How much does the production of perfume cost

consumption - Perfumes: luxury products made from cheap essences

The origin of the perfume is incense: 5000 years ago it was mainly used as an offering. The people worshiped the gods and at the same time covered bad smells. This is where the word perfume comes from: per fumum, through the smoke. Perfume has been used in Europe since the Middle Ages. Above all, the scent of different flowers was mixed early in the various scented ointments and tinctures.

More expensive than gold

The floral scent is also important for the famous Chanel No. 5. Jasmin from France has been part of this perfume since 1921. The jasmine fields in Grasse, not far from the Cote d'Azzur, are produced exclusively for Chanel. From July to September 40 to 60 pickers work every day. You are paid by weight. The best manage three kilograms a day.

The flowers must be processed immediately, otherwise they will oxidize and their scent will change. For the extraction of the essence, the flowers are poured in layers onto grids in a tank. The scent is removed from the flowers with the solvent hexane. After a few hours the flowers are depleted. Eight million flowers make one liter of jasmine essence - and that costs around 60,000 francs. Jasmine essence is more expensive than gold and good for the myth. But jasmine is only one of almost 80 fragrances. Chanel is one of the pioneers in the use of synthetic fragrances.

3000 fragrances

3000 fragrances are available in Givaudan's perfume laboratory in Paris. Fragrances are created there from the ideas of the perfumers. The assistant to the senior perfumer Ursula Wandel looks for the desired essences and mixes different variants of the fragrance according to the perfumer's formulas.

Most perfumes are mainly based on chemistry. Synthetic fragrances are cheaper. And no perfumer can avoid them. Ursula Wandel: "Pure nature is very beautiful, but no one would buy that." We're just not used to that anymore. In addition, you need the synthetic materials to support the natural materials, adds Wandel.

From design to production: all 3,000 Givaudan fragrances are stored in the perfume factory in Argenteuil near Paris. Givaudan produces perfume concentrate there. Production is no longer calculated in milligrams, but in tons. Givaudan's production manager Jean-Marc Lecerf: “We produce around 5 tons of perfume extract per day. But you have to know that a perfume only contains about 10 to 20 percent perfume extract. "

Mostly synthetic

The filling plant: an employee mixes the perfume extract. It smells of flowers and fruits. But most of the fragrances are synthetic. The fragrances are made from molecules of petroleum, wood and other materials. They are much cheaper than the natural ones. One kilogram of artificial jasmine costs from 100 francs per kilo.

The delicate natural essences are stored in the Chambre Froide, Givaudan's treasury. There we can find, for example, the natural scent of violets, night thiacytes or a whole series of different roses. And also the scent of the iris, which is one of the most expensive scents of all. One kilogram of iris costs 85,000 francs.

The bottled fragrances are whisked - the perfume extract is created. It is then filled into barrels and stacked for shipping. One of Givaudan's customers is the Swiss perfume manufacturer Primecos. The company produces scented water for various brands near Strasbourg. The perfume extract is mixed with alcohol and distilled water. This is how the perfume is created as it is in the store. Depending on the product, more or less fragrance oil is used. An eau de parfum contains 10 to 14 percent, the eau de toilette 6 to 9 and the eau de collogne around 4 percent perfume oil.

Worth fraction

The perfume is stored for three weeks and then bottled. Primecos managing director Alex Edelmann knows exactly the costs for fragrances, bottles and packaging. He knows: The manufacturing costs for a perfume are only a fraction of the final price. Even at Chanel number 5 with the expensive jasmine essence. Alex Edelmann: "You can say that the product is about 10 times more expensive in relation to the manufacturing costs."

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