why perfumes expensive

Why Are Perfumes So Expensive? 3 Main Facts That Affects The Price

Hey there! One of the common questions from my friends and family members when they’re asking about my perfumes is “WTF?! Why are perfumes so expensive?”. Of course, some of mine perfumes are really expensive (don’t want to brag about it, just a fact): I have about 7 Tom Ford perfumes, 5 Xerjoff perfumes, 5 By Killian perfumes, 9 Serge Lutens perfumes… And so on 🙂

Before I dove into perfume world, I asked myself about prices too. I didn’t know, to say, why is Creed cologne so expensive? Why Roja perfumes cost like decent watches or bags? Years after I found the answers, and today I’m going to inform you about some of the nuances.

So for my personal opinion, there are 3 main facts that affects the final price of any perfume:

  1. Brand;
  2. Ingredients;
  3. Complexity of fragrance pyramide.

Let’s take a closer look at every point, and as a common example we’ll take some high-priced perfume brands, like Tom Ford, Creed, or Xerjoff.

1. Brand as a Price Component

We should admit it: brand is one of the most important (and for some manufacturers, the only one) components that affects the final price tag in the store.

Let’s take, for instance, Tom Ford perfumes (one of mine favorite). Why does an average price for the perfume is about $200? Because this brand is all about luxury. It’s hard to imagine that the brand who sells jackets for over 3-4 thousand dollars, would sell perfumes for $50.

Yep, that jackets are almost 5k$

Some of the brands, like Xerjoff, is a synonym of the quality. In this case, the name affects on the price as well – it’s like a swiss watches: you don’t need to know everything about every brand of the swiss watches, but you’re surely know that the watches from Switzerland is a “quality, dignity, and timeless classics”.

Also, don’t forget about media coverage for the high-priced brands: Rihanna’s favorite brand is By Killian; Meghan Markle and Cynthia Erivo are up to Jo Malone; Victoria Beckham and Rosie Huntington Whiteley loves Byredo perfumes. And these persons doesn’t use it in the commercials – they’re really love these scents, so that makes a good name for the brand.

2. Ingredients as Inherent (and Pricey) Part of The Price

I wouldn’t say about prices for some ingredients (you can find a tons of this information across the web). However, I can’t walk by this theme, so here is a few quick facts about fragrance ingredients:

  1. Some manufacturers has unique ingredients. One of the best examples is Fauve Liana, which is exclusive for Aura Mugler Eau De Parfum.
  2. Expensive ingredients by their nature. For instance, let’s take oud wood. Like it said in the Fortune magazine, oud is a “liquid gold”, and essential oil, used in perfumes, can sell for more than $5000/pound.
  3. Some ingredients is a composition of other ingredients. Yep, that’s complicate, but here’s the interesting fact: in some perfumes you can find such ingredient, as a gun powder. And this perfumes really has a notes of gun powder. But does it real to make “essential oil of gun powder”? Of course not. So the ingredient called “gun powder note” in the perfumes is a composition of cardamom, pineapple, melon, coriander, and white pepper (!!!).

3. Complexity of Fragrance Pyramide (With Experiment!)

At least, but not last, complexity of fragrance pyramide is one of the crucial points why are perfumes so expensive.

Let’s make a small experiment: we’d like to create three perfumes. One of them containing such notes, as: grapefruit, strawberry, musk, vanilla, violet; the second one is a mix of gun powder, lime, smoke, brandy, balsam fir, sea water, cedar and amber; the third one is a mix of rubber, plastic, caramel, gun powder, melon, smoke, earthy notes, and tropical fruits.

Our first perfume is smells just… fine. Not bad. Acceptable. Appropriate. The second one is a perfumeric interpretation of the Battle of Trafalgar: it smells like a mix of gun powder, blood, salty sea water, metal, wood. The third one is something strange, but very attractive. Now, try to guess, which one is the most expensive, and which one is the less.

Don’t see a necessity to hold this secret, so here is: the first one is a Marc Jacobs Daisy ($86 per 1.7 oz/30 ml in Sephora); the second one is the Beaufort 1805 Tonnere ($150 per 1.7 oz/30 ml), the third one is Nasomatto Fantomas, with a price $185 per 1.7 oz/30 ml.


Considering the question why are perfumes so expensive, you shouldn’t consider all the mentioned facts separately. All of them are important, and affects the final price. Of course, in some cases prices creating just based on the fact “because I can do this”. Don’t really want to name these brands, but if you find about nothing the brand, and you can’t find anything complicate in the composition, probably this perfume is just a overhyped product.

Do you have any questions? Want to ask something about perfumes? Feel free to write in a comment sections below!