why are perfumes so expensive

why are perfumes so expensive?

by Kevin Tunstall
Updated on

So, why are perfumes so expensive?

Making the right impression on the people around you is very essential, regardless of the particular situation.

Even if you are in a board meeting or on a date, the importance of smelling just right is not a matter of debate. A good cologne can indeed have a positive impact on a person’s self-confidence.

When you are out in the market, you will discover that selecting a cologne can be quite difficult, especially given their prices.

It might seem quite unreasonable to spend almost a hundred dollars on a teeny tiny bottle of fragrance. However, we have a reasonable explanation for those amounts.

why is perfume so expensive?


The most prominent factor behind perfumes being expensive is their raw material. If a certain company is sourcing rare, exotic ingredients for its scents, the price is naturally going to reflect that. And one cannot underestimate the costs of these natural oils.

A natural, organic raw material can be quite pricey. Some can cost up to thousands of dollars per kilogram.

Not just that, these materials have to be bought in large quantities and then have to go through many processes for the extraction of their essence. 

And that is just for natural ingredients. People assume that synthetic materials used in fragrances are cheap but that is not the case. Good quality synthetics can be very costly. In the end, all the individual constituents of a bottle determine its price.


Some brands deliberately keep prices high to ensure exclusivity. This means that they do not want their product in wide circulation as that lends them the reputation of being a premium product.

This attracts more elite consumers towards their collections, who are usually willing much more than the average person. This leads to more demand and more profits for the firm.

Brand Loyalty

Perfumes happen to be one of the things that a consumer can form a habit of. If a person has been wearing a scent for some time, it is not easy to get them to change their preference, let alone divert from the company.

This is why perfume companies usually have a very strong and loyal customer base. Demand rarely drops by a lot. This allows them to retain their high prices.


Some companies spend a lot on their branding, and when we say a lot, we mean millions of dollars.

companies have to incur a lot of expenses on advertising, celebrity endorsements, campaigns, showcases, launchings, etc. Plus, scents are never easy to advertise. It takes a lot of creativity and skills to pursue the viewer to buy a product for its scent based on just visuals.

All of these things play a substantial role in establishing a brand. 

Each member of the marketing team has to be fairly compensated. Ad space is expensive. Deals signed with celebs can cost millions of dollars. All of these expenses are added to the final cost of the product.


Top companies are well aware that perfumes are one of those products that need to not just be practical, but also be attractive to the buyer.

Most expensive brands sell their scents in beautifully crafted crystal bottles. These cost a lot by themselves. A lot of work is also put into the appearance and design of these bottles.

All this helps in making the product stand out among the sea of items that are present on the shelves of a store.

Plus, the company also spends on opening their own boutiques and buying shelf space. And since the products are sensitive in nature, all these things add up to be quite costly.

Quality and Research

Since they are applied directly to the body, perfumes cannot be compromised in terms of quality. A lot of research goes behind finding the right scents, the right combinations. A good scent takes time and effort to build.

Big brands usually have their own teams to find exquisite scents that will appeal to the audience. Even then, only good quality raw material that has been properly processed needs to be used. 

All these people involved in research and procuring material have to be paid. Quality checks can be a tedious and costly process. Research in itself costs a pretty penny.


It is not unusual to see popular brands collaborating with celebrities to launch a new, exclusive product line.

The perfume industry is no stranger to this. Many bigwigs launch scents in partnership with renowned celebrities and designers, like Zara’s recently launched collaboration with Jo Malone.

These creations are often sold at high prices as they are limited in numbers. The collaborator also has to be paid for their involvement in the whole production process. 

Consumer Pattern Awareness

Some companies tend to mark up their products to a great extent simply because they are aware of consumer patterns and behavior.

The industry giants know that their customers are willing to pay more for unique products. Some manufacturers in fact exploit their buyers by making exorbitant prices just for the brand value of the company. 

Another fact is that people tend to believe that the pricier a product is, the better its quality is. So in a way, manufacturers are just trying to reaffirm the customer’s faith in their brand.

How Much Should you Spend?

So, now comes the big question. Is spending this much on a cologne worth it?

The answer is yes.

While we do not recommend blindly blowing hundreds of dollars on a bottle of perfume, it is wise to not go for the cheap options.

Perfumes come in direct contact with the skin, and hence their quality needs to be kept under check. On top of that, many cheap perfumes end up making you reek of unpleasant alcohol-like odor that can be quite off-putting for everyone. It is best to conduct proper research and read a few blogs before you actually buy a scent. 

Smelling good might not be at the top of your priorities, but it cannot be pushed too far down. 

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About the author

Kevin Tunstall

Kevin is a Men's dating and image consultant. He writes about relationships and lifestyle-related topics on Dapperclan. He loves helping men improve themselves and to achieve meaningful relationships.


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