This was taken from a post I made in another thread, but I think deserves its own thread. I often hear things like - "Well, this CK frag is nice, but obviously not Hermes quality" or something like that. Or, people question how a $10 or $20 frag could be as "high quality" as a $60 frag. Well, here's something to think about (quoting myself from that other thread, with a few minor changes and addendums :p)
"Price does not neccesarily relate to or imply quality. Old Spice is dead cheap and still smells higher quality than a lot of stuff out there, imo. Grey Flannel, too. Just about every mainstream juice is going to be working within a similar budget, probably less than $2 in ingredients per bottle. In fact, possibly much less (my guess is $0.50-$1.00, and this is based upon pricing out my natural blends and taking into consideration the lower concentration of most designer EDTS, and the overuse of quite cheap synthetic musks and such that can comprise a huge portion of the scent (iso e super, anyone?)). Terre d'hermes is like 55% Iso E super, and is an EdT, so maybe a 10% concentration. That means that in a 100ml bottle, 10ml = actual perfume, and 5.5 of those are iso e super. Now, you can buy Iso E super for $10.50 for 80ml, and that's from a middleman (Perfumer's Apprentice).. surely the big houses get it much cheaper buying in massive bulk quantities.
Even at this marked up price, 5.5ml of iso e super comes out to $0.72. Many of the other ingredients are in the same price range as iso e super. Yes, some of them are more expensive, some of the musks are say, $50 for 80ml, but they usually only comprise small portions of the overall blend, and so they don't contribute huge costs to the formula.
Even if we assume the rest of Terre is made up of ingredients averaging twice as expensive as Iso E Super, the cost per 100ml bottle is still only $0.72 + $1.18 (the rest is only 45% of the solution).. so, exactly $1.90 a bottle. And that is when we purchase the aromachemicals from a middleman. I imagine the large houses can get them at least 30% cheaper, if not considerably more so. If they can get them half as cheap, the juice in a 100ml bottle of TdH in this example would cost $0.85.
It's silly to discriminate based on price when it comes to the designers. Even many many niches are dead cheap per bottle. Ironically, those with lower longevity often times use more naturals and hence more "quality ingredients." Many Montale's just smell cheap to me (and if the oud and other ingredients were really so expensive, do you think they'd offer to increase the concentration by nearly half, for free?) - blended with a heavy hand - but their oft-times overbearing power and sillage seems to equate to 'quality' to many here. I don't get it."