|Bulgari's Le Gemme Orientali|
Perfume prices continue to leap with a vigour that's normally the preserve of Olympic athletes. Last year, Serge Lutens made a brave jump with the first of their Section D'Or releases, L'Incendiaire (UK price: £380 for 50 ml of extrait). This year, as many of you will be aware, the brand has added 5 new compositions to the range, with prices ranging from £425 (for Cannibale, a traditional, spicy leather) to £525 (for Cracheuse De Flammes). Bulgari have extended their set of Le Gemme scents with a trio they're labelling Le Gemme Orientali. Each one will set you back £231 for 100 ml of eau de parfum. Amouage's prices are reaching ever closer to the tops of those Scheherazade minarets. As a reader pointed out on this site, Sunshine Man is £255 for 100 ml of edp. It's not that long ago that the price of the brand's Library Collection (around the £200 mark) was enough to cause scentusiasts to think about remortgaging their houses. And of course, the likes of Roja Parfums, Clive Christian and Xerjoff continue to charge £400 and above for some of their latest releases.
In the fairy tale bubble-world of prices, what goes up almost never comes down. Certain brands cannot allow themselves to be seen as 'cheaper' than others, so as soon as one company initiates the process of wild increases, the others feel obliged to follow suit. And it's no good complaining that if a few brands kept their prices low, they'd enjoy greater sales. The perverse fact of the matter - observed by countless sales assistants across the globe - is that most of us are convinced that there is a genuine, justifiable correlation between quality and price: many people really do opt for more expensive goods purely on the basis that they are more expensive, rather than on a judgement about the non-fiscal attributes of whatever it is they're buying. Of course, the trouble is that we can't say there's no connection between quality and price. Sure, a high figure doesn't guarantee you'll be getting a masterpiece, but if you're paying peanuts, you can be almost certain that what you're purchasing is of dubious merit.
Speaking of which, you might be wondering what I think of some of the aforementioned, wallet-squeezing creations? I'll share some thoughts tomorrow.