Indie Glossary

Entering the indie world can be daunting, and there are tons of abbreviations thrown around that might confuse a newcomer. I’ve done my best to provide a comprehensive list of common terms you might encounter.

  • BNNU– Means “Bought New, Never Used”. Refers to a product that was purchased but never actually used by the buyer.
  • BPAL– Short for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It is the largest indie perfume house known for scents like Dorian and Antique Lace. They also frequently collab with Neil Gaiman and major films such as Crimson Peak and Labyrinth.
  • BPTP– Short for Black Phoenix Trading Post. This is the sister shop of BPAL, and they sell hair glosses, soaps, atmosphere sprays, nail polish, t-shirts, and other goodies.
  • DC– Short for “Discontinued”. These products can no longer be purchased at their source stores.
  • Decant– A decant is when someone takes some perfume out of their personal bottle and puts it in a smaller container, usually a sample. It can also be done with eyeshadows.
  • FF– Short for “Femme Fatale”. They are an Australian indie retailer who sells brands like Arcana, Shiro, and more.
  • FS– Short for “Full Size”. A product that is not a sample. For perfume, a FS is usually 5mL.
  •  GC– Short for “General Catalog”. It refers to items that are not limited edition or seasonal and can be bought year-round and are restocked somewhat regularly.
  • HG– This can refer to two things: “Hair Gloss” or “Holy Grail”. Hair glosses are scented hair oils. Holy Grail refers to a person’s favorite product.
  • HoG– Short for “Haus of Gloi”. A perfume company known for scents like Cozy Sweater, as well as their bath and body products like their Pumpkin Butter.
  • Imp– BPAL’s term for a sample.
  • ISO and DISO– They mean “In Search Of” and “Desperately In Search Of”, respectively. These are items on a person’s wishlist that they are actively searching for.
  • LE– Short for “Limited Edition”. Refers to items that are around for a specific period of time before being discontinued.
  • MPZ– Short for My Pretty Zombie. An indie makeup company known for their edgy aesthetic with product names like Anthrax, Everything Looks Better on a Meat Hook, and Grandma Cleavage.
  • Notes– These are the components that make up a perfume.
  • NAVA– Short for “Nocturne Alchemy and VApothecary”. They’re a perfume house who specializes in rich scents with notes like resin, vanilla, and musk. Their perfumes have an Egyptian theme.
  • OHWTO– Short for “One Hand Washes the Other.” An indie perfume brand on Etsy.
  • OOS– Short for “Out of Stock”. A product that currently cannot be purchased because the company has run out of it.
  • PIF– Short for “Pay It Forward”. Usually its a giveaway of some items where nothing is expected in return; it is done out of the kindness of the person’s heart.
  • RIS– Short for “Received in Swap”. This means that the item was not purchased by that particular person, and they either bought it from someone else or swapped it for another item.
  • S92– Short for “Sixteen92”. They are a perfumery that specializes in witchy, gothic scents such as Salem.
  • SN– Short for “single note”. A perfume where it only has one component for the scent.
  • Sniffie– A sniffie is an empty bottle or sample of perfume that is usually free with another purchase. Sniffies are a great way to see if you like a scent before you purchase a larger size of it.
  • SS– Short for “Solstice Scents”. They are a perfume house that specializes in atmospheric scents. Popular ones include Manor and Rose Mallow Cream. They also make EDP scents.
  • Swap– Swaps are super popular in the indie community; its simply when one person trades one item for another. Money does not change hands, only the items do.
  • TAT– Short for “Turn Around Time”. This refers to the time it takes between placing an order and the order shipping. Most indies have longer turn around times than mainstream brands because they are smaller companies where things are sometimes made to order by one or two people.
  • TOL– Short for “Top of Label”. Refers to the fill level on a perfume bottle being at the top of the brand label.
  • YMMV – Short for “Your Mileage May Vary”. Such a term usually pertains to perfumes, and it means that a fragrance can vary from person to person due to skin chemistry. If a scent smells bad on one person, it might smell great on another.

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