I know you know but let me start with it:
1. a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. 2. denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.
Niche, the name that has become a part of our daily vocabulary, we give this "label" to everything that looks neat, simple and nice. Nice has become a synonym of Niche, and vice versa. This approach certainly misleads us and creates wrong perception of a true value of the product. Unfortunately, there is no clear definition of Niche Perfume Brand, so we just must be well aware how to evaluate and not to fall in a superficial perception.
Why it is all about Masque Milano?
First acquaintance. I had a chance to meet owners of the brand, Alessandro and Riccardo, 3 years ago during Cannes TWFA exhibition at one of evening parties organized by fragrance connoisseurs. Masque Milano had that lovely and luxury signature leather case with bright and passionate red inside and black color outside. Alessandro and Riccardo were a humbleness, intrigue, and storytelling themselves. Actually, all I remembered after a brief conversation were that leather case and rich Iris perfume, Latteza. That huge portion of fine Iris, I couldn't forget for years. Why so large and who is it for? There are 0,...% of people on the Earth who can really appreciate what is in, and yet they decided to bring it to the market.
That time I asked myself, what drives people to be different and offer products that are unique and intentionally not for all? Is it some sort of selfish vision or desire to break limits and stereotypes? The answer is in a final product and your audience. It's all about you, your product and your customers, simple as that, the rest are tools, nothing more.
Second acquaintance. Time created a silence gap in our communication with Masque Milano, until one day, thankfully to my friend and true beauty expert, who is the representative of it herself, Leila Jerdea, I had gotten a chance to meet Riccardo in Dubai after 3 years since our first acquaintance in Cannes.
We met in one of the most famous cafes in the country, L'ETO, with a view on Burj Khalifa and Dubai fountains. Fresh morning air during winter-time in Dubai is the time to be remembered and when you are accompanied with such a lovely people like Riccardo and Leila, the day turns into a magic. Atmosphere was certainly favorable and allowed me to be more open to listen and understand the philosophy of the brand.
Little did I know that Masque Milano is all about Opera experience where each perfume is classified by Acts. Each Act represents certain mood or character: first, about experiences; second, about interior monologues and emotions; third, about sentimental relationships; forth, about dreams. There was really meticulous work in selecting right perfumes to represent the mood of each Act. In addition, each perfume has its own story and inspired either by travels: Russia (Russian Tea), US (Time Square), Italy (Montecristo) or by emotions and relationships: Luce ed Ombre, Latteza, Romanza.
Speaking to the owner of a Perfume Brand is the most powerful inspiration you can get, as it is a source of the entire idea which is distributed to others then. There are already couple of times when my first perception of the Brand was dramatically changed after personal meeting with the owner. In case with Masque Milano, I were able to open my eyes to the unseen luxury within and awarded the Brand with my inner classification as "true niche".
Third acquaintance. Weeks after, something good happened, Alessandro had given me a time for a Skype conversation to talk about Masque Milano philosophy and perfume stories. Even more then I was hoping for; and yes, one must be a really good listener to comprehend the concept and story connections between idea, perfume and packaging.
Physically, I was in a cafe with a cup of coffee looking at my laptop and listening to Alessandro; mentally, I was traveling to US Time Square in 80's, visiting St.Peterburg in Russia and taking Polar Express train route for couple of weeks, returning to Italy then and exploring Tuscany countryside. Couple of hours flew as a minute and we were still half-way in discovering full range of perfumes. We had to schedule another conference call to continue fascinating storytelling.
It is truly remarkable when Perfume goes by "Idea-Perfume-Market" instead of "Market-Perfume-Idea" way. In Masque Milano, I can see that each perfume went through the process of careful selection of the idea, verbal and emotional definition of each mood, how it all can be interpreted in a perfume language, and choosing a Perfumer who would have been able to understand it. The result is stunning and truly unique: perfumes are so charismatic, rare, individualistic, unconventional and exuding true spirit of the idea.
Bottle & Packaging. Another chapter of Masque Milano story, its impressive and attractive 35ml bottle is just exactly what is being wanted: eye-catching, cute, interesting, refined and creative. It is distinct and one-of-a-kind.
Luxury, as an Art, is in details and customer experience. Masque Milano is a great example of how these details provide excellent customer experience and journey which unlock unseen dimension, true niche and luxury.
In addition, I would like to highlight Masque Milano Discovery Kit. Just have a look how it is presented: glossy sleeve, soft and refined texture of the box, even perfume blotter cards are in to try perfumes before applying on a skin. I've seen many discovery kits, but I haven't seen and didn't expect to see that many details in so simple and trivial product (at first sight) as samples kit.
Why should you try Masque Milano?
Well, you shouldn't, if Niche is a synonym of nice, albeit you should, if Niche is being dare and have your own identity. Masque Milano perfumes are very special, and are made for a very specialized audience: personalities, meticulous to details, daring and positively odd.
Visit Masque Milano website, read definition of each Act, get in to the story of each perfume, and then decide if it is about you. If you are still in doubt, brand has thought of you and prepared that luxury Discovery Kit that you can order from the website and test them by yourself.
Perfume is a magic, when you truly believe in it.
In UAE you can find Masque Milano perfumes in concept stores like Limited Gallery, Perfume Bay and The Library.