Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Expensive Perfumes

Imperial Majesty, which costs $ 215,000 a bottle is the most expensive perfume in the world. Will it smell sweet as any price?

Actually, yes. Imperial Majesty is a limited version of the Clive Christian signature scent. Sold just № 1, the fragrance is valued at $ 2,150 an ounce. But the reason Imperial Majesty costs so much that is Christian, the British designer-turned-perfumer, poured 16.9 ounces of № 1 in Baccarat crystal bottle, was five-diamond karat in 18 karat gold ring and it Harrods unveiled in London and Bergdorf Goodman in New York this past holiday season.

Of the five bottles released for sale (the others were kept for Christian archives), three were sold.

This is not crazy as it seems. There is a glut of new fragrances are dumped on the market, not only by the perfume and fashion houses, but also celebrities and movie stars - many of the flavors that have a shelf life as long or as short celeb who introduced them. From Paris to Britney, there were over 500 fragrance launches in 2005 alone. Feeling overwhelmed, people are not buying more perfumes, but they tend to spend more than you like. According to the NPD Group, a long island-based market research company, U.S. fragrance industry grossed $ 2.8 billion in sales in 2004, the latest year for which annual figures available, only 1 percent over the previous year.

"If you look in the fragrance market, the category is rather static in terms of growth. It is not grown incredibly over the last few years," said Paul Austin of Quest International, A fragrance house that works with this icon marks as Hermes, Yves St. Laurent, Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld.

Many women now go to the perfume shop and say, "What's your latest perfume - one that did not show any? I want no matter what it costs, "says Virginie Morel, A spokeswoman for the International Fragrance Association, which has offices in Brussels, Belgium and Geneva, Switzerland." Fragrances of the big houses have been tested to meet the very most amount of people and Women do not want to like their next door neighbor. You think? "

"If you get a niche perfume will not smell of someone else," she adds. "There is demand for unique things and this is the fact that people are more willing to pay."

Elizabeth Noel Jones, A fragrance, cosmetics and hosiery buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, agrees that consumers are increasingly well - and difficult - when it comes to perfume. "I am moving away from things that are available at Barneys, Bendel, Bloomingdale's, Lord and Taylor, Saks and Macy's," says Jones. "Our customer is in the know, and she does not want something that can be recognized walking down the street."

In the perfume industry, Christian is not the only operator smelling profit. Last June, Guerlain boutique on Champs Elysee in Paris launched a service called Le perfume Sur Mesure, personal consultation which takes between six months and one years and allows the user to create their own perfume, with the aroma of the store director. After that, nobody else can buy it, but Guerlain will keep warehouse, where it ended. Price? € 30,000, or about $ 36,000.

Even outside the rarified department stores and boutiques in New York, Paris and London, the fragrance industry is a powerful force. European fine fragrance sales forecast for 2004 was € 4,1 billion, or $ 4.9 billion, says Kate Greene of Givaudan, which has developed fragrances for Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL - news - people), Elizabeth Arden , Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein.

But Austin estimates that the high class perfume market only represents about 1 percent of total sales and warns that "There is not always a direct connection between the price of the fragrance and beauty of its impression." Of course, sometimes there is. It takes 200 very rare ingredients to make one drop "№ 1, including ylang-ylang flower from Madagascar, Tahitian vanilla, sandalwood and Indian ancient Florentine iris (ground iris root), which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars half kilogram.

Just in time for Fashion Week in New York City, Forbes.com has compiled a list of most expensive perfumes. To find out which perfumes are the priciest, will work closely with Bergdorf Gudman whose list is legendary cosmetics, and other upscale department stores, boutiques and home fragrance. Most of the perfume of our list are "parfums," which means they are pure and concentrated as required by higher costs. In addition, many of the perfumes listed get fussy or limited edition bottles, which have contributed to the price, whether they are made of Italian Murano glass, such as Bulgaria to pour FEMME, or a diamond on the neck by № 1.

We are listed in order of perfumes at the most expensive for a bottle, not per-ounce basis. We show how many ounces come in each bottle so that you can make your cost per ounce calculations. Finally, we do not include custom-order or the Commission perfumes, like Guerlain Le Sur Mesure perfumes or Henry Dunay collection of which $ 30,000 at one ounce would make another list.

All the perfumes are available for sale at Bergdorf Gudman, except Baccarat Les Larmes Sacrées de But, that is available to Harods.

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