What Are Perfume Flankers? [Everything you need to know]

Written By Lamaya Mahboob

Some perfumes are so well known and iconic, perfume houses have created a way to make different perfumes by keeping the origin of a specific perfume.

Flankers may make you a little confused as most of the time, the bottle designs and names of the perfume and its flankers are almost identical.

To clear all your doubts, read till the end of the article to understand why flankers are created and how they are marketed.

What are perfume flankers

What are perfume flankers?

Perfume flankers are perfumes which are made from the DNA of an original fragrance. To be specific, a flanker is a sequel of a released perfume. Sometimes, when a perfume is originally created, perfumers want to get more creative with it so they find formulas which revolve around the same DNA but different vibe.

Meaning, the main magic of the original perfumes and its flakers remain the same while adding some interesting twists to add individuality. Mostly, flankers are made of a perfume which becomes very popular and demanded by the audience. While some of the flankers are massive hits and others can be disappointing as well.

What does flanker mean in perfume?

Flankers are the children of the original perfume which carry the same DNA. These fragrances generally represent reinterpretations of classics, of already popular juices. Perfume houses use this technique as it is easier to sell perfumes which are similar to a previous hit perfume rather than forming a whole new formula from starch which may or may not see the light of success.

Making flankers of an original perfume is one of the most common ideas in today’s perfumery world. If you go into a perfume shop, you will see that almost every row has a perfume surrounded by its flankers. And rightfully so, sometimes it has also been observed that some flankers become more famous than its original perfume.

Not only do the smell of these perfumes carry the same DNA, they have similar designed bottles and they make the names different by adding one or two words to the original name.

Yes, flankers do have some similar elements or notes as the original perfume. However, the perfumers make sure to put a different angle into every flanker after keeping the same DNA. So do not think you are wasting your money by purchasing a flanker as you already have the original scent.

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There are different types of flankers. As you have learnt by now a flaneker is made by keeping the original perfume’s DNA while having its own unique personality. Some flankers are created by increasing the intensity of a particular note or notes and some are done by adding new ingredients. It all depends on the taste of the perfumer and the demand of customers.

Sometimes a flanker is created to have a more modern version of an old best seller perfume to keep the trail continuing. Some of them are done to change the formula into more of a feminine or muscular perfume.

How are flankers good for business?

Flanker is most criticized by people as they believe it is the way perfumes choose to make perfumes in a lazy way. As flankers are rarely as good as the original perfume, buyers think buying them is a waste of their money. Perfumers do not use their creative minds while making them, they only create them to increase sales in a quick and easy way. However, it is a great method.

Here are reasons why perfume houses love creating flankers:

Building on a successful formula: As the original perfume is already loved by everyone, the customers will be intrigued to smell a similar smell with a different twist.

Imagine your favorite perfume now releases a brand new flanker after 5 year, would not you be interested to know how the new aroma smells? I know your answer is ‘yes’. And you are not the only one. This willingness to smell the new flanker is great for business. Customers always buy flankers without hesitation as they can already predict the smell.

So the risk factor of having a flop release decreases if the perfume is a flanker of a popular scent. On the other hand, not every perfume has flankers. A perfume which did not do so well in the market with its release, perfumers do not make flankers of that anymore. As if the original is not loved enough, why would people want any more of it? That is why only successful fragrances have flankers.

Expanding market reach: Having a hit perfume means you already have a chunk of market for it. However, it still has its limits. If you think about a popular perfume which is great for winter and evening because it’s dark, customers will buy it only for the cold months.

Now if you make a flanker which is lighter than the original one, the market automatically increases. If the original perfume is muscular, they make the flanker more toward feminine.

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Staying relevant and trendy: Making flankers does not only increase the sales, it always helps the house to be trendy. When a perfume is re-released as a flanker, the perfumer makes the perfume in such a way that it goes with the ear and generation.

If you think about a famous but old perfume, now it can be marketed for older people only as with time our taste changes and so does our smell. If you make a flanker now, the customer from the new generation would be interested to buy it.

What does niche mean in perfume?

When you call a perfume niche, it means it is a unique scent which is released on a small scale. The limited availability of niche perfumes are sometimes called artisan fragrances.

Niche perfumes can only be made by artisan perfumers. Each fragrance is structured according to strict industry standards.

The principle of using only the highest quality ingredients. The perfumes produced are unique, rich and of excellent quality. These perfumes are hand-blended with natural ingredients. Quality standards are so high that you don’t get a perfume that is irritating to your skin and contains inferior ingredients.

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Buying a niche perfume is your chance to own a scent that no one else has. It is created with passion to provide a longer lasting, more attention-grabbing, richer sensory experience.

It’s about owning something different that you cannot find in every shop. Niche perfumes cover a wider variety of notes and create a much wider range of more diverse and interesting scents.

Each skilled perfumer has his own style, which contrasts with mass-produced designer perfumes.

Niche perfumes are smart and innovative fragrances created with love and expertise.

A pleasant sensory experience for the perfumers who took the time to manually develop and create each fragrance.


Flankers are one of the most common strategies used by perfume houses nowadays. And some of them actually turn out to be nicer than the original scent.

It is not a waste of money to buy a flanker as it can be different that the original perfume even if they have the same DNA.

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If you have any further queries, please feel free to ask them in the comment section, and I would be happy to answer them.

About The Author
Perfume has always been Lamaya's passion as she grew up smelling all the perfumes her mother had. And sometimes she would spray them on her secretly. Lamaya likes doing doodling art as well. If you ever see her in person, you can request a doodle art. You might get one. She wants to be an Environmental & Animal rights activist in the future.

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