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What is the price of a luxury perfume?

by Laurent Mazzone 08 May 2023

France is the country with the most and biggest perfume lovers in Europe. Here, access to luxury brands are stuff of dreams. However, selling prices have a tendency to go through the roof and reach new peeks on the internet and in perfume shops. What are the justifications for such high-priced perfumes? Here is our clarification.

Great perfumes have a history, first and foremost

It is not uncommon to find “produced” perfumes created each year. However, true essences of fine perfumery are getting rarer and ever more expensive! A luxurious perfume with a strong personality takes you to a history of traditions, know-how and dreams with a longevity that is anything but coincidental. For these eaux de parfum, it is not necessarily a question of price. Perfumes that are launched reflect a true inner-genius, a work of the heart closely linked to the spirit of the “House” perfumer. Given these conditions, almost each perfume launch is a success. But this success comes at a cost!

First, natural base ingredients are the “raison d’être” of true perfumers. Cost of the ingredients used can vary noticeably from one to the other. Harvesting of some products has to be done by hand, flower after flower as is the case for jasmine, roses, etc. On the other hand, others are grown and harvested on a quasi-industrial intelligence. Cost is impacted by the scarcity of the plant, the method used for growing it, seasonality and climate scourges. As an example, iris padilla is one of the most valued perfume raw material and is sold at the price of gold.

Besides these costly materials, the price of many synthetic ingredients is also shooting through the roof. All these costs linked to the procurement of raw materials are obviously going to have an impact on the cost price of perfumes.


An expensive perfume is also a history of selective formulation

To give birth to a man’s or a woman’s perfume alike, the expensive services of “noses” are required. Locked in their offices, they create scents for major brands. All through the day, they test blended scents, original perfume recipes always reworked, little by little. The operation is a true work of art. This is like creating music. When you detect a “wrong key” in the rendition, you must correct it. In this industry, “noses” have to answer to the requirements of the perfumer without fail.

This whole experimental work can lead to no avail as each team competes against another team also attempting to answer the perfumer’s order. In this frenzied race, it takes at least 1,5 year to formulate a perfume extract. Other projects may even take many years to come to fruition. In between all this, the great majority of unsuccessful trial formulations end-up in the bin.

It is therefore patently difficult to envisage selling this harmonious robe of scents for a modest price. Such a novelty, instantly rated as a high-end perfume, is an innovative attempt to launch a best-seller “in the making”.

All the steps of this creative process, sharing the same goal of offering to the public sustainable natural essences, carry an enormous financial cost. The costly suspicion emerges from a whiff of the first spray which releases a concentrate of imagination paired with the charms of exotic plants in an original floral partition. The misty wake is suave and voluptuous. The halo of the whole of its freshness touch contrasts with the sensual tones whose function is to bewilder the senses ever more.


Lastly, a noble perfume is a hymn to beauty

Once the fragrance is formulated, time has come to put it in a bottle. Obviously enough, these small glass bottles represent a sizeable item in the overall cost. Great perfume houses call upon specialised designers. Shape, dimension, bottlecap, spray…each detail is studied to seduce each future buyer. When the design has been validated, a glassmaker comes in to build the casts. The last phase is the creation of packaging. Development costs also heavily impact the price of a perfume.

The more sophisticated the bottle, the more expertise and time it requires to come out from the production line. Packaging a luxurious perfume takes many steps, each as demanding as the last. Cleaning the bottles, filling them up, stamping, silkscreening, spray-mounting, crimping, spray pump cover mounting, packaging box assembly, despatching… The financial cost of this production line and the associated volume of work required are enormous

Once the perfume is ready to go, it still needs to be known, recognised, and adopted. Enters marketing communication. This commercial lever is usually the single most expensive item for great perfumers.

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