Why Are Some Perfumes So Expensive?

Why Are Some Perfumes So Expensive?

Apr 15, 2020, 2:47:49 PM Life and Styles

You might have noticed that some perfumes can be very expensive, and you have probably put it down to the designer label attached to it. After all, you hear the words Dior, Jimmy Choo and Gucci and think of luxurious and expensive products. However, when it comes to perfume, it isn’t necessarily the brand name, but the ingredients that make it pricey. 

Some perfumes may have a higher price tag than others because of the rare ingredients used to create them. The oils used to create fragrances can sometimes take a lot of one ingredient to make, such as flowers, which may only be available once a year. Perfume Direct offer an insight into some of the rarest and expensive ingredients.


Jasmine is used in a huge amount of fragrances; in fact, you can find it in around 80% of women’s perfumes. However, there are also synthetic versions, which are naturally not as expensive.

Real jasmine, although common in fragrances, is expensive because it takes a lot of jasmine flowers to create the oil needed for the perfume or aftershave. It can take up to 2,000 pounds of flowers to create just 1 pound of oil. 

What’s more, jasmine flowers are very fragile and must be protected; they could become unusable if bruised. Jasmine can help to create a very distinctive floral scent; a smell that is exotic and rich, but without being overpowering.

Jasmine is one of the main ingredients in popular fragrances like Thierry Mugler Alien for women and Acqua Di Parma Colonia Assoluta for men.

Bulgarian Rose

You would be right if you thought that rose was on this list of expensive ingredients! Producing rose oil is very time consuming and it takes a lot of rose petals to create something ready to be used in fragrances.  

The Rose Valley in Bulgaria produces 70% of the world’s rose oil, hence the name of the ingredient. There are only a few available weeks from May to June to pick the flowers, and they usually have to be picked before sunrise! 

Be wary of dupes; many perfumers will cut corners by using similar oils to rose, instead of the real thing.

Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl uses Bulgarian rose, as does the classic Miss Dior perfume.


Orris is almost exclusively cultivated in Tuscany, Italy and it comes from the root of the iris flower. The process of creating orris for perfume can take around 6 years, and 1 ton of the root only makes around 2kg of the essential oil. 

Orris usually brings a powdery effect to fragrances, with a warming, earthy and floral scent. Due to this, it is popular in oriental fragrances. For example, Guerlain Samsara uses orris alongside jasmine and ylang-ylang. 


Oud comes from the tropical agar tree, which can be found in parts of Asia and India. Agarwood is one of the most expensive of all natural raw ingredients. When the tree comes into contact with a type of mould, the agar tree produces a dark and fragrance resin; this is the source of oud. 

According to some sources, only 2% of agar trees produce oud, making it an incredibly rare ingredient. Oud smells warm and woody, as you would expect, with some varieties even having a smoky and sweet aroma. It is very strong, and not for the faint-hearted!

Some of the best examples of an oud fragrance include Oud Wood by Tom Ford. 

Published by Ruby Daub

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