Originally Posted by Possum-Pie
The average cost of ingredients in an "exclusive" Creed, Tom Ford, YSL, etc. is less than $10. SO someone with access to a Gas Chromatic Spectrometer could in theory break them down, use the same ingredients, and replicate an EXACT copy for much less money. BUT... I have smelled many copies or cheap knock offs that just don't have the depth or longevity so I don't think that the companies are interested in replicating them exactly, just enough to draw in the teenage crowd that doesn't have $300 to drop on a bottle of GIT. Having said that, I have found some wonderful inexpensive frags. in places like Bath & Body Works for under $25. I think too many "fragrance snobs" will say anything that isn't expensive or put out by an exclusive house is garbage. This is just not true. While many inexpensive "knock-offs" have cheap ingredients and are poor quality to anyone with experience in fragrance, there are some "generics" or inexpensive frags that smell quite good.
I am in total agreement - as I have mentioned before I used to know an old man who was a a buyer of raw perfume ingredients and sold to more than one of the "big" houses of the 30s, 40s, 50s. He was a fascinating guy in many ways and a great part of that was the fact he had traveled in some of the most exotic locations in the world obtaining raw materials for many of the classic fragrances we know and love - anyway he is the one that told me just how cheap most of these things are to make and he also told me the amount of things such as civet, pure musk from musk deer, musk ox, etc as well as things such as sandalwood oil, birch tar etc that is used in fragrance is so minute that it would amaze the average person. I was wearing Jovan Musk for men quite a bit at that time and I had it on one day when we were talking - he said - "For instance - you have on a musk cologne today" I said "Yeah" he said "Do you have any idea how much actual musk is probably in that if any?" and I said Not really maybe 3-4 drops" he shook his said and said No in a say 1 ounce bottle of that you have on - the amount of true musk would be about one drop from the head of a pin, at the most" He also said that the scent of most of the raw ingredients used in good perfumes such as musk, civet, ambergris etc would make many people nearly throw up they are so vile in their pure concentrated form - He also told me that a bottle of something from a well known house that sold for say 70 dollars cost maybe 3 dollars worth of actual materials max and often even less - the costs are brought up by the work that it takes to extract the essences and make the stuff not the materials though - He also told me that in France at the end of WW II Chanel gave away Chanel No.5 to any American soldier who showed up to get some and that THIS was part of the reason that Chanel No. 5 became so popular and well known in America in the late 40s because so many of the guys who were able to get a free bottle brought or sent it home to their wives, g/fs, sisters, mothers etc and that little taste of Paris that had before been out of reach price wise of the average working class woman now became a treasured and later sought after scent. Coco Chanel was a VERY shrewd business woman indeed.