Why Is Perfume So Expensive? A Small Guide

What’s in a perfume? This question has probably crossed your mind every time you paid a lot of money to buy a favorite fragrance. There is no simple answer to the question about where the price of perfume comes from. Typically, extraordinarily pricey perfumes are expensive because their ingredients are rare, but others also involve branding and marketing costs.

When buying a fragrance, you might be paying for one of a few things:

-          Very rare ingredients.

Some perfumes incorporate in their formula some rare flower petals or the essence of a rare root. For instance tuberose and jasmine are both very pricey ingredients. Others will include synthetic ingredients that are difficult to make.
But at the end of the day, ingredients are crucial. As we already established, all fragrances have a structure, sometimes called a pyramid. At the top of the pyramid you have the top notes and basis is built by the base notes, which last the longest and also help the middle and top notes last longer. They are also the most expensive part of the fragrance and at the end of the day are usually all that is remaining of a fragrance’s character. A well built scent uses this structure to develop and unveil new and surprising notes throughout a day. When creating it, the designer must take into account how the oils evaporate throughout the day and build the structure on high quality ingredients.

While not all expensive perfumes are built the same, know that designer houses like Chanel, Bvlgari, Givenchy or Yves Saint Laurent have an excellent reputation for using higher quality ingredients; spend some time with their fragrances and the difference shows. They are much better at evoking a mood rather than merely smelling good. They evolve throughout the day and surprise you with new notes and more complex arrangements of scents.

-          Very expensive marketing.

Large companies will invest millions to market perfumes. And if you have been driven to buying a scent by its alluring ads, know that you are the one paying for that marketing in the end.

-          Expensive packaging

While “you cannot judge a book by its covers” is still a valid saying, some perfume designers know that a bottle can sometimes make all the difference. So, packaging is also something that a lot of dollars are invested in.

Sadly, it’s hard to figure out if you’re paying for the marketing or the rare materials. Ingredients that are easier to come by or most synthetic fragrances cost a lot less. But this is not always the case. At the end of the day, what is most important is to know if your fragrance suits you best, agrees with who you are and what your general mood is.

Quality is always something subjective and if something smells good and makes you feel beautiful, fresh and happy, price can become irrelevant.

Perfume Wearing Do’s and Don’ts: How to Extend the Life Of Your Favorite Fragrance Bottle

We know how much you love your expensive designer’s perfume. The feeling it gives you when you wear it cannot be compared to anything. So, how do you protect such a great investment? By learning a few simple do’s and don’ts of perfume storage. Read below to find out which are the best ways to keep your perfume bottles.

General consideration: Keep in mind the oils and alcohols in perfume can easily break down, causing the perfume’s scent to change or disappear. It is always best to go for smaller bottles of perfume, instead of larger, as the large ones may diminish the overall effects and shorten the life of the product.

Keep Perfume Bottles Away From Direct Light

As tempting as it may be to display your bottled perfume out in the open, keep in mind that sunlight will quickly degrade the quality of perfume. As a general rule, the darker the location, the better a perfume will keep.

Keep Your Fragrance Bottles Away from Heat and Light

Heat, like light, will break down the chemical bonds that give a perfume its scent. Direct heat is not only terrible for perfume, but it can melt plastic bottles, and even lower heat over the long term will break down perfume. It is crucial to keep the bottles away from any heat vents or radiators.

  • As a rule, it is best to try and store your perfume bottles at a consistent temperature.  Do not keep your bottles in the refrigerator, a cool environment is best, but anything that is significantly colder than room temperature will put stress on the perfume.
  • Humidity is another factor that will influence your perfume life. So no keeping your scents in the bathroom unless you have a cabinet or corner of the space that is safe from steam. But generally it is best to find a space in a dry room, like the bedroom, to store perfume and other cosmetic products.

Try Not to Open and Close Excessively

Some manufacturers use designs for bottles that cannot be opened at all and can only be sprayed. Use the atomizer spray for a perfume as much as possible, to avoid opening and closing the bottle a lot and exposing the perfume inside to more environmental dangers.

 Other important rules:

  • Perfume bottles should not be shaken
  • Do not store your perfume on high shelves
  • Use a travel container when you go away on vacation

Perfume for Your Teen? A Few Useful Tips

Your teen has been growing up to be a little lady on her way to sophistication. As you are a perfume lover, she will probably inherit this from you and will want to start wearing your perfumes. As a mother, your question is: should you allow her?

The below post provides a few simple tips to do this the right way.

Keep your teen’s school rules in mind

So you went with your teen to the mall and bought their favorite eau de parfum. Now what? While your little lady might be dying to share her new perfume with her friends at school, keep in mind that wearing fragrance may not be appropriate in a class setting. Classmates or teachers could be sensitive to the smell, which could make for an embarrassing situation for your teen. By finding out the school rules and teaching your teen the right way to apply perfume, she can indulge in her favorite fragrance without offending anyone. So, the best thing is to first check her school policy, you can do that online. Depending on what the rules are, you can disallow perfume wearing completely, limiting it to wearing on weekends and special occasions.

Keep people’s fragrance sensitivity in mind

It is never too early to give your teen a bit of perfume education. So, even if your teen’s school doesn’r have any specific rules for fragrance wearing, you should teach your child that moderation in wearing comes hand in hand with the respect for the others’ sensitivities. You may want to consider the fact that some classmates and teachers could have a fragrance sensitivity and they might experience side effects like sneezing, watery, itchy eyes and headaches, especially when perfume is worn heavily.

As a mother, you should also keep in mind your own little lady’s sensitivities. So, before buying their first perfume, make sure you purchase a sample first and see if she tolerates it and no allergies appear.

So, what do you do when the perfume is too strong? Your teen might still be able to wear some type of scent, but it will have to be lighter and more natural than a typical perfume. Check into fragrant essential oils like rose oil, jasmine or Moroccan oil, all which have mild, pleasant scents without any synthetics.

Teach your teen the perfume basics and application tips

Some young girls may be tempted to apply perfume too liberally. A bit of education is also important here. According to perfume experts, you should hold the bottle 5 to 7 inches from the body and should never see moisture on your skin afterward. If you do, you’re holding the bottle too close. Or, try this foolproof method for application: Have your teen spray the perfume once in the air and then walk through the mist for the ideal light application.

Your Unique Signature Perfume: How to Blend Your Favorite Scents

If you are sick of smelling the same fragrance on other ladies, it is probably time to start thinking of blending your quality perfumes of choice together. A unique scent can be blended from several other perfumes, putting together a hybrid, a unique creation that is only yours and will constitute an ideal signature perfume. But how do you go about it? It wouldn’t be as easy as just spraying perfumes randomly on your skin? Certainly not, you have to possess the right knowledge about scent notes and the blending and layering arts. Here are a few tips:

1. Understand how notes go together

An important thing to keep in mind is that whereas some notes work in harmony, others can clash and cause an undesirable scent, so you need to know what works with what. There are two ways to combine scents: you can blend similar notes together or you can blend contrasting ones. A successful perfume blend means knowing what makes some notes unique. Take for instance the four most universal single note scents – vanilla, white floral, musk and marine. These are the basis of most fragrances and, knowing how they combine, will help you avoid many bad fragrance combinations.

2. Blend unique notes together

For instance, a successful combination will be mixing up florals with vanilla. The result will be fresh and unique. While looking for a more exotic mixture, try vanilla with wood notes.

Combining white florals like jasmine and gardenia with spicey notes will bring together a smooth and rather erotic smell.

Don’t combine musk with florals, go for citrus- a combination like this will give a lighter mix, and will help you not smell like orange juice all through the day.

Floral and marine work well together, but make sure the floral scent is softer.

If you are going to try contrasting notes together, know that vanilla, coconut or chocolate scents will go well with wood notes, like cedar and sandalwood.

Herbal scents such as mint and basil also work well layered over fruity scents such as berry-based fragrances.

3. Learn the secret of layering
Every perfume expert will tell you that, when blending perfume scents, it is ideal to stick to two perfumes. Combining more than two perfumes can lead to an overpowering scent. To layer your scents, hold one bottle in each hand and spray a single pump of each perfume into the air at the same time. Immediately walk through the mist. The airborne perfume particles will be attracted to one another and fuse together to create a unique hybrid scent.

Featured Perfume Houses: Hermes- Luxury with Every Creation

Some of the most elegant and exquisite fragrances sold by LilyDirect come from the house of Hermes. As opposed to internationally renowned houses like Chanel, Guerlain or Dior, Hermes is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of luxury perfume. However, some of the house’s creations have stood the test of time and constitute high-end choices for men and women everywhere.

A bit of history:

The Hermes Fashion House was established in Paris as a harness making shop in 1837 by Thierry Hermes  This family business was established as a harness shop in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris. The shop catered to the needs of many European noblemen, creating the finest wrought bridles and harnesses for carriages. His clients were the stylish Parisian beau monde and European royalty including Napoléon III and his empress, Eugénie.

A year after the death of Thierry, his son Charles Emile expanded the business and started manufacturing other leather products, opening a new location near the Palais de l’Elysee. After Charles-Émile Hermès’s retirement, sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice took leadership and renamed the company Hermès Frères. Shortly after, the company began furnishing the czar of Russia with saddles.

In 1918, the first leather golf jacket with a zipper, made by Hermès, was introduced, shortly followed by Hermès’s first leather garment, a zippered golfing jacket for the Prince of Wales.

It was only in the 1960’s that the company started creating women’s apparel and perfume. Hermes introduced its first perfume Caleche in 1961. At the prompting of Jean-René Guerrand (son-in-law of Émile Hermès and founder of the fragrances branch), the perfumer Guy Robert composed Calèche, a masterpiece which instantly transformed Hermès into one of the major players of modern perfumery. The same designer is the author of Équipage, the house’s first perfume for men.

The most recent designer for the house is Jean-Claude Ellena, who signed some of the greatest creations, such as Un Jardin en Méditerranée in 2003,  and has been exclusive house perfumer since 2004.

A few of the most successful perfumes from the house include

The Unisex jewel Voyage D’Hermes

The great perfume for men Terre D’Hermes

The delicate and exotic Un Jardin sur le Nil


Perfume Reformulations: A Few Things You Need to Know

In our last week post we were discussing the new perfume regulations that could mean the end of classic perfumes like the legendary Chanel no. 5. We will investigate perfume changes further this week, by looking at the concept of reformulation.

One of the most definite ways to antagonize perfume lovers across the world is to take their favorite scent and to change it. When such reformulations happen, there are usually a few reasons behind the change in perfume design.

  1. Perfume houses need to change ingredients to follow regulations. Every once in a while, the international regulatory bodies will ban or restrict the use of certain ingredients in the  mass perfume industry. These are generally decisions that are backed by scientific research which list some substances as a threat to public health. In order to keep selling these perfumes throughout the world, fragrance companies must comply or they can choose to discontinue that line of perfume altogether. As none of the above seems right, it makes more sense for the perfume houses to start reformulating their perfumes.
  2. Some cost savings are also involved. In a very competitive market, perfume houses must also consider their profit margin. The first step would be to cut production costs and thus, some of the products are replaced with cheaper synthetic aromas.
  3. To boost sales and remain relevant on the market. This brings about what many perfume companies call perfume modernization. This is also very true for quite classic fragrances that were created decades ago. A perfume like Fahrenheit from Dior was released 34 years ago and, in an attempt to meet international regulations and match recent tastes, it was reformulated recently.

What to do if your perfume was reformulated

If you are one of those people who cling onto things they love for decades, and you find that your favorite perfume doesn’t smell just as it used to, the reason is it was probably reformulated.

Looking for vintage editions and stacking up on them is not a solution, as it also can be very costly. Looking for replacements is also not a good idea, as it will trigger more frustration.

-          You can identify what you loved most about your favorite perfume and start searching for a perfume that shares some of the similar qualities.

-          Maybe it is time to find yourself a new favorite and look for a perfume that is totally different from what you usually wear. For instance, if your signature scent was a musky one, go for something lighter, fruity, for example. You will make more discoveries and you will reinvent yourself in the process.

Trending: Future of Classic Perfumes Is Uncertain With New EU Regulations

Every sophisticated lady loves her Chanel No. 5, the iconic unique perfume drop that Marilyn Monroe would have chosen over any outfit. But will this legendary creation survive the new EU regulations banning certain substances from being used in scent creation?

The European Commission is targeting the multibillion dollar perfume industry with ingredient bans and labeling requirements aimed at protecting allergy sufferers. According to the AFP, the new rules could limit the use  of certain ingredients (twelve, in an initial phase) that are featured in some of the most iconic perfumes- from Miss Dior to Chanel. A few of these ingredients are coumarin, which is typically found in the tropical tonka bean and eugenol, which is found in rose oils or citral, usually found in tangerine oils and lemon oils.

In 2012, an advisory report had recommended severely limiting the use of these ingredients, regarded as the pillars of the luxury perfume industry.

So what will be the impact on such creations as Miss Dior or Chanel No. 5? The new regulations will basically force perfume makers to reformulate many of their scents. Additionally, a changing of their products’ packaging will be involved, which will lead to extra costs. For the big house creators, these costs may be easier to absorb, but for niche perfume creators, this may prove devastating.

If you thought this was all, well, this is in fact only the beginning.

The Commission is planning to ban, in its original form, oak moss and tree moss, two of the most widely used base notes which give perfumes depth and help make the scents last.

Such mosses could be found in Chanel’s No.5 and Dior’s Miss Dior but the brands have been working on using altered versions, stripped of the molecules atranol and chloroatranol, regarded as potential allergens by the EU.

According to the Independent, Frederic Malle, founder of  one of the most famous niche perfume houses, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, said he would have to reformulate about a quarter of his scents to protect a “small” group of people and branded the ban on citral “absurd”.  According to Malle, “ it can take more than half an year to reformulate a fragrance and a minimum battery of 30 tests is required,” which is considered precious time in the world of perfume creation.

So what will the future of these perfumes look like? For now, this is uncertain, and it looks like many of our favorite classics will have to reinvent themselves to survive the market changes.

Perfume Wearing Tips for a Hot Summer

Summer is here and most of us are already preparing for a long, luxurious holiday. No matter where you are heading this summer, keep in mind that wearing perfume is an art you need to master, to the delight of everyone around you.

Here are a few thoughts on wearing a summer fragrance.

Do you ditch your old perfume? There are no rules that say you must do this, while the weather is hot, but why not switch to a scent that’s bright and vibrant, something that matches the weather and your overall mood?

Try a perfume variation. Check to see if the perfume you prefer to wear has a lighter, L’eau  de cologne version version. These are often less concentrated than the original, and perfumers enhance the fresher top notes and soften the heavier e last notes of the scent to develop. If you love Marc Jacobs, for instance, Oh Lola is a very good choice.

A few applying tips

-          First, find a body wash that you love. Look for qualities in that cosmetic product, that you’d look for normally- good refreshing small, hydrating qualities. What notes do you love most: flowery, baby powder, freshly cut grass?

-          Pick up one of the favorite notes in the wash and find a body lotion that will highlight that note. If you need something to touch up your scent after a day’s choose a solid perfume, which tends to be a little less overwhelming on the scent scale.

Other summer perfume wearing tips

Go for your favorite taste perfume.  Many of the lighter foods you like to eat in summer translate into gorgeous fragrances. That means anything citrus, all kinds of berries, tropical fruits, mint, and rosemary. The same goes for spicy scents. Instead of heady cumin and cinnamon, look for zestier ones, like cardamom, ginger, and pink peppercorn.

Choose white flower scents. These, often called soft florals won’t load up your scent. They are quite appropriate for summer wear: honey suckle, freesia, magnolia are notes that should be in every summer perfume.

Try and keep a lighter, positive attitude. While it may sound funny, this is actually quite true- if you stress out and get agitated, your fragrance molecules will evaporate quicker from your skin. Your perfume will smell stronger when it’s warm, if you are too agitated and stressed.

Men’s Fragrance Tips: When and How to Apply Your Cologne

Men wear perfume or eau de cologne too. So why not share a few essential tips on how to wear the scent in an expert way? Read a few tips below,

Rule no.1- Find out how much is too much

This is a piece of advice that applies to men and women alike. No matter if it is perfume or cologne, you should know that a commercial or designer’s scent can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In fact, a lot of men will make the mistake of thinking they need to choose a single scent to wear on all occasions. Ask yourself this: would you wear the same pair of shoes on all occasions? If the answer is no, you are typically on a good path. This is probably obvious, but the number one rule is not to marinate in your cologne. This may actually cause more harm than good to your overall personal appearance. So ttry to apply the appropriate amount of cologne without driving away the others, this will not work well in any circumstances.

Apply on the right spots

There are a couple of key areas where you should apply your perfume. Experts call them pulse points and they are the base of your throat and your chest. This allows the cologne to mingle with your own natural odors and pheromones, creating a very distinct and personalized scent. You can additionally place a strategic dab of perfume under your ears. If you would like to apply on your wrists, just like women do, remember not rub your perfume into your skin, as this will cause the scent to dissipate quicker.

Another aspect to be mindful of while applying cologne is the type of skin you have. Fragrances tend to cling to men with oily skin complexions longer than those with drier skin, which soaks up the scent. Therefore, if you have dry skin, feel free to apply a little extra cologne remembering not to drown yourself in it.

Learn where and when to wear your perfume

Keep in mind that wearing cologne to work is generally acceptable. Just in very decent doses. But this becomes a necessary fashion accessory when going out at night. A light citrus-based scent is perfect for an afternoon outing. But if you are preparing for a special romantic evening, choose a stronger scent with spice undertones or musky notes that will mix with your own natural pheromones.

A Few Essential Perfume Etiquette Tips for the Fragrance Lover

So, you love perfume. This is great.  As fragrance lovers, we often think wearing it will enhance our appearance and will give those around us a wellbeing feel. But, have you wondered if everyone is enjoying your perfume wearing experience just as well as you? This is not always the case. Here are a few perfume etiquette tips that every one of us can use.

When going out, you may get to be around people who do not like the perfume you are wearing. Think about it: you can take a seat in a restaurant, or another public place, near someone who is allergic or has asthma. Your perfume can actually harm them, if you have too much on. How do we know how much perfume is too much or not enough?

Too much is never good

Keep in mind that when you apply too much scent, what people will smell will be a fragrance, you’re your signature scent. Your perfume wearing should not be a statement in itself. Allow your fragrance to interact with your overall body chemistry, and manage to produce a personalized version of that perfume: your fragrance, your own unique signature.

Apply perfume only on the right spots

Learning where to apply perfume, so it interacts with your body chemistry without disrupting the environment is in fact an art. Keep in mind that your fragrance should be subtle enough, so people will get a hint, they won’t get suffocated by it.

Applying on your clothes should be done with care. Many of your garments will hold on to your perfume scent but they can easily get stained.  It is worth mentioning the fact that clothing pieces will not interact with your perfume the same way as your skin does.  The final result may be that your clothes will smell like the perfume, but not like your skin, which gives  you the unique version of it.

Other perfume etiquette tips

  • Pair your perfume with the place or venue.
  • If you want to refresh, apply your perfume in private
  • Resist a tendency to compete with other ladies’ stronger fragrances
  • Don’t use your perfume as body spray
  • Use fragrances that are in accordance with the season.