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Dec 27, 2023

Planning to create a niche fragrance brand? Here’s what you need to know

“To create a niche brand takes courage and creativity” – Philippe Solas, CEO of the French niche perfume brand Une Nuit Nomade

These words echoed in a vibrant atmosphere, steeped in the avant-garde spirit that Philippe Solas, the multi-hyphenated CEO of the French niche perfume brand Une Nuit Nomade, consistently infuses into the perfume industry.

A host of passionate creatives applauded him, eager to learn the rules of the game and how to break them. As students of the new Master in Fragrances and Cosmetics Brand Management and Licensing as well as the BA in Fragrances & Cosmetics Management at Istituto Marangoni Paris, they filled the attendance list as soon as they heard the school had invited Solas as their guest. And he did not disappoint expectations, generously sharing his path and the philosophy behind the enchanting universe of niche fragrances. 

Alexandra Cubizolles and Philippe Solas, co-founders of the French niche perfume brand Une Nuit Nomade

Alexandra Cubizolles and Philippe Solas, co-founders of the French niche perfume brand Une Nuit Nomade

In conceptualising Une Nuit Nomade, co-founders Alexandra Cubizolles and Philippe Solas aimed to convey “their desire for French elegance, storytelling, and a love of changing landscapes,” as stated on the brand’s website. “It is a call to live a unique sensory experience—an olfactory approach to the world where nature and luxury are inseparable.”

As the global perfumery landscape transforms, consumers are venturing beyond major fragrance blockbusters, giving rise to the popularity of niche scents. Une Nuit Nomade stands as a testament to this shift. Introduced in 2015, the brand has expanded its presence to 25 countries and garnered acclaim for its 14 travel-inspired fragrances that intricately capture emotions.  

However, the journey was not just a bed of roses. Establishing a niche perfume brand in the crowded perfume world proved to be a complex challenge, especially considering that innovation and distinctiveness are key in this industry. That’s why Solas emphasised “courage and creativity” when asked what it takes to launch a brand like Une Nuit Nomade. 

The world of scents by Une Nuit Nomade

The world of scents by Une Nuit Nomade

Ready to discover more? Whether you’re thinking of starting a niche fragrance brand or simply interested in discovering the hidden secrets of this realm, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know.


The Sound of Perfume. An Unconventional Journey 

Philippe Solas has quite an unconventional profile. Before founding Une Nuit Nomade, he worked as Marketing Director at Universal Music.

“The shift from music to fragrances marked a transformative journey in its own right” – Philippe Solas

Alexandra Cubizolles also worked at Universal Music, where she served as Artistic Director. According to their brand website, they wanted to “explore other passions, become independent, and create differently. They met to talk about travel, poetry, spirituality, nature, and a shared willingness to build something with sincerity and ethics.” 

After leaving Universal, Philippe Solas trained in the Japanese energy massage technique of Shiatsu, fascinated by the Asian heritage.

During the talk, he emphasised the importance of breaking moulds, embracing diverse experiences, and adopting an unusual approach to perfume creation to mark its own territory of expression.


A Dance of Ideas. Why Managers Have to Find a Deep Connection with Perfumers

A central theme of the meeting underscored the significance of an intimate relationship with perfumers, the key to transforming ideas into olfactory notes.

Solas highlighted the significance of these creative collaborations, stressing how each fragrance narrates a story through the richness of scents—a sensory journey crafted through the mastery of perfumers.


Not Forgetting Business – Each Fragrance Market Has Its Rules

The CEO also delved into the business side of things.

Solas discussed how expanding into new fragrance markets, such as China, implies a deep analysis of the tastes and habits of specific customers, who are often very young and curious.


Shaping the Future of Niche Perfumery 

Philippe Solas unveiled some future projects to the audience: opening a boutique in France and creating silk scarves that can be scented. This will be an olfactory experience that opens up new habits in perfumery —an innovative blend of tradition and modernity shaping new horizons. 

There is no doubt that Solas’ determination to explore new frontiers in the world of perfumery is inspiring for both aspiring creators and enthusiasts. This daring and foresighted visionary, coupled with the story of Une Nuit Nomade, is living proof of the value of not fearing challenges. Embracing creativity is a fundamental pillar for success in the vast landscape of niche perfumery, essential for transforming an idea into an enchanting olfactory reality.



Giulia De Luca
Master in Fragrances and Cosmetics Brand Management and Licensing, Paris