Niche Perfumes at Mills Pharmacy

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Niche Perfumes at Mills Pharmacy | Santa Eulalia Obscuro Travel Compendium Review

For a migraine prone and scent-sensitive person, I am oddly fascinated with fragrances! Not every scent triggers the headaches, but a lot of them do. Since I’m about as smart as a rock about this, I love to test various perfumes to find the ones I can wear freely. This is how I originally discovered the vast new world of niche perfumery.

So what exactly makes a brand “niche”?

According to The Fragrance Foundation, niche fragrance brands are “artisanal perfume studios whose production is on a much smaller scale, and whose presence in mainstream retail stores is minimal or non-existent.” Basically, they are small scale brands with limited distribution, which makes them hard to find in regular stores. That is why the names of retailers that carry niche perfumery are passed down almost like trade secrets.

Many niche fragrance devotees agree that these scents tend to be more unique than their department store counterparts. In many cases, niche perfumes are made with higher quality components, and feature more complex fragrance compositions, which in turn directly translates into higher price point. From my experience, on average niche fragrances tend to cost about twice as much as similar designer perfumes.

Niche Perfumes at Mills Pharmacy | Santa Eulalia Obscuro Travel Compendium Review

My own journey to niche perfumery started with Zents, a brand that was founded by a fellow scent-sensitive person. At different points in time, I have owned every single perfume they carry, and none of them caused me to have a headache. However, Zents does not have a vanilla fragrance that I like, and that’s how I eventually discovered Atelier Cologne [I feel like they went mainstream recently though]. In an effort to be more adventurous, I started buying small sample vials of other niche perfumes online.

During one of my sample hauls, I came across Santa Eulalia Barcelona 1843 Obscuro. Both my husband and I fell in love with its spicy, strong aroma pretty much immediately! Obscuro is a moody, mysterious spicy oriental, very much like the best-selling mainstream giants Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf and YSL Opium, except deeper and more complex. I actually find both Spicebomb and Opium quite interesting! Both fragrances have been out for a while now, and yet they are still a step ahead of most department store perfumes.

Obscuro boasts the notes of Incense, Star Anise, Peru Balsam, Leather, Saffron, and Amber, that form a lovely unison. The beautiful thing about fragrances is that they smell different on different people. My husband’s skin keeps more of the saffron, leather, and balsam, and mine holds on to amber, star anise, and incense.

Niche Perfumes at Mills Pharmacy | Provision Resonance Eau de Parfum Review

Provision Resonance Eau de Parfum is the latest addition to my niche fragrance library, and I am already addicted to it. This brand launched only a few weeks ago, but I believe they have a bright future ahead. Provision scents are crafted in small batches by a professional perfumer Sherri Sebastian, and currently only 7 stores nationwide carry the range. Resonance Eau de Parfum combines comforting notes of Cork absolute, Spanish Labdanum, Olibanum, and Vanilla absolute; it’s like a hug in a bottle, so warm and gentle! The lasting power is incredible as well: I spray once on bare skin in the morning, and can smell it on myself until the next time I take a shower, so the longevity on me can exceed 24 hours!

If you are looking for a good place to buy niche fragrances, I highly recommend Mills Pharmacy. Their retail locations are a thing of beauty – everything inside the stores feels luxurious and high end, yet very approachable. If online shopping is more your thing, Mills e-store is always well-stocked with some of the most unique boutique products I’ve seen, including rare perfumes and creme de la creme of global beauty brands. This historic apothecary has been around for a while – Mills celebrated their 70th anniversary last year! It combines the convenience of having state of the art compounding, pharmacy, and apothecary all in one place. Mills pharmacists can create prescriptions with multiple active ingredients, even the discontinued ones, while avoiding potentially harmful fillers like sugars, dyes, alcohol and preservatives.

Niche Perfumes at Mills Pharmacy | Provision Resonance Eau de Parfum Review

My husband and I recently took a one-day trip to metro Detroit, and ended up driving by one of Mills locations, so I asked him to stop to check out the store. It was so fun to walk through the aisles looking at the brands one would be hard-pressed to find at other drugstores. Mills felt more like a boutique than an apothecary, and that’s what I love about it. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend you stop by, if only to window shop! Be warned, though, after seeing all the pretties from brands like Chidoriya, Antonym, Kaia Naturals, and other fabulous companies, it would be pretty hard to leave without buying a little something-something as a treat. 😉

Do you own any, or have you tried niche fragrances before? What is your favorite perfume for special occasions? Let me know in the comments below!


Disclosure: This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.

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  • Have you ever tried ToykoMilk? I love Tainted Love, it sounds similiar to Resonance.

    • I have tried TokyoMilk, and Tainted Love is one of my favorites! I generally like most things by Margot Elena 🙂

  • BeautyJudy

    I haven’t tried niche perfumes but these sound amazing. I’ve never heard of Mills, I’m going to check out their e-store, I don’t think we have any locations where I am.

    • They are a local chain here in Michigan, but it’s nice that they have an e-store so anybody from anywhere can enjoy their amazing selection!

  • Kristi Vasquez

    I haven’t tried niche perfumes, but I absolutely love trying new scents out. I have a ton of samples in my drawer and then larger sizes of ones I’ve fallen in love with.

    • Trying new fragrances is so fun, isn’t it? I used to hate perfume samples, but as my collection of full-sized bottles grows larger, I feel like I appreciate those tiny vials more and more.

  • I’ve never tried Niche but I love discovering new fragrances. Might need to change that!

    • You should definitely try a couple niche scents if you have a chance! Something about them always makes them smell different than designer perfumes. They’re pretty unique!

  • Phyrra Nyx

    I buy indie perfumes. I love my Cocoa Pink.

    • Never heard of Cocoa Pink, but I loved many of your past favorites that I had a chance to try, so I need to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Ehmkay Nails

    I haven’t tried this brand but you called the scent a hug in a bottle and I can’t think of anything better!!

    • That’s exactly what it smells like to me! it has this enveloping “hugging” warmth that pretty much surrounds me when I spray it on. Love this fragrance!

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty

    I would love both of those scents, I’m sure. I’m bookmarking this post for when I need a new scent fix!

    • Oh you are going to love Provision’s Resonance! It slightly resembles Oriental Lace, which I know we both like 🙂

  • These definitely sound like something I think I’d enjoy. I haven’t tried them at all but I love a good fragrance that doesn’t cause my allergies or my migraines to get crazy on me.

    • Scent sensitivity is such an individual thing that I can’t vouch for anybody else’s experience, but for me these scents worked really well and didn’t trigger headaches at all 🙂

  • lacquerexpression

    Great post. I’ve never heard of niche perfumery before and I will consider it if I ever get back into perfumes.

    • Happy to share! I didn’t know about niche perfumery until a few years ago and now I’m pretty much obsessed.

  • I could really do with some new perfumes!

    • Trying new scents is always fun, isn’t it?

  • I’m trying to get more into fragrances, because like you, I am migraine-prone. I wear a lot of essential oils since they don’t bother me, but I’m on the prowl for a perfume I love!

    • I believe Provision fragrances are alcohol and essential oil-based, so you should check them out!

  • Stacie Wacie

    I love fragrances and these all sound lovely! I’d try any of them. 🙂 Mills Pharmacy looks like a fun place to shop.

    • It’s the most beautiful drugstore I’ve ever been in, that’s for sure!

  • Haven’t heard of them before but something I’d love to try – most fragrances give me headaches

    • Likewise, I am sensitive to some commonly used fragrance synthetics, so it’s hard for me to find the one I like. Niche perfumes on average tend to be a lot less triggering.

  • polarbelle

    I get the migraines from perfume, too, and my hubs is allergic to anything floral. If i find a good vanilla, coconut, or any other foodie scent, I can usually do those.

    • Guys really don’t like anything too floral, do they? Mine is the same way! He prefers edible scents on me, like vailla, coconut, something fruity, tropical, or chocolatey.

  • I really enjoyed this read — I didn’t even know niche fragrances were a thing. Very neat!

    • It’s always fun to discover a new beauty term that you never knew existed! Niche perfumery was a revelation to me a few years ago, and I thought by now it would be a more popular concept.

  • FairyTales Nails

    This is a reallt lovely post, I hadn’t heard of this brand before I will have to keep my eyes peeled for these in the future x

    • Always happy to share my latest findings!