The untold truth of perfume


​Perfume is worth its price

Much like clothing, you can buy fragrances for pennies or thousands of dollars. But perfume doesn’t come cheap. Goutal told me there are several factors that go into the price. “There are many reasons why perfume can be costly,” she explained. “The main reason is the quality of the ingredients and the bottle itself.”

However, price does not always reflect the quality. It can simply be about marketing. “What is disconcerting for the client is that a very expensive fragrance does not equate to a perfume of quality. Sometimes, it’s just a price positioning.”

​Fragrances do not have to be expensive

A quality fragrance doesn’t have to break the bank. Korman told me, “There are a few key factors that drive up the price of fragrance and unfortunately a lot of [those factors are] not ingredients. Mostly money goes towards inefficient marketing campaigns, royalties to fashion designers or celebrities, and silly packaging.”

But not all companies choose to invest in these “other” components of fragrance. Some, like Phlur, have a direct-to-consumer marketing plan that allows them to create a superior company at a lower retail cost. “We actually spend 3 to 4 times more per bottle on ingredients than what you’ll typically find in a department store, and we are able to keep them priced at $85, versus the $160 and up you’d need to pay for something of similar quality,” Korman explained.

​Scent trends change seasonally

While scent trends push sales, they also have a lot to do with consumer preferences. According to Goutal, “There are two types of trends. One is just seasonal and simply depends on the weather. People usually wear light scents in summer and heavier ones when it’s cold, but it’s not a rule. The other much-longer standing trend is when an ingredient or a type of scent is on trend. This could be three years or sometimes a decade.”

In terms of specific notes, Goutal told me, “Citrus notes or vanilla notes seem to have the longest appeal and the longest staying power in terms of what people wear overall. For the last ten years, perfumes have tended to be stronger and more sugary, but it’s changing a little bit.”

However, not every manufacturer necessarily develops fragrances to be on trend. “Our new Naughty Garden scent for example is a fragrance with timeless appeal blending of variety of very unique notes that can definitely transcend seasons be worn and enjoyed all year round rather than pinning itself to a particular season,” explained Francois Damide of Crafting Beauty, who helped formulate the scent for Laubahn Perfumes. “But, ultimately, it is up to the consumer. Some people lean towards lighter, fresher fragrances in the warmer months and deeper, muskier fragrances in the winter, where as some people will wear the same fragrance 365 days a year. It’s all about personal preference.”