Now and then I read complaints about perfumes cost, especially when it comes to the subject of packaging. At some point I was one of those people. I won’t spend time now looking for comments I might have made a year or two ago but I remember having thoughts along the line “those stupid bottles and boxes” and “who needs them”. But since then I considered different aspects of it and I’ve changed my mind.
Perfume isn’t a necessity: it’s a luxury item. There are many other luxury goods out there – shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry, cars and yachts to name but a few. Most of us cannot afford most of those things and we accept that. So why do we get angry when a luxury perfume brand, which positions itself as such, pours perfumes in handmade glass bottles, makes special tops for them or puts them into nice wooden boxes and then charges accordingly?
People are buying designer clothes for their pets – why not to buy a nice display stand or a quality travel case for your favorite expensive perfume? People buy useless figurines and decorative boxes for their dressers – why not to adorn vanity tables with a collectible bottle stopper or a beautiful lacquered perfume box? And as long as there are people who are willing to pay for those special items why not to create them and sell?
As much as we, perfumistas, would love to have in our collections every perfume that attracted our attention we know it’s not possible – even if all of them were in the discount stores’ price range. So why do we get cranky if we cannot afford or justify for ourselves buying an expensive bottle of perfume, especially when perfume itself is available in the refill container? Is it because, after all, juice isn’t the only thing that matters and we do want to get a nice(r) bottle but are not ready to pay extra for it?
Have you ever heard from any perfumista “I love this perfume, it is my absolute favorite but it’s too expensive and I cannot afford it”? I haven’t. I think it’s because perfume is a luxury item. You do not go into collecting luxury items if you have no discretionary income. And if you have any you can choose on what to spend it. If you find a perfume that you love – absolutely, unconditionally and forever – you’ll be able to buy it eventually with money saved by not buying other bottles, samples and decants. And if you do not love it leave it – in all its nicety and glorious packaging – to those who do or have a bigger budget for “nice to have” items.
At the same time I constantly read about cheap looking and poorly made bottles. Many reviewers are wishing for a better correlation between a quality of a scent, its price and presentation. So where is the golden mean?
Images: from respective brands websites