Why Are Colognes So Expensive? The 7 Main Reasons

Written By: Ahmed Farah
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Colognes are expensive for a number of reasons including the price of quality ingredients, the price of marketing and packaging, as well as the cost of research and development, as well as a few other factors.

Have you ever wondered why some colognes come with super crazy price tags? It’s a valid question, especially when you’re standing in the store aisle trying to make sense of the cost.

We get it – and you’re not alone in thinking that splurging that much on a bottle of liquid scent can kind of be a bit of a head-scratcher.

So in this article, we’re going to dig into the nitty-gritty of why colognes often carry such a fancy price and break down the 7 main reasons.

Quality Ingredients

I always like to think of cologne as a gourmet dish. Just like how first-class chefs seek out the very best ingredients to make a great dish, perfumers often require only the very best and rarest ingredients, to create their dream scents.

However, the cost of sourcing and extracting some of these ingredients is insanely high, which makes Ingredients the biggest cost of making a cologne.

This is especially true for niche colognes who’s quality and Rare natural oils, extracts, and essences do not come cheap at all. Here are some examples of the most expensive ingredients used in colognes:

Orris Root

Extracted from the rhizomes of the iris plant, orris wood can be found to grow in regions of France and Italy.

One of my favorite regal ingredients with a nice floral and woody note, Orris Root has graced fragrances like Dior Sauvage. 

Average Price: $1,500 per kilo.

Agarwood (Oud)

Known in the industry as “liquid gold,” hails from the heartwood of Aquilaria trees, primarily found in Southeast Asia.

Agarwood infuses a nice mystery into many popular colognes including Tom Ford’s Oud Wood.

Average Price: $50,000 per kilo


Saffron threads are painstakingly hand-harvested from the Crocus sativus flower, with a large number of flowers extracting just ml of the spice.

Adding warmth and richness, Saffron appears in fragrances like Clive Christian No.1.

Average Price of $5,000 per kilo.


Chanel. Victoria Secret. Versace.

These aren’t just the names of brands. They are status symbols.

And just like their other products, like handbags or vintage clothing, many people are willing to pay a premium for these fashion house colognes, in order to own pieces of their art to call their own.

And the same also goes for niche fragrances. Well, kind of…

Niche perfume brands know that fragrance lovers will also pay more, in order to own a scent rare to others. It’s that exclusivity that niche colognes provide that drives up their price as well.

So for both mainstream and niche colognes, their exclusivity makes them more experiences, but of course for very different reasons.

To learn more about the differences between mainstream and niche fragrances, check out this article here!


Picture this: a sleek, elegant bottle sitting on your dresser, a unique-looking ornament that you also use to smell great.

The bottle design and packaging of many popular colognes are often quite remarkable, so good that many of us even use our cologne bottles as little pieces of furniture around our bedrooms.

But these really nice packages don’t come cheap.

Brands have used ultra-rare ingredients like crystals and even diamonds to create these fashionable designs, as well as a whole range of market research, which of course end up making the products even more expensive.


Marketing in the fragrance industry is fierce. And I mean gladiator level.

We’ve all seen those commercials with your favorite celebrities. That smoldering look, surrounded by a sea of models, holding a bottle of cologne.

Big names in the fragrance world invest a pretty penny in marketing, teaming up with Hollywood A-listers like Timothée Chalamet or Johnny Depp, all to make their product stand out in the crowded market.

And this insane marketing cost is another factor that drives up the prices of colognes.

Colognes are Long Term

I always look at colognes as a long-term investment, instead of some seasonal fashion item.

For example, one of the most popular male colognes, Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette, would set you back $125 for a 3.4-ounce (100 ml) bottle.

On average 1ml, is 15 sprays, meaning the Bleu de Chanel would give you 1500 sprays.

So if you were to use your cologne 4 days a week. And spray it 4 times each use.

It would last you 93 weeks and 5 days. Almost 2 years!

So at 8 cents a spray, or 33 cents a day, it’s important to look at cologne purchases in the long term when taking price into consideration. So from that perspective, they’re definitely worth it.

Perfume is Art

Just like how the Mona Lisa’s value far surpasses the mere cost of the canvas and paints that created it, so too do exceptional colognes exceed the sum of their ingredients and materials.

Perfume-making is akin to a symphony conducted by ingenious noses behind the scenes.

Or in human words; Perfume is art, and we should treat it like it.

Much like the renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci invested his genius into every brushstroke, these perfumers use their unique minds to turn a bunch of chemicals and turn their artistic visions into beautifully scented reality.

S what makes these colognes valuable isn’t just the stuff they’re made from, but also the skill of the perfumers, and it is these skills that many of us are willing to pay for.

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About The Author

A cologne lover and reviewer, Ahmed has reviewed over 45 colognes on the site. Finding the best perfumes and colognes for our audience, review and ranking them as well as looking at all types of data, from price, longevity, silage to uniqueness.

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