WWD have announced that the Estée Lauder companies have reached a purchasing agreement with niche fragrance house Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums, a brand seen as epitomizing independence of spirit in perfume creation...
Since 2000 the year it was established, the niche house has been consistent in furthering the cause of attracting attention to creation and personal ideas rather than trends. It is only recently that one might have detected that the house was intent on harnessing the oud wave by putting out a composition, The Night, targeting the Middle-East market and paying homage to the incredibly popular perfumery ingredient. This could not be seen as a purely artistic endeavour.
Estée Lauder have been on a buying spree of confidential perfume and beauty labels with connoisseurship credentials and a higher luxury image, acquiring Le Labo and Rodin, makers of Olio Lusso. The course might have not reached its end yet.
Their efforts parallel L'Oréal acquisition of Carol's Daughter; NYX Cosmetics; Sayuki Custom Cosmetics; Brazil's Niely Cosméticos; maker of Chinese facial masks Magic Holdings International Ltd.; Decléor, and Carita, according to WWD.
These evolutions show that so-called niche brands have become weightier in the more mainstream culture of beauty and perfume.
It is not known if and how the éditeur de parfums, Frédéric Malle, will continue to helm fragrance creations at his eponymous house brand since he put central emphasis on his role as a steward of the creative process. The terms of the acquisition are still being discussed and are set to be concluded in January of 2015.
Previously, Jo Malone came under the tutelage of Estée Lauder too in 1999. The brand founder who remained in the capacity of artistic director left after a while in 2006 and founded a new perfume brand, Jo Loves, five years later.
The Estée Lauder cos. showed they were interested in the niche perfume market - in an upscale sense rather than in a confidential sense - first when they created the Private Collection in 2007 debuting with Tuberose Gardenia and launched Tom Ford Private Blend the same year. Estée's grand-daughter Aerin followed suit in 2013 with another niche fragrance range called AERIN.
The corporation management of Tom Ford Beauty might be the best point of comparision for gauging how committed the Estée Lauder cos. can be to the asthetics and codes of niche perfumery although Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums is a step-up in that universe as it always put the strongest accent on personal signature and freedom of expression for the select roster of creators involved working closely with the original perfume editor.