The 10 Best Niche Fragrances for Men Who Want a Special Occasion Scent

Colognes, perfumes and fragrances that you might not know.

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Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave

Once you start diving into the mythical world of fragrances, it doesn't take long to realize that it's way more in-depth than just being a matter of "scents that smell good," and that there's all types of fragrances that are available. For example, there's fragrances specifically designated for summer, fall, and winter, there's unisex fragrances that can be worn by both men and women, and there's even "sexy fragrances" that are given that label for the sole purpose of making people attracted to you because of the way you smell. Today's topic of discussion are niche fragrances, aka fragrances that the masses don't own due to its exclusivity and limited production. Just to give you an example, Dior Sauvage would not be a niche fragrance because of its heavy popularity and hype. In simpler terms, owning a niche fragrance would be the equivalent wearing of a rare luxury fashion brand that not many people are aware of. We're going to be taking a look at the best niche fragrances on the market that you can buy and wear year-round.

From our top choice Initio Parfums Prives ($348.50) to our runner-up Maison Francis Kurkdijian OUD Satin Mood Eau de Parfum($195 - $605), these are fragrances that work well for any occasion whether you decide to make them your signature scent, or only wear them casually.

RELATED: The 31 Best Colognes for Men to Try in 2023

What makes a "niche" fragrance?

As we just mentioned, a niche fragrance is one that is not very many people own in their fragrance collection. In fact, there's a chance with niche fragrances that many people might not even be aware of the fact that the fragrance exists in the first place. There's an element of exclusivity with niche fragrances, with some even being comprised of rare ingredients that are featured in more mainstream scents. Niche fragrances are also frequently produced in limited batches making them hard to purchase sometimes. Think of a niche fragrance as being the scent version of a Birkin.

What to look for in a niche fragrance:

You should be looking for rare ingredients, exclusivity, and a scent that is frankly kind of hard to get your hands on when it comes to niche scents. You should also be looking for rarity in the sense that not a lot of people own it. If your dad, brother, and their respective best friends happen to have the scent you're considering purchasing—it's safe to assume that it's not a niche fragrance.

The Best Niche Fragrances at a Glance:

1. INITIO Parfums Prives The Black Gold Project

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Saks Fifth Avenue

The Best Niche Fragrance, Overall

  • Top Notes: Saffron, nutmeg, lavender
  • Middle Notes: Agarwood (Oud)
  • Base Notes: Patchouli, musk
  • Sizes: 30z
  • Type: Eau De Parfum

Originating from the French house of INITIO, is their signature Black and Gold scent, which we have had the pleasure of testing on our own. Containing top notes of saffron, nutmeg, and lavender that seamlessly blend into the agarwood (OUD) middle note, the fragrance is finished with patchouli and musk, resulting in a woody slightly maple scent that smells luxurious. The fragrance is an Eau De Parfum, meaning that you can get about four to five hours of wear out of it, and you don't have to apply much for it to make an impact. This means that while the bottle is only 30z, you can get about a year or longer due to how little you're using.


2. Maison Francis Kurkdjian OUD Satin Mood Eau de Parfum

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Neiman Marcus

Runner Up

  • Top Notes: Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, vanilla, agarwood (Oud), benzoin, violet
  • Middle Notes: Vanilla, violet
  • Base Notes: Agarwood, benzoin
  • Sizes: 1.10z, 3.40z, 6.8oz
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

Established back in 2015, the OUD Satin Mood from Maison Francis Kurkdjian is a sensual scent that blends together ingredients like Bulgarian and Turkish rose, benzoin, and vanilla to achieve a rich warm citrus scent that is also filled with hints of ambery wood. The bottle is elegantly crafted with a dark green container that's perfectly contrasted with shiny gold top. Three sizes are available (1.10z, 3.4oz, 6.8oz), with pricing ranging from $195 to $605.


3. Xerjoff Erba Pura Eau de Parfum

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Neiman Marcus

The Best Niche Fragrance for Warm Weather

  • Top Notes: Sicilian orange, calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon
  • Middle Notes: Fruits
  • Base Notes: White musk, Madagascar vanilla, amber
  • Sizes: 3.40z
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

If you are looking for niche fragrance that represents all things tropical, look no further than the Xerjoff Erba Pura Eau de Parfum, which mixes together top notes of Sicilian orange, calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, and a middle note fruit basket that's straight from the Mediterranean. Base notes of white musk, Madagascar vanilla, and amber complete the scent, which upon spritzing will have you smelling like an island in the middle of a forest. The 3.4oz bottle is enough to get you through the year, and you'll only need to apply a little twice day.


4. Montale Paris Arabians Tonka

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Neiman Marcus

The Best Niche Fragrance for Cool Weather

  • Top Notes: Bergamot, saffron
  • Middle Notes: Rose, oud
  • Base Notes: Amber, oakmoss, tonka beans, brown sugar, white musk
  • Sizes: 3.40z
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

Straight from Arabia and a tribute to the Arabic Horse, top notes start the Montale Paris Arabians Tonka fragrance, which are followed by middle notes of Rose and oud. Those middle notes flow into base notes of Amber, oakmoss, tonka beans, brown sugar, and white musk, and they all come together for a spicy sexy scent that emits best when there's cold air and weather to bring it out. The perfect mixture of masculine and feminine, the Montale Paris Arabians Tonka will have you smelling like a fireplace in a human form, and that's why we love it.


5. Amouage Interlude Man Eau de Parfum

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Neiman Marcus

The Best Luxury Niche Fragrance

  • Top Notes: Bergamot, oregano, pimento berry oil
  • Middle Notes: Amber, frankincense, cistus, opoponax
  • Base Notes: Leather, agarwood smoke, patchouli, sandalwood
  • Sizes: 3.30z
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

The term luxury is a little loaded when it comes to niche fragrances because technically they all are, but for all intents and purposes the Amouage Interlude Man Eau de Parfum is very much "luxury" as far as its classification goes. In the words of Amougae, the fragrance is one that's "inspired by chaos and disorder," which is reflected in the note mixture of bergamot, frankincense, leather, smoke and patchouli to name a few. When mixed together, you achieve a scent that is both spicy and woody, which makes you smell incredible. The 3.3oz bottle should last you a while, with the fragrance being priced at $360.


6. Ambre of the Sea Extrait

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  • Top Notes: Bergamot, sea salt, violet, marine accord
  • Middle Notes: Rose, licorice fusion, plum
  • Base Notes: Ambergris, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla
  • Sizes: 2.50z
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

If you are looking to literally smell like the sea, the Ambre of the Sea Extrait is a scent that gives you that opportunity. Topped off with the notes Bergamot, sea salt, violet, marine accord which transition into middle notes of rose, licorice fusion, and plum, the scent is capped off with ambergris, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla, which leaves you leaving a trail of a fresh sea. Seeing as though the scent was designed to capture the essence of moonlit nights by the ocean, there's also an element of mystery and wonder to this fragrance that will have people inquiring about you, and why you smell so damn good.


7. Thameen Peregrina Extrait De Parfum

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Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Top Notes: Saffron, nutmeg, pepper
  • Middle Notes: Orris root, agarwood (oud), rose, cinnamon, jasmine, labdanum, cedar
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, amyris, sandalwood, guaiac wood, musk, leather, cedar
  • Sizes: 1.70z
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

The Thameen Peregrina Extrait De Parfum checks the box for towing a perfect line between a fragrance that can be worn to the office, and one that can be worn on a date night. Containing powerful yet subtle notes of saffron, orris root, cinnamon, jasmine, vanilla, guaiac wood, and more, this is unisex scent is one of royalty. Should you choose to purchase, you'll be in the company of Mary I, Queen of England, and Elizabeth Taylor as people who have previously owned the scent. Another perfect mixture of masculinity and femininity, this affordably priced bottle should get you through at least half the year.


8. Byredo Mojave Ghost

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Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Top Notes: Ambrette, Jamaican nesberry
  • Middle Notes: Violet, sandalwood, magnolia
  • Base Notes: Chantilly musk, crisp amber, cedarwood
  • Sizes: 1.70z, 3.40z
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

The ghost flower aka the mohavea confertiflora is the prime inspiration behind this Byredo Mojave Ghost scent, which captures the essence of plants in the wilderness. The fragrance starts off with top notes of Ambrette and Jamaican nesburry, transitions into middle note of violet, sandalwood, and magnolia, and is finished with base notes of Chantilly musk, crisp amber, and cedarwood. A nature scent is what fuels the inspiration and ingredients of the Byredo Mojave Ghost, and a nature woody scent is what you'll smell like upon spraying it on. The fragrance comes with the option of either a 1.7oz or 3.40z bottle, which are priced $174.25 and $246.50 respectively.

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9. Xerjoff 3-Piece Set

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  • Top Notes: Honey, jasmine Sambac, calabrian bergamot
  • Middle Notes: Agarwood (oud), black tea, Sandalwood
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, ambergris, musk
  • Sizes: Set of three 0.5oz bottles
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

True to the nature of niche fragrances, it can be kind of hard to get your hands on individual Xerjoff fragrances, so you might have to end up going with an actual sample set if you can't find an individual. Whatever you choose, Xerjoff is known for its rarity and exclusivity, containing many notable notes in their respective fragrances including calabrian, sandalwood, vanilla, and plenty more. This set in particular will get you 0.5 bottles of Xerjoff's Erba Pura, Naxos, and La Capitale—all of which are made exclusively in Italy.


10. Bond No.9 NoMad Eau de Parfum

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Neiman Marcus
  • Top Notes: Vanilla
  • Middle Notes: Moroccan jasmine absolute, sandalwood
  • Base Notes: Vetiver, patchouli
  • Sizes: 1.7oz, 3.4oz
  • Type: Eau de Parfum

Designed to "bring out the sensual side of vanilla," the Bond No.9 NoMad Eau de Parfum is probably one of the those beautiful fragrance bottles you'll find. Even more beautiful is the scent, which is dynamically layered with vanilla as its top note, followed by Moroccan jasmine absolute and sandalwood as it's middle notes, and vetiver and patchouli as its base notes. The name "NoMad" is in reference to Madison Square North in New York City, and is designed to represent the various scents you get when you're walking around in that iconic area. The NoMad comes in either a 1.70z or 3.40z bottle, which is priced at $320 and $426.


When do I wear a niche fragrance?

Most niche fragrances are the ones that can be worn all day, and to any occasion. However, if the fragrance is a really strong one, you might want to avoid wearing to the office or to your business meetings as it might be too strong for those that you work with to handle. It also might be best if really strong scents are left for evenings and date nights. If your fragrance has more of a tropical citrusy smell, than it will work best in the summer. On the opposite end, if your fragrance has more of a woody scent, than it will work best for the winter. Other than that, it's pretty much at your discretion as far as when you want to wear.

RELATED: The 20 Best Fragrances For The Holiday Season

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