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THE CHEAPEST AND COSTLIEST WAYS TO SMELL GOOD


Many of Monsieur Guerlain’s readers have commented that it’s difficult to come to grips with the prices of Guerlain’s fragrances. Below, you’ll find a list of the ml prices for various Guerlain fragrances, all in EdP concentration, in descending order.

• Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie 3.50 €
• Lui 3.20 €
• Les Déserts d’Orient 2.73 €
• Exclusif in travel atomizer (new cap design) 2.66 €
• L’Art & la Matière 2.64 €
• Les Elixirs Charnels 2.64 €
• Exclusif in coloured bee bottle 2.36 €
• Les Parisiens 2.10 €
• Exclusif in coloured bee bottle, refill 1.88 €
• Les Parisiennes 1.80 €
• L’Heure Bleue 1.59 €
• Les Absolus d’Orient in coloured bee bottle 1.56 €
• Shalimar 1.46 €
• Jicky 1.39 €
• La Petite Robe Noire Intense 1.39 €
• La Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto 1.27 €
• Mon Guerlain 1.26 €
• Les Absolus d’Orient 1.22 €
• Masculines 1.07 €

As Luca Turin has pointed out, it’s not the costs of raw materials that account for the retail price of a perfume. For example, if we are to believe Thierry Wasser, Les Absolus d’Orient, which are the second-least expensive EdP fragrances of Guerlain’s entire catalogue, contain some of perfumery’s costliest raw materials, namely ambergris tincture (Ambre Éternel) and oud oil (Oud Essentiel).

The pricing policy of perfumery is simply a reflection of the fact that women are willing to pay more to smell good than men are (one spritz of L’Heure Bleue EdP costs fifty percent more than, say, Habit Rouge EdP), and that fragrances labelled as "Exclusive" can be sold at a much higher price than mainstream scents. Especially bridal gifts seem to justify an elevated price: Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie is Guerlain’s most expensive EdP (not counting the brand's deluxe crystal bottle editions). It is, however, interesting to note that Les Parisiens, Guerlain’s masculine Exclusives, are more expensive per ml than their feminine counterparts, Les Parisiennes. But apparently no one notices, as the Parisien bottle's smaller volume means a lower total price, yet its wooden frame makes it look quite big.

If you happen to come across one of the new Guerlain Parfumeur boutiques, which offer a selection of fragrances decanted from large urns into coloured bee bottles, you will find a somewhat confusing picture. As an example, a bee bottle of Le Plus Beau Jour de ma Vie will save you one-third of the price of the factory edition, while a bee bottle of Santal Royal will cost you 28 percent more.
(July 2017)


Some images courtesy of guerlain.com


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