In stores or on the internet, you can find perfumes at all prices, although the juices may look pretty much the same. There are 100ml bottles of perfume for the same price as a coffee, niche fragrances for a few hundred euros, or even ultra-high luxury perfumes with astronomic prices. How can such differences be justified?
According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive perfume commercially available is Clive Christian No.1 Imperial Majesty, which was released in 2005 at $205,000 each for 500 milliliters. The perfume was presented in a Baccarat crystal flacon, decorated with a five-carat white diamond and an 18-carat gold collar. The brand praises its ingredient’s rarity, highest ingredients quality, and precious bottle, but is this enough to justify such a high price?
Why do prices differ so much?
Many things can impact a fragrance price. The fragrance ingredients, concentration, and packaging directly affect the price. However, other matters such as production scale, marketing, quality, luxury appeal, among others, affect the price considerably.
While packaging might be easy to evaluate its quality because it is visual and physical, you may find it complicated to assess the fragrance formulation. First, if you don’t know what a fragrance is made of, you can’t evaluate it thoroughly, being restricted to the scent sensory. Secondly, most of us have no background to evaluate a fragrance technically. However, you do it based on your taste. Or you like, or you don’t. Simple like that.
When are you paying too much for a fragrance you liked?
Price is too relative. What is expensive to someone might not be to another. It depends on your perception and what matters for you in a product. Once you define what is essential, it becomes clearer to see if you are paying too much for a fragrance.
You may like a brand that represents you, that has the same values and beliefs you have. So, you feel good when buying from this brand. Or, you may want to feel valued, and paying more for a luxury fragrance makes sense for you. Or exclusivity or rarity is something you want to experience.
Let’s look in detail at the most important elements that impact perfume prices.
Ingredients and Concentration
The price of perfume varies according to its composition and its concentration. The cost of the raw materials can vary considerably from one ingredient to another. Natural materials usually are more expensive to produce and control the quality. Despite the emergence of synthetic materials that have made fragrances more affordable, some synthetic materials are just as expensive. Jasmine, rose, orris and oud are among the most expensive raw materials.
Concentration also impacts the price since most ingredients are more expensive than alcohol or any other diluent. However, concentration is not a measure of quality. It is more related to how much the ingredients need to be diluted to reach the right sensory experience. Ingredients with a strong smell require a higher dilution, which means a lower concentration.
In addition, natural ingredients elevate the quality of a fragrance, creating a superior sensory quality. They bring depth to a bouquet.
On the other hand, a perfume made with only natural ingredients is also sensory-compromised and may give an old-fashion experience. All-natural is how perfumery started in the nineteenth century. The secret is in the balance of diverse materials types.
Although you may not have access to the perfume composition in detail, if the company ensures the use of essential oils, resins, or absolutes with synthetics in the formulation, it’s a good indicator of quality that can justify higher prices
Organic and Biosynthetic
If the use of essential oils increases the price of a perfume, it becomes even more expensive if it has organic ingredients. Organic ingredients need special conditions to be produced and are not widely available, so the cost is higher. In addition, an organic ingredient does not smell better than a non-organic one. So, unless you have other reasons to wear an organic perfume, you’re paying extra here.
The same goes for biosynthetic ingredients. It is a technology that is not well developed in the fragrance market yet. Biosynthetic materials are plant-based ingredients produced from natural raw materials with the use of microorganisms. For example, vanillin is extracted directly from vanilla, but it can also be synthesized from natural sources like lignin (from wood pulp) and eugenol, a component of clove oil.
Biosynthesis technology is not something new in the chemical industry, but we don’t have a wide range of biosynthetic ingredients for perfumery yet. So if it’s not essential for you to change synthetics from petroleum for biosynthetic, you don’t need to pay extra here.
From the fragrance concept, creativity can be everywhere, how a perfumer chooses and blends the ingredients, the packaging, and how a brand relates with the consumers. But, let’s stick to the juice. Something original doesn’t cost the same as something ordinary. Perfume making is an art, an intangible asset. Making an original perfume requires creativity and dedication. So, if you smelled a fragrance that you like and seems unique for you, why not invest a little bit more?
Packaging may be costly. Many brands use packaging as a strategy to add value to perfume and attract the consumer’s attention. Good packaging can translate the perfume value. Would you store something precious anywhere? But, this is tricky because beautiful packaging doesn’t mean that you have a good quality perfume within it.
It would be best if you separated the things. One thing is the liquid; the other is the bottle. Some fragrance brands defend that what is important is within. So, the packaging must be good but doesn’t need to call too much attention, because the big star is the juice.
But you may think that both are important. Or you don’t care so much about irreverent packaging but sustainable packaging, which still has a high cost. What is more important for you? What is your style? Be mindful and go for it!
In industry, high volume means lower cost. Scale reduces the unit cost. So, small batches from artisan brands will never cost the same as large batches from commercial brands. It’s the same for exclusive brands and products.
Larger manufactures have a robust structure. For example, they have quality and safety management systems that small artisans can’t afford. However, small and medium companies can outsource the production and benefit from well-structured manufactures as well. Both small and large brands can produce with quality. Yet, quality is another relative aspect because it depends on what quality means for you.
Every year thousands of new perfumes are launched in the market. Big brands have spent small fortunes on advertising. With the advent of social media, small brands can also reach consumers at lower costs, although it’s becoming increasingly crowded. Nevertheless, advertising will impact the price of the fragrance. A brand may decide to spend less on marketing to invest more in the product.
How to evaluate a fragrance?
We created a list of the main attributes to help you get clarity on what you value more. It will help you choose your ideal fragrance. You can add any other aspect you think is important.
First, select 3 to 4 attributes that you consider more important. Search for brands that can have products with these attributes. Then assess the perfumes rating from 1 to 5. The perfume with more points is the winner.
- Brand awareness
- Brand connection
- Bottle design
- Box design
- Natural ingredients
- Organic ingredients
- Bio ingredients
- Rare ingredients
- Longevity on skin
Fragrances are not different from any other product when talking about prices. We mentioned here many aspects that impact fragrances prices. But, what will really show if you paid too much for a fragrance is the experience. If the fragrance experience is equal or better than what you expected, you made a good deal.
Adhory Scents Fragrances
Do you want more than an ordinary fragrance in a cool bottle? So, you’re in the right place. Our perfume concept was designed to provide a unique and meaningful experience. We raised the bar using only the best ingredients to meet higher quality, safety, and sustainability standards. We aim to increase the use of biosynthetic materials as they become available on the market. Yet we go beyond the fragrance itself, joining premium perfumes with an inspirational experience to make your soul smile.
Know more about our concept in the video below.
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