Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Why Are Some Perfumes More Expensive?

Still Life, Roses, Perfume  When my mother was growing up, she was told that a women was never completely dressed until she spritzed herself with a bit of perfume.  By the time, I was at an age, I might have started wearing it, she no longer wore it and I discovered most scents were not particularly appealing.

I've seen perfume in those duty free shops at the airport and wondered why some cost so much more than others.  Some can cost a thousand dollars an ounce while others are only a hundred or so.  

The cost of the perfume depends on three factors.

1.  Does the perfume contain any rare ingredients?  Does it contain the oils of a flower, root, three, or musk from an animal?  Some of these can be quite pricey to make so these can increase the cost. It could be the perfume uses a synthetic ingredient that is hard to make so it costs more.  The perfume might use something from a flower that blooms once a year so the flower is quite scarce. 

One of the perfumes from the 1930's that claimed to be the most expensive in the world, used 10,600 jasmine flowers and 28 dozen roses to make one bottle.  It takes 8,000 jasmine flowers to produce 1/25th ounce of oil.  Other expensive ingredients include the Bulgarian Rose, oud, ambergris, and orris.

 Oud is a resin produced when a wood was infected with a mold and is known as "liquid gold".  On the other hand ambergris is collected from remains found on the beach and was originally from the intestine of the sperm whale.  Then there is orris which is the dried rhizomes from the iris plant.  If a perfume has 15% or more of these ingredients in it, it is going to cost more.

2.  The cost of marketing can cause the price to rise especially if the company has to hire celebrities to sell a hard to sell fragrance to the public.  Other ways the cost goes up is if the company only creates a limited number of bottles.  Some people will buy one of the limited run for bragging rights, much like purchasing a limited run piece of art or wine.

3. The final factor is packaging.  Perfumers know if they want to sell their product, they have to create a beautiful package.  Some of the most expensive perfumes in the world come in crystal bottles made in France. Some even have diamonds in them.

It is often hard to know if you are paying for expensive ingredients, marketing, or packaging.  Do you have a favorite perfume?  Occasionally, I wear something I buy in Hawaii because I love the floral scents but only a very small bottle because it is more likely to evaporate before I use it up......LOL.

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