Perfume has long been considered a luxury — a luxury that comes with a steep price tag.

Back when perfume first hit the market in ancient times, it makes sense why it was reserved for wealthy — the ingredients were rare and harder to make. But, jump forward a few thousand years, ingredients are now abundant and master perfumers have perfected the process of making distinguished perfume blends. So, what gives with the over $100 price tag on the designer, top-quality brands?

Which brings us to the reason you are here, perfume pricing and the question of “why is perfume so expensive”? 

Long surrounded in mystery, perfume pricing is something we at Dossier want to be fully transparent about. Leaving nothing up to your imagination — let’s break down perfume pricing once and for all. 

What are you paying for?

With bottles ranging from $15 to hundreds, it can be easy to get confused about what you are paying for. Considered a “luxury”, most perfume companies want you to believe you are paying for quality.

But, that is wrong!

No matter who you are or what kind of perfume you make, sourcing quality fragrance does not cost a lot. As a matter of fact, “the value of the fragrance concentrate is only 1-1.50 euros or about 2-3 dollars. The rest is for marketing and distribution.” Even the highest quality most rare fragrances made do not cost more than a couple of dollars. 

Reality check: you are paying for the name.

Yup, pricing comes down to the name of the brand — Gucci, Dior, YSL, etc. all have high-value names and their pricing reflects their status and marketing. Even with lesser-known, newer names price tags come down to making a name known. 

Pricing Breakdown:  

Ingredients —  $2-5

Perfumer/manufacturing — around $10 a bottle 

Packing — diamonds, gold, you name it can cost anywhere from $25 to $100’s 

Marketing — Huge campaigns, launch parties, and celebrity paychecks – think thousands of dollars

Taxes/markups – a couple of dollars a bottle to close to double to cost of making it.

Perfume is a luxury industry not a luxury item!

“Some of the world’s finest bottle designers charge more than $100,000 for their work. Don’t forget the support staff that keep companies rolling. Department stores typically mark up the product from 60% to 100%. Spoiled’s Herb Fink and Lee Bronson say they spent just less than $500,000 to get their perfume into the department stores, even before the first sale. Fragrance marketing experts David Horner and James Roth Jr. recall that less than $300,000 was invested in Giorgio 10 years ago (“not counting the party,” Horner says, “but you really don’t need (a pricey launching) party”). But that was low budget for a scent that eventually hit $100 million in sales. Industry sources say Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion cost about $10 million to $15 million. Estimates are that Calvin Klein spent $4 million to $6 million to advertise his new scent Eternity.”

With numbers like that, it’s understandable the price tag. If you truly think about it, after spending that much money to launch  a bottle of perfume, there is most likely very little profit margin.

But, what happens when you take the luxury away?

AH, YES! When you stop spending on marketing and excessive packaging, you are left with a high quality perfume that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg — it’s cheap.

So, is there a place to buy cheap perfume?

No, we aren’t talking about cheap perfume that is made with low-quality ingredients… we are talking about cheap perfume that isn’t marked up but still has the notes and quality of a designer brand without the fluff.

The answer is YES!

Say hello to Dossier, your source for designer inspired perfumes with the same juice as your favorite brand name perfumes, without the markup that comes along with marketing, packaging, and endorsements. 

We are a brand founded on delivering our customer’s agreeable pricing so that everyone can enjoy the delight of perfume. 

Leave the designer price tag behind you, bask in perfume glory by shopping dossier’s wide selection of top-quality perfume for just $29.