I was in el expensivo Zurich recently and a journalist asked me what I thought was a reasonable price for a perfume. Mindful of the old days, when I could buy two years’ supply of Brut (complete with nitro musks) for what would today be $30, and mentally adjusting for inflation, I replied that the price of a dinner for two with a decent bottle of wine in a decent restaurant was about the upper limit for me, so let’s say $120 or so for 100 ml of EdP or a half ounce of proper extrait. To my mind everything way above that, e.g. Lutens’ Section d’Or and a swelling host of others, are simply sad jokes perpetrated on sad sacks. And if anybody tells you that the exquisite raw materials upped the price, just laugh. Niche perfumery stands a good chance of disappearing up its own rear end if it merely becomes yet another golden opportunity to rip off the customer. To be sure, natural materials are going up in price because there is more demand. But bear in mind that formula cost in all but a handful of fragrances is less than 10% of sales price. Don’t give these people your cash: get a decant and smell that $50/kg woody amber first.
Update: excellent discussion of the punishing economics of niche perfume by Andy Tauer here
Update 2: Miyako extrait by Auphorie: $ 110. Now that is a bargain.
Categories: off topic