Are Expensive Fragrances Worth It?

If you’re into fragrances then you must have noticed a select few have mega high price tags. Like me, you’ve probably wondered why this is and if they are actually worth paying so much more for.

Are expensive fragrances worth it? Expensive perfumes and fragrances have better quality ingredients than their less expensive counterparts. They contain a higher percentage of fragrance oil meaning the perfume lingers a lot longer on your skin. It may cost more but expensive perfume is usually worth it.

Are Expensive Fragrances Worth It? Creed

The more expensive a fragrance is the more time and money has been spent developing and perfecting it. Its ingredients are often rare, more natural and often handpicked for guaranteed quality. The fragrance is tweaked and reformulated until perfection is achieved. The scent content is higher than in a cheaper fragrance to ensure it has staying power on the skin. All of the above contribute to a high price tag.

Here’s why those expensive fragrances have to have their high price tags:

  • They contain rare and expensive ingredients
  • Perfecting the required scent involves expert perfumers
  • The bottle is carefully designed
  • Luxurious packaging is chosen
  • The perfect branding is created
  • A huge marketing campaign promotes the new fragrance

Are Expensive Fragrances Worth the Price?

If you really like a fragrance and are happy to pay the expensive price on the tag then to you it is worth it. 100 ml of fragrance will last for about 1400 sprays. So you can work out how much it actually costs you to wear and how long it will last.

Here’s an example using my current favorite fragrance, Creed Aventus:

  • 100 ml of Creed Aventus at the time of writing this is $435 from the official Creed online store
  • 100 ml gives approximately 1400 sprays
  • $435 / 1400 is approximately 31 cents per spray
  • An average application uses 5 sprays, 5 x 31 = $1.55
  • A 100 ml bottle will last 280 days if you apply 5 sprays per day

So the cost of using Creed Aventus is about $1.55 per day. And having recently tried a sample on the back of my hand, I can tell you its fragrance is still very noticeable after 12 hours and several hand washes.

Now, most people don’t bat an eyelid at paying $2.75 for a cup of coffee every day which might last 10 minutes. I think this more than justifies spending a mere $1.55 per day on an application of fragrance which lasts all day.

Now for comparison, let’s look at Eau de Cedrat by L’Occitane which is currently $65 for 75 ml. This is one my husband currently wears. The scent of this begins to fade after about 3 hours. If he applies it in the morning he needs to reapply it at lunch and again early evening. Therefore has to apply 15 sprays per day to be sure to smell it all day long.

Time for some more math to compare this to Creed Aventus:

  • 100 ml of Eau de Cedrat equates to $87
  • Per spray is 87 / 1400 which is just over 6 cents per spray
  • 15 sprays cost about 93 cents

So yes, this does work out a little cheaper and could be considered better value for money but it is only better value if you also happen to prefer the cheaper of the two.

Are the above-mentioned fragrances worth their price tags? This is really a decision for you to make.

Are Expensive Fragrances Worth It? 1 Million

Be sure before you buy

It’s not worth getting into debt over a fragrance purchase so buy the nicest one you can afford, especially if you haven’t bought fragrance before. You don’t have to go straight in at the deep end with a high priced cologne.

If a fragrance is really expensive but you really like it and have the money to spare then go for it. It’s worth every cent if it makes you happy.

If you own a range of fragrances and are looking for something a little more niche to expand your collection, you’re probably going to go for something quite expensive and not worry about the expense.

There are some really fabulous fragrances to choose from ranging from bargain prices to ultra-expensive. It is more important to buy one you really love the scent of and if this happens to be a relatively cheap one that’s a bonus. You don’t have to spend a fortune to guarantee a great aroma.

If you do break the bank and buy an expensive fragrance, make it last longer by not using it every day and storing it carefully to prevent it from going bad.

Behind the Scenes Expenses

Earlier, I listed the reasons why some fragrances are so expensive. Let’s examine these in a bit more detail.

  • They contain rare and expensive ingredients
  • Perfecting the required scent involves expert perfumers
  • The bottle is carefully designed
  • Luxurious packaging is chosen
  • The perfect branding is created
  • A huge marketing campaign promotes the new fragrance

Rare ingredients

It seems the highest quality ingredients are rare and therefore expensive. Others are needed in such large quantities to produce minuscule amounts of perfume oil that they also cost the earth.

Here are five of the most expensive ingredients used by the perfume industry:

  • Orris: One of the rarest perfume ingredients created from the root of the iris.
  • Bulgarian rose: About 625 pounds of petals produce a measly one ounce of oil.
  • Jasmine: About 224,000 handpicked flowers produce just one ounce of essential oil.
  • Ambergris: This is a waxy substance produced by the intestines of sperm whales.
  • Oud: This requires an oil distilled from rare agarwood that’s been specifically infected with a mold to give its resin the required aroma.

Perfecting the scent

Fragrances are made by blending alcohol, water, and fragrance oils. There are four different strengths as follows:

  • Perfume: 20 – 30% fragrance oil
  • Eau de Parfum: 15 – 20% fragrance oil
  • Eau de Toilette: 5 – 15% fragrance oil
  • Eau de Cologne: 2 – 5% fragrance oil
Are expensive fragrances worth it? Guide to concentration

An expensive fragrance is often developed over a long period of time by expert perfumers whose time costs money.

Designing the bottle

When people spend a lot of money on a fragrance the bottle is almost as important as the scent. It’s all part of the pleasure. In the first place, it’s often the bottle that makes one fragrance stand out from the crowd. The price of the bottle pushes up the price of purchasing the fragrance by a considerable amount and many expensive bottles are collectible.

Perfume companies invest a lot of time and money ensuring the bottle is exactly right for the fragrance. Crystal bottles are often used and these are expensive to manufacture.

Some of the most expensive fragrances have been sold in limited edition bottles adorned with gold and diamonds costing thousands of dollars.

Eye-catching packaging

A lot of thought goes into the box an expensive fragrance is packaged in so, of course, this bumps up the price.


If an established brand produces a new fragrance, the brand is already well-known which helps to sell the latest scent produced.

For a new company to be successful in selling its fragrance, branding is important. Developing a brand and designing a logo is an expensive process that is reflected in the retail price.

Marketing and advertising

Once a new fragrance has been created the company has to let the world know it exists. A marketing campaign is created to ensure people become aware that there’s a new scent on the block. A good campaign can cost millions of dollars.

Nothing sells a fragrance like a celebrity. Marilyn Monroe will be forever associated with Chanel No. 5 ever since she famously announced it was all she wore in bed.

Martin Scorcese directed the 2013 ad, ‘Street of Dreams’ featuring Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson advertising Dolce & Gabbana’s The One. You can only imagine how much that cost.

Actor Jared Leto starred in an advert set in Venice for the Gucci fragrance Guilty when it was first released. Obviously this would have cost a considerable amount.

There are times when expensive ads aren’t deemed necessary. Reputation and word of mouth are sometimes all it takes. Take Creed for example. Their fragrances are expensive yet popular but it’s rare to see them advertise. Can’t afford Creed? Try a great clone.

The Company’s Size and Costs

Large fragrance companies have huge overheads. As soon as a well-established brand decides to launch a new scent the costs begin to mount up. They cannot risk failure and so their new product’s price will be similar to others they sell and to those of their competitors. This is why many fragrances are similarly priced.

The smaller niche companies, however, can take more risks and be that bit more adventurous and experimental. They produce some of the more creative and unusual fragrances on sale today at higher prices than the big brand names. Their fragrances appeal to those who don’t mind spending a bit more on something that’s out of the ordinary.


High-priced fragrances have high-quality ingredients and their scents last longer on your skin. They come in fabulously designed bottles and packaging and feel good to own.

But are they worth it? I think so! And if buying and wearing one makes you happy then it’s definitely worth it!

Jane Pettitt

Hi, I'm Jane. I've had a passion for perfume since the age of 18. answers popular fragrance-related questions and contains guides to all sorts of perfumes, colognes, and fragrances for men and women. I write at home surrounded by cats (we have 4 at the moment) and also blog about these and other pets on

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