Why Are Some Perfumes So Expensive?
Written by: Sarah S.
A 33oz bottle of Alaïa Paris will run you about $2500, but smelling like a warm breeze in Tunisia: well, one might say that would be priceless. Whatever sensation or memory you would like to invoke through your choice of fragrance, there is a perfume out there for you, but it might cost you more than you’d like to spend. It is not unusual for luxury perfumes to be extraordinarily expensive. Why, you ask? There are several reasons.
Many of the luxury scents you love are crafted from the most exquisite oils extracted from delicate flower petals or tree roots, or even musk from rare animals. In contrast, cheaper or more affordable perfumes are usually made up of ingredients that are more common, or even synthetic chemicals that are created in a lab as opposed to natural ingredients that are found in nature. This is why one can detect “cheap” perfume quite easily, as the synthetic scent is easy to pick out as it does not exist in nature.
When it comes to expensive perfumes, there are certain ingredients that take the cake. It is these rare ingredients that are the main factor when it comes to driving up the cost of perfumes. These ingredients give off an exquisite fragrance… They are also incredibly rare, difficult to procure, and contain a small amount of usable oil.
Just to give you an idea, the fragrance that was branded in the 1930s as "the world's most expensive perfume," Jean Patou Joy, was so upscale because it took 10,600 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen May roses to make a single bottle! No, seriously, you read that right!
So, what are these extra luxurious ingredients? Let’s take a look at what to look out for when it comes to these expensive perfumes:
- Orris: This is considered to be one of the rarest perfume ingredients. It is derived from the root of the iris flower.
- Jasmine: Jasmine is not necessarily hard to come across, but it takes a huge scale (about 240,000) of petals to yield just one ounce of pure essential oil.
- Ambergris: This is a waxy substance that comes from the intestines of sperm whales.
- Bulgarian rose: These roses are handpicked each May from a valley in Bulgaria where they've been cultivated for centuries. They only bloom once a year!
- Oud: This oil is distilled from the heartwood of agarwood that's been infected with a certain type of mold.
- Musk: Originally obtained from a specific deer species, this ingredient is hard to come across in nature. It is expensive to re-create this scent using synthetics, but through scientific research and investment, many fragrance companies have come up with the perfect elixir.
Some fragrances are expensive because they are truly created by artists. When some companies create fragrance, they aim to tell a story and invoke a certain feeling or special memory. Some brands market perfumes similarly to art or very fine wines, even going so far as creating only so many bottles to be sold. There is an element of exclusivity in the fragrance world, after all, you don’t want just anyone to smell like you, you want to be unique and stand out if you are investing in a special fragrance. The exclusivity generates hype, and buyers with lavish taste are consistently more than willing to pay the price.
We all know that an expensive bottle of perfume is an ultimate luxury, and is certainly a status symbol. Is it worth it? If it makes you feel like a million bucks, maybe it is. But certainly an investment of that scale requires reassurance. Luckily, you can sample the world's most luxurious perfumes without committing to spending hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on a bottle.
You can experience luxury at a fraction of the price by browsing our sample bottle and travel bottle offering on Scents Angel. Check out our favorite scents here and get started on your journey into luxury fragrances today!
- Sarah S.