Reasons Why Some Perfumes Cost More Than Others

While perfumes tend to cost more than colognes and department-store fragrances, fragrances also vary widely in price. There are some perfumes that can cost a few dollars while others can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars per bottle. Why do we have cheap and expensive perfumes and does the price even matter?

Read on to know why some perfumes are more expensive than others and what this means for your next perfume purchase, especially if you are thinking about buying your next perfume from Scent Split.

Rare, expensive ingredients

If the perfume was made using expensive essential oils and hard-to-find, expensive ingredients, expect the finished product to cost a hefty sum. There are ingredients that go through an expensive harvesting or processing phase which add to the overall cost of one bottle of fragrance. A good example is oud oil, a heavily concentrated oil derived from agarwood. Oud oil is produced when agarwood trees are infected with a type of mold. As a response to infection, the tree produces an aromatic resin that becomes even more fragrant when aged. The fragrance of the resin also varies according to the type of agarwood that it comes from. One mL of oud oil can go for about $2000 in the market. Fragrances that contain other rare and sought-after ingredients like real sandalwood, real rose oil, among others, are also going to fetch similar prices due to the costly price tags of the raw materials used to make these perfumes.


Expensive perfumes tend to last longer due to the kind of ingredients they have, and the ingredients dictate what kind of notes are present in your perfume. Expensive perfumes often have 3 levels of fragrance- top notes, mid notes, and base notes, with each note becoming more noticeable the longer the fragrance stays on your skin. Cheaper fragrances often only come with the top note, which means that the ingredient used is cheaper, more volatile, and therefore more likely to evaporate quickly. Base notes come from costlier ingredients, like vanilla, amber, sandalwood, and cedarwood. These are rich and long-lasting aromas, and they can stay on the skin for six hours and even more. Because these ingredients are harder to source and they cost more, they are often not present in cheaper perfumes.


The more unique a fragrance is, the higher the price tag. This is the reason why luxury brands roll out limited editions of fragrances that are formulated using sophisticated recipes that do not smell like anything else in the market. People do not want to smell like the next person and so smelling unique with a perfume that no one else is using is one way for a person to stand out from the crowd. A lot of people would pay top dollar just to smell different and exotic and this is one reason why exclusive and pricey perfumes exist.

The artistry of the perfumer

Ultra-expensive perfumes especially those with formulas that are exclusive for the buyer often cost that way because of the professional skill and artistry required to make them. Master perfumers can command hefty prices for designing exclusive fragrances that only one or a handful of people in the world can wear. In some cases, the perfumer can even demand royalties for his creations, effectively jacking up the price of a single perfume bottle.

R&D and production costs

High-end luxury retailers and perfumers often invest heavily in research and development, actual production, talent costs, packaging, and marketing to attract the right type of clientele. Even companies producing fragrances using synthetic oils can spend a fortune developing a new line of fragrances since not all synthetic oils are cheap. In fact, the majority of commercial fragrances in the market are made using synthetic oils but most of them still carry hefty price tags because of the high quality of synthetic fragrances used.

Marketing and brand value

Many luxuries brands price their perfumes based on the perceived value of their products. This is very true for well-known luxury brands who want to cater to a clientele who believe that higher price tags reflect the quality of the item they are paying for. Luxury brands and perfume houses also invest significantly in packaging, which can add to the total cost of the perfume as a product.

Your perfume is one of those unique accessories that can immediately give your mood and look a boost. A quick spritz of a favorite fragrance can leave you feeling confident, polished, and attractive. It doesn’t even matter if you are putting on something that costs a few bucks or one that sets you back a few hundred dollars for one bottle. The right fragrance can do wonders for your confidence especially if it’s one that really fits your personal style. While it is true that expensive fragrances can be exclusive and can have the staying power that regular fragrances don’t, at the end of the day fragrance is subjective. The fragrance that fits your mood and style can cost $20 or $200. As long as you can afford it, you should choose the one that complements you best.