Rare Perfumes by Sabine Chabbert and Laurence Férat : New Perfume Book

Rare Perfumes (Parfums Rares in its French edition) is a new book that takes a close look at the niche/artisanal fragrance movement. Written by Sabine Chabbert and Laurence Férat, it starts its journey in the 1980s and encompasses a wide range of lines, from L’Artisan Parfumeur and Annick Goutal to État libre d’Orange and Comme des Garçons. In the words of perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï, “Rare Perfumes underlines a major breakthrough for our profession: the arrival for more than 20 years of several brands having all the desire to create differently. This other perfumery shakes up a market dominated by big international groups and it is the best thing that could ever happen to the perfume industry!”


The book features 152 pages and more than 300 photos (take a look inside). The publication date is March 2014, but it’s currently available in both French and English at the Osmothèque website. Via press release

Price: 39 €
ISBN 13: 9782909953182
Diffusion Puf – Distribution : UD



  • Anne of Green Gables: I wonder whether the themed presentation by PdN this Saturday is related to the publication of this book. I would love to attend it. It looks like I’ll be going to Paris for work in February. I’ll see if I can squeeze in a trip to Osmotheque.

    V, I don’t know if it’s just me but the link to the Osmotheque website seems to have a problem. This links seems to work though: http://www.osmotheque.fr/411_p_24794/catalogue-librairie.html. January 14, 2014 at 7:55am Reply

    • Victoria: It opens fine on my screen and takes me directly to the book page, but I will update it, just in case. Their website is not exactly user friendly.

      I bet you’re right that the seance on Les Marques de Niche has to do with the book and its presentation. It sounds very interesting. Patricia de Nicolai is a terrific presenter, so I would attend anything with her participation. January 14, 2014 at 8:05am Reply

      • george: That’s a really interesting use of the word ‘seance’: is that what the Osmotheque calls it sessions- seances. I’m sure it’s a French to English translation and probably has a more mundane meaning, but seance (as used in English) seems exactly right for an event at the Osmotheque.
        As for the event itself- wow! Wish I lived in Paris right now! January 14, 2014 at 9:09am Reply

        • Victoria: I realized it once I posted the comment that a French word crept in, but in the end, I just let it be because the Osmotheque’s events are definitely more of “communicating with the spirits” variety. 🙂 They’re really good, especially if Jean Kerleo or Patricia de Nicolai preside over them. January 14, 2014 at 9:22am Reply

  • Portia: Thanks Victoria,
    Very excited, we have booked an English Osmotheque class while in Paris in February, thanks to your article a short time ago.
    Goose bumps just thinking about it.
    Portia xx January 14, 2014 at 9:51am Reply

    • mysterious_scent: May I ask what you’ve booked, a one to one class or a group class? A few friends and I have been thinking to go as well January 14, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

      • Portia: Hi Mysterious_scent,
        My mate Michael from APJ and I have booked a two person to one English speaking teacher class. It costs 150 euro per person and you get to choose a bunch of vintage recreations to smell and get loads of other information too.
        We are allowed cameras and to take notes, they are extremely happy for us to blog about the adventure.
        Here is the link to an English summary http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/discoveries/offbeat-versailles/the-osmotheque.html
        Portia x January 14, 2014 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: I can’t wait to hear all about it! The first visit to the Osmotheque sounds so exciting. January 14, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

      • Portia: Thanks Victoria,
        Yes, thrilled. You may get a post from me yet.
        Portia xx January 14, 2014 at 6:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: All of us would want photos, too! January 14, 2014 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Ariadne: Ohpahhhhh! Portia PLEASE write us about your visit to ‘Oztek’ after!!!! January 14, 2014 at 7:07pm Reply

  • annemariec: Hmmm … with Dior, Guerlain and Armani included in the book there IS clearly a representation of ‘international groups’, not just niche. So, as usual, it’s best not to get hung up on definitions of niche. Creativity, development time and great raw materials are what matter in the end, rather than who owns the house.

    I’ll certainly be setting aside some $$ to purchase a copy of the book. Thanks for the notice! January 14, 2014 at 4:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Their limited distribution lines qualify as niche brands, since niche in the industry speak really only means the limited distribution. (Oh, and the higher prices, but that’s my own definition. 🙂 I haven’t read the book yet, so I don’t know how they’ve made their selection. I completely agree with you, it doesn’t matter who owns the house and how it’s distributed; in the end, the only thing that really matters is the quality of the perfume. January 14, 2014 at 4:41pm Reply

      • annemariec: Yes indeed about the limited distribution. But even there things slip away from us. You can buy Annick Goutal and Serge Lutens easily online (not all the Serges, obviously). Conversely (perversely?) Dior’s Collection Privée is much more limited. It’s a funny world … January 14, 2014 at 6:03pm Reply

        • Victoria: Still, if you compare the availability of Goutal or Lutens to the brands labeled as prestige (sold at the department stores) or mass (sold at the drugstores and supermarkets), they’re distributed on a much more limited scale. And many indie brands are available online more easily than is the case for some prestige fragrances, especially if you don’t count the grey market retailers.

          As I’ve discovered working on an article about niche perfumes for Marie Claire, many brands perfume lovers call niche hate that label. I heard again and again, “We are not niche; we are (and here you have to fill in the blank with “luxury,” “perfumer led,” “artisanal,” “special,” “unique”) brand.” 🙂 January 14, 2014 at 6:41pm Reply

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