Perfume authority Michael Edwards is releasing the 26th edition of his Fragrances of the World encyclopedia this month, featuring 7,000 'luxe' and 'niche' scents including 800 new launches for the coming year.

The two-time FiFi award winner and Australian Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame honoree notes that "the most notable trend in the industry right now comes from the growth in niche products."

"Fragrance is a sociological phenomenon," he explained. "On the one hand, perfume is a commodity, dominated by global brands and fashion houses, but on the other hand we're in a new golden age of perfume, driven by artisans who seek to create experiences rather than brands."

Examples of niche fragrances, which distinguish themselves from luxe or 'prestige' fragrances through their lack of celebrity or supermodel campaign and increased focus on the product, include Comme des Garçons or Crabtree & Evelyn fragrances.

Fragrances of the World 2010 also sorts perfumes by different categories, which is supposed to make it easier to find the one that fits you from the vast offer of new scents each year.

"Fragrances of the World is dedicated to the idea that choosing a fragrance should be a pleasure, not a problem. It is the key to finding and recommending the right fragrance," said Edwards.

In addition to international availability and pricing of the listed niche and luxe fragrances, the encyclopedic work highlights limited editions and commonly known fragrances that have been discontinued.

The book hits European bookstores in December and will be released in the rest of the world in January. A sample can be viewed at