Malle's line, I agree has retained it's style, as in no real house coherence, just self contained, fairly well thought out scents with a reason and purpose. It's a hard line to 'sell' at retail, partly because neither Malle nor the noses are 'known' to the average person, the packaging and display is all simple, and the prices seem really high and people don't understand what they're buying. I found the juice should sell itself, but will Malle's line it always required a long back story for people to 'get' what it was all about. And they still often said wow nice, but ok I want something like Chanel or Ford I can tell my girlfriends about. Malle's is a line that I'd say I respect, but I don't really like or own very many. I think I have 2-3 max? Musc Ravageur because it's sort of the 'must have' one from his line, and Dans Tes Bras which is just a weird niche-y type of scent that I find unique but rarely reach for. Vetiver Extraordinaire and a few others are solid but basic scents for niche lovers who appreciate them but compare that to your typical line and for average joe the other stuff always wins. Show them VE next to TF Grey Vetiver.... one's $200-300 and has a blank bottle and smells raw. One's $120-150 and has a cool sleek bottle and silver plaque and Tom Ford's name on it and is EdP and smells 'fresh'. Guess who's going to win 8/10 times?
As a follow up to the pop music approach we've mentioned before, perhaps there's also a bit of a bias on our part here. I think because we've all been around the block and smelled SO many scents, we've sort of seen a lot of these moves before. We've been out to the edges of weird interesting niche. I mean imagine you're following runway trends and then Burberry comes out with some sort of new bag. You and I are going to go uh yeah seen this before, how is this new, eye roll. But to average joe it's still new and exciting and they'll take it. So maybe the issue is that we're partly a little jaded (attitude) and partly too knowledgeable (everything newish seems redundant). Overall I will still say though that we're seeing more pseudo-niche showing up. These big companies doing whole collections at a time, with mediocre juice, fancy looking packaging and a lot of sizzle, then they drop them and repeat it again. I get so fatigued with all of it I just stop going to retail to look and instead wait for the community to let me know what's actually worth going to check out.