Once again, this is a more neutral product that can work for either men or women.

9. Who is Elijah NOMAD Eau De Parfum


Sometimes we find products tucked away as hidden gems, with tiny reach. This brings new meaning to the concept of a niche fragrance.

This unassuming perfume heralds from a small independent fragrance house based in Sydney. We love that the journey for this company came from an experience with a delightful gender neutral scent that the creator has been chasing to recreate ever since.

If you fall head over heels for a warm musky autumnal scent every time, this fragrance is an absolute must. The wandering nomad must, after all, keep warm somehow.

Dressed to the nines

There is something timelessly elegant about a deep musky scent.

This makes this fragrance a perfect match for a night out, dressed, as they suggest, in your best blue suit, and your lady in her little black dress.

This company fits the 2023 business model with ethical decision processes in mind—Who is Elijah is proudly vegan, hand-poured, and designs all their scents as genderless.

Layer me up

The warm delicious impression from this fragrance is reinforced at every level of notes.

At the base we have the more forestry musks—fir resin, cedar, moss, dry amber, and musk.

At the heart we have sweeter and earthier notes of amberwood, bulgarian rose and ambergris.

Floating on the top of the scent profile are spicier, honey-laced scents of jasmine and almond, with a gentle nutty kick of almond.

Embrace your inner nomad and take that solitary fall walk, enveloped by this sweet scent. 

10. Roja Parfums – Elysium


Number ten on our list of best niche fragrances for men is Elysium by Roja Perfumes. This is a high-end product created by an independent british perfumery house.

This company knows the power of a good cologne—putting on a scent before you walk out the door can change your whole attitude and perspective on yourself and your day.

The hero’s journey

This particular scent is designed for the man who has chosen the hero’s life path for himself. This is a man who makes bold plans and acts on them, all while retaining a virtuous strength of character.

For those who know the inner strength inside them is all that is required to achieve one’s dreams—this is the niche fragrance for you. Use this spray as your daily affirmation of how you chose to strive, grow, be different, and do good. 

Bold and brave

What notes doesn’t this rich and complex perfume contain? We’re talking citrus, we’re talking herbs, we’re talking musks. There are woodsy scents, there are berries and there is a healthy sprinkling of spicy pink pepper.

How does this kaleidoscope of scent combine into this bold experience?

The musky notes sit at the bottom, with the spicy pepper wafting throughout. The citrus notes sit at the top adding a zing to  your step, with the juicy fruity tones sitting somewhere in the middle.

All we could think was: yum!

If you’re ready to stand tall, be brave, and make a difference, this is the niche fragrance for you. 

The case against mainstream fragrance

Not quite sure whether to take the dive into the niche fragrance market?

We will share with you some of the reasons people dislike the mainstream fragrance market and what positives you can expect from a foray into the more creative and unique niche fragrance market.


Mainstream perfume products suffer from a few pitfalls. They are generally highly commercialized ventures that focus not on the product itself, but on its associations with brands and celebrities, and how the packaging will look.

Often the celebrity has very little input with how the actual fragrance comes together, but has their face and endorsement linked to the product, and this is how it sells. Moreover, this can push up the price point, not due to quality, but merely the endorsement.

Quality and experience

On the note of quality, consumers will often report mainstream fragrances suffer from a few drawbacks that are typically better with a niche fragrance.

First of these is a lack of creativity or variety in fragrances. Beyond a few sweet/floral/musk distinctions, there is often little subtlety or creativity in the blend itself. There is often little to be noticed beyond the classic male/female binary categorizations.

Another issue that many consumers find typical mainstream fragrances to be overpowering. In this way, they are often considered to have a cheap smell.

One of the functions of perfumes is to uplift and empower, and having the same scent as everyone around you can reduce this special feeling and the effect on your attitude and confidence as you walk out the door.

The niche fragrance market difference

The main difference in the niche fragrance market, is that the fragrance product is what comes first and foremost for the creators. This is a product that expresses creativity, and as such they experiment more with deeper and more varied experiences.

There are also two trends in the niche fragrance markets that add to this experience. These center around health and quality. Some niche fragrances are trying to move away from the cheap chemical formulations that make up the vast majority of fragrances.

There is a move to high-quality ingredients as well as bases that are better for your health and free from ingredients that may harm the consumer.

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