Monday, April 28, 2008

Feeling the Crunch

Some of you may be wondering why natural perfumes are so costly -- why a bottle the size of your thumbnail can cost as much as $150, and more. One reason is because most natural perfumers build in cost of production increases into their products -- give themselves a little wiggle room in the event of a localized or global catastrophe which changes the availability of a raw material. The tsunami in Indonesia had a huge impact on patchouli production, increasing prices dramatically, so if your favorite natural perfume has patchouli in it, you're looking at either a hike in the price of your bottle, a smaller bottle coming into production, or discontinuation of your perfume -- unless your savvy natural perfumer worked it all out ahead of time, anticipating something on the horizon.

Other reasons natural perfumes can be so costly are because formulating them is time consuming, they're considered art, most raw materials are pretty expensive anyway, and natural perfume is somewhat finite in production.

*Addendum*
This blog entry at Nature's Gift shows a first-hand accounting of the situations encountered by natural perfumers when sourcing materials.

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