Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Niche Goes Online, Germain the Man, & New Smell Science

This Week in Fragrance: Niche Goes Online, Germain the Man, & New Smell Science

06/29/16 10:06:29 (7 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Marc Bain at discusses the new online-only fragrance line developed by the former head of e-commerce for Ralph Lauren; the article is titled "A fragrance startup wants to make sure you never have to face a department store perfume counter again":

A startup called Phlur, which launched its site on June 22, is taking a completely different approach, based on the same model that brands such as the eyewear company Warby Parker and clothing label Everlane have used to shake up their industries. Phlur is online only, and allows you to try its unisex fragrances at home so you can smell how they develop on your skin over the day. It claims to offer a product on par with the niche, high-end labels you find at upscale shops such as Barney’s New York—only much cheaper.

How do you feel about this business model, oh savvy Fragranticans? Interested? Check out

Aleesha Harris at offers a wonderful profile of Canadian perfumer Michel Germain:

When most people are faced with finding a perfume for a loved one, the first thing they usually do is head to their nearest fragrance counter. But Michel Germain is not most people. Rather than sniff his way through the seemingly endless scents on offer to shoppers, the 51-year-old Torontonian decided to make his own. “I always loved fragrances, but never imagined creating them,” Germain admits of his introduction to the art of scent-making. So what drew him to create his own fragrance?

Have you experienced any of the Michel Germain fragrances? If so, what are your thoughts? (Image below from

Dobrina Zhekova at talks with Tom Knotek about finding the perfect wedding fragrance:

Scent is the strongest one of our five senses and a powerful memory-trigger. That’s why choosing a unique fragrance for your big day should be just as important as finding the perfect dress. “It’s the only one [of our five senses] that’s directly tied to the limbic system which is the area of the brain that controls memory and food,” says Tom Knotek, a sensory consultant. “So whenever you smell a fragrance, it forms an emotional connection to that experience.” And since picking the right scent is a very personal experience, we asked Knotek for his top tips on how to choose one that will work for you.

Do you agree with Knotek's tips? What did you wear (will you wear) at your own wedding?

Dave Taft at discusses the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle in New York City:

Anyone who has ventured into a New York City woodland in early summer has probably experienced the intoxicating scent of Japanese honeysuckle. Though there are native plants as fragrant in the evening — linden comes to mind — generally speaking, New Yorkers need only follow their noses to the ubiquitous Japanese honeysuckle to find the source. To naturalists, however, the sweet scent of honeysuckle smells like trouble.

What's your favorite "summer night" blossom?

John Crimaldi and Nsikan Appan discuss the mysteries of scent over at as part of Appan's ScienceScope feature:

Scientists are discovering more about normal human biology every day. Case in point: the sense of smell, which everyone utilizes constantly, but few understand in depth. Science producer Nsikan Akpan takes a look at how smells work, how they move and how every sniff we take changes the odor itself.

Watch the video below or visit to read the story!


Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.



Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen also works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting



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They all smell cheap. To be honest, it's mainly lower class people that gravitate towards this fragrance line. The only good ones are the original scents he came out with, but they smell dated. It's a line that produces something new each year and then discontinues it the following year. If you like skeleton scents without much character, this line is for you. I'm being as brutally honest as I can be with conservative language. No bueno.


Wow, what great responses!! I agree that I would need to see the notes for a scent in order to even consider testing it. And Mike, I'll check on the Germain fragrance collection and see what we need to add; thanks for reading each week!


Without having tried any of the fragrances, I've been kind of a fan of Michel Germain, at least in concept. They were a true indie fragrance house long before the internet made indie/artisan/niche a thing, and their concept is very honest in that it articulates what many folks are using fragrances for but won't necessarily cop to: to enhance their sexuality and attractiveness. I see these fragrances for sale at very good prices here in the States. Maybe I need to just spring for one and see if I like it!


"A fragrance startup wants to make sure you never have to face a department store perfume counter again." Well, how nice for the hard-working salespeople, many of whom are knowledgeable courteous, helpful and an all-around pleasure to meet, unlike a tablet.


I really love Tattoo by MG. It's like a creamy, lemon dessert without being extremely sugary and completely foody. It's just a really good choice for all seasons and I love that. You know? It's not at all boring. I bought it as a 'blind buy' and to date, it's been my best choice, no regrets at all about it. :D I wish I could ask a Q to him though. I've been seeing these bottle called "Paris Fatale" in stores lately but it doesn't exist online or here on Fragrantica, and I'd really like to know if it was repackaged as something else. I have had lots of luck with Michel Germain scents.

Wedding scents - I am engaged but our wedding hasn't been set yet. I actually recently read an article about wedding scents, and I plan on buying a scent for that day that I'll only wear on that day, maybe on my anniversaries, but I would like memories to be tied to that day. Don't think I will 'customize' by layering. Most likely I'll get some samples and pick one that is very unique to scents I wear normally, and buy a small bottle. I want to love the scent but I don't want to love it so much that I'm tempted to wear it. :D I am thinking of Remember When by Mair, which is made to compliment your natural scent and mix with the fragrance, versus making you smell just like the fragrance and I love that idea...

I checked out the Phlur website and I agree with smellagent, I want to know the notes but do like the sample credit (Buy two 2ml samples of your choice for $10 and if you decide to buy a full bottle, you'll get $10 off.) but I couldn't find any notes or anything about the perfume aside from some what maybe the inspiration was and some comment by the perfumer. To me that is useless information without the notes it contains. I don't think Phlur is meant for people like me who base their choices on scent types and notes, it seems more for casual perfume wearers or people who buy scents based solely on the brand or that vague description. Notes are important to me too because 1 note can ruin an entire fragrance for me. And, I have to say, I wouldn't want to buy a scent that smells like something I already own. I'll have to wait and see what people say about these scents and if a note pyramid is revealed before I consider it seriously, right now it's purely a novelty idea to me and I'm not interested. The packaging is nice though, I'm a big fan of minimalistic bottles.


I enjoy the Michel Germain fragrances. I live in Canada so they are easy for me to find. Although I confess, I do not like the shape of the bottles. Sexual Sugar Daddy are fun, etc.
I have noticed in the past that there are more then a few that are not in the Fragrantica Database.
I will have to check out that Phlur site next. As always I really enjoy reading the Week in Fragrance articles.


I do like the idea of getting credit for my samples. I wish other did that when you buy fb. But I did not see notes listed for any fragrance, and I like to see the notes.


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