The Cost of Perfume
Perfume can come in a wide variety of smells, styles, sizes, and prices.
Have you ever wondered why some perfumes cost so much, and some so little?
There are a lot of variables that can go into the pricing of perfumes and fragrances.
The reason for different pricing can be different from company to company, and we’ll be sharing with you what we’ve found out.
While ingredients can be one of the smaller factors in a fragrance’s price, it still plays a role. Some companies will pay more for ingredients that are rare and, ultimately, more costly. The more ingredients that are going into a fragrance, will affect the price along the way. Some ingredients, many pounds or thousands of flowers, for example, are needed to produce a small amount of oil. Different ingredients, and different purities of them, can change the quality of a fragrance.
Some ingredients have a higher cost due to labor. Vanilla, for example, comes from certain orchids that need very specific climates to grow. Within that, there is only ONE Bee species that is able to pollinate these Orchids, which is found in Southern Mexico. Most of the world’s Vanilla is grown in Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, and needs to be pollinated by hand.
For some oils, it can take thousands of flowers, hundreds of thousands of petals, stems, or stigmas or many pounds of something, to produce a small amount of oil. Some flowers need to be hand picked before dawn, when they are most potent. Some ingredients need to sit and ‘age’ before or after distillation. Gathering all of the needed ingredients can take days to weeks.
The perfumer, or ‘nose’, is the person who makes the actual fragrance. They are essentially a Chemist, working in labs, experimenting, and creating magic. It can take up to a decade or more to complete schooling to become a perfumer, and even more training on the job. This is the person who takes you on an olfactory journey, the person who moves you emotionally and mentally. This is the person who can touch our souls with scents.
The length of time a scent will last on you is almost directly affected by the types of oils used, and how much. The higher the concentration of a fragrance, the longer it will last. And aren’t we all always hunting for the scent(s) that will last all day and night on us?
The more oils added to a scent, especially when they are more concentrated, will add to the cost of the scent in the end.
Mass vs limited production and exclusivity:
Oftentimes things bought in bulk will cost less, and having more of something means you can do things with it faster, like mass-producing a scent. In this case, it will not cost as much to sell. But when more thought and care is put into the fragrance, when better and more rare ingredients are used, not as much will be made, making the quantity sold less….which makes it go up in price. Exclusivity plays a role here as well. When something is not easy to find, there is more appeal to it and desire for it, and it becomes more special. And people will pay more for things that are special to them.
Packaging and Presentation:
Some factors that affect price will be the bottle, and sometimes the presentation of the packaging. For example, the Tiziana Terenzi Sea Stars collection bottles are adorned with a Gold plated Sea Star on the cap, giving it a stunning look. The packaging that this already spectacular bottle comes in, takes it a step further. Upon opening the box, a small light comes on, highlighting the exquisite shape and coloring of the bottle and the eye catching inner color that surrounds it. The shining star of the collection, Atlantide, comes in a bigger box, with the bottle nestled inside a tube filled with seawater.
The Royal Crown bottles are adorned with Cubic Zirconia crystals, the Amouage bottles are adorned with Swarovski Crystals in colors that match the bottles themselves, the Shalini perfumes are made to look like old fashioned perfumes with a modern look, and working bulb pump atomizers.
Sometimes the price of a fragrance is affected by the company that sells it. If the name is famous and always sought after, it will have an impact on the price. With some well known perfume houses like Creed, Roja Dove, Chanel, ect, you are partially paying for the name.
In some cases, it can be the marketing that hikes up the price. Commercials, magazine ads, social media ads, celebrity endorsements, these all add up and can have an effect on the price.
In retail, everyone down the line takes a cut to be able to make a profit on a product. It is the way of the world. The price increases a little bit as it changes hands and ends up in the stores.
It is comparable to buying cheap clothing vs the expensive, well made items.
It is comparable to owning an original painting vs a print.
It is comparable to eating fast food vs at a Michelin Star restaurant.
At the end of the day, perfume is a luxury good…..some more luxurious than others. It is an art form, created by a master who wants you to have something beautiful that makes you feel something. It can be as simple as the difference in where you shop, with or without knowledgeable people to help you out.
When you start your journey into the niche world of fragrances, you can tell the differences between scents that are made differently. You take a deeper dive into the essence of each scent. You feel more.
People will pay what they want for items they feel are, or are not, quality. It will be different for each person. Experimentation is the best way to start, and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth it for you.