5 Facts Why Perfume is So Expensive30.12.2021
This is undisputed: Scent can be intoxicatingly powerful. A few drops of a high-quality fragrance can make you feel more confident and put together. A perfume bottle is a luxurious purchase, which is largely due to the high price. Exquisite perfumes are expensive – but how can a small amount of fragrance be so expensive?
We are perfume and fragrance lovers and have spent a lot of time studying the world of perfume to understand why perfume is so expensive. You may be surprised at what we discovered.
Why is perfume so costly? It is true that perfume is both a business venture and a work-of-art. So much goes into creating and selling it. It all boils down to the price we are willing to pay.
Why is perfume so expensive?!
- Ingredients of the Perfume
Contrary to budget-friendly perfumes that are less expensive, high-end fragrances offer a more balanced scent with top notes, heart and base notes. This is possible because perfumes are made with a variety of ingredients that all contribute to their cost.
Luxury perfumes use some of the most rare and sought-after quality ingredients and essential oils. These ingredients can be anything from flowers to endangered parts of animals. You’ll want to read on if you are vegan to learn which perfume ingredients you should avoid. The rule of thumb is that the more difficult an ingredient is to obtain, the more costly it will be.
Let’s begin with the sweet floral scents. To make perfume oil, it can take a lot of flowers. It can be hard to find these flowers, especially if they are seasonal. Some flowers bloom only for a month each year so picking them must be done with care. Jasmine, Bulgarian Rose, and Orris are the most expensive flower scents available on the market. Are they in your favourite perfumes or are they just a coincidence?
This is not just for floral scents. Some perfumes include the seductively earthy, smokey scent of oud oil. This oil is made from wood extracted from Aquilaria trees and is very popular in the Middle East. This ingredient is difficult to make because these trees only produce oud (a dark, extremely fragrant form resin) when infected by a type of fungal disease. Without insects infecting the tree with this kind of fungus, it is almost odourless. This must be extracted by skilled craftsmen who are knowledgeable in their trade. This lengthy process results in oud being known as “black gold” in the Middle East.
Some ingredients can also be extracted from animals, and it is not surprising (or fortunately) that they are becoming more difficult to find.
Natural musk can be difficult to find and is among the most expensive animal products available. Why? To get genuine, natural musk, one would need to kill a Kashmir musk deer (an endangered animal) and then extract its glands to obtain its powerful scent. Synthetic musk is now more easily available.
Ambergris is not cruelty-free. It is made from the intestines and sperm whales, which are also endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Bottom line: A 125ml perfume bottle costing $10 is not going to be made from genuine oil extracted from natural ingredients like jasmine flowers and musk. However, the former may not necessarily be a bad thing. The majority of cheaper perfumes are made from synthetic, laboratory-manufactured oils that are designed to mimic the original scents.
- Perfume Manufacturing Costs
This is an obvious fact but we often forget that professional perfumers have to actually make the perfumes. They are the anonymous ghost-writers behind the powerful brand names we all know.
Some fashion houses, such as Chanel, Guerlain and Dior, have an in-house perfumer. However, many fragrance companies outsource their scents, such as International Flavour and Fragrance, Firmenich, and Guaudin. These corporations charge brands for formulas at a markup that is passed on to consumers.
- Packaging of perfumes
It is impossible to undervalue luxury packaging. There are two reasons why.
1) The Visual Aspect
It’s easy to be attracted by pretty bottles on shelves. And perfume brands know this! A new fragrance’s visual appeal is the best way to make it stand out in a highly competitive market. Beautifully crafted bottles have a stronger shelf presence, and are more likely to be associated with the brand (which is exactly what they’re trying to do.
Premium boxes are a great way to assure customers of the quality and value of a beautiful fragrance bottle. Many people are convinced that a beautiful bottle lying in their hands is a better quality product. On the other hand, others may consider unimpressively light bottles to be of lower quality. Pricing of the fragrance is influenced by the way it is presented.
2) Protection of the Perfume
It’s not just vanity and show. A perfume bottle is not only decorative but also serves a practical purpose, such as protecting the fragrance’s integrity. By trapping the fragrance inside and keeping it out of the sun, a good perfume bottle will ensure that it lasts for a long time. It’s quite a responsibility to have a fragile and small glass bottle.
As you can see, all of the above significantly increases the overall cost of production and ultimately drives up the retail price for luxury fragrances.
- Marketing Scents and the Cost
It doesn’t matter if the fragrance isn’t popularized. Chanel No. 5 is a classic example of how even the most well-known perfumes can still be marketed in huge campaigns. 5, back in 2004. They invested $33 million in a commercial featuring Nicole Kidman, a celebrity and Marilyn Monroe’s favourite, along with Clair de Lune, a beautiful rendition, to make the commercial. Although the commercial was not well received, it didn’t stop people from talking about it.
- Niche Fragrances are a whole other story
Niche perfumes can be considered the best luxury perfumes, and also some of the most expensive. Niche perfumes are not as readily available as celebrity and designer perfumes and are made by smaller companies that are completely dedicated to perfume-making.
These scents are a great investment option for those who want to own the best luxury fragrances. These limited-edition perfumes are a huge hit! Niche fragrances don’t focus on expensive packaging or paid marketing and instead concentrate on the quality of the ingredients. Niche perfumes are a great product to indulge in. The majority of your money goes towards the actual liquid in the bottle, not marketing.
Many of the most popular niche fragrances have been purchased out by larger conglomerates in recent years. Estee Lauder Cos. Inc. bought Jo Malone London, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle and Le Labo, while Maison Francis Kurkdjian was bought out LVMH.