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  1. #1

    Default is fragrance a luxury good?

    This stems from a debate on the male fragrance board. The meaning of luxury varies somewhat by application. While fragrance can be listed as a luxury good due to the lack of physiological or safety needs addressed by these items, luxury also has a different connotation in discussion of price discrimination and social pecking order. There seems to be obfuscation in use at times, and I should have appropriately addressed what I knew would be a sticking point. While not the one who brought up Ferrari cars or Kiton clothing, I responded by stating that fragrance was not a luxury good on the whole, in light of such commentary and attempted parallels while one of the largest and least differentiated personal care corporations was being discussed. I still hold to that, as cars and clothing do not carry the social connotation of highly luxurious items in the first world. The identification of such brands, along with specific mentions of artisinal and independent perfumes, undermined the discussion on corporate-owned fragrance brands, which is hardly "luxurious" in its high availability and relatively low price.

    Kiton would be considered a high-end luxury clothing brand. Stafford at JC Penney would likely not, yet you can get a lounge suit made by either. A lounge suit itself could be considered a luxury item, but the real point is that there is a massive price difference along with a huge difference in perceived and measurable quality. To discuss the value provided by a Stafford suit by mentioning the build quality of a Kiton would be madness. Television is in no way required for survival. A 73 inch 3D set with 4K resolution would be considered relatively extravagant at this point in time. A 9 inch black & white set powered by D cell batteries and only receiving OTA analog signals would not. Yet, they are both televisions, an neither is required for day to day living. There exist a difference. Does this apply to personal fragrance?

    Is Axe body spray a luxury item in any context, or is there a difference depending on prior statements and the heart of the discussion? I believe this plays a key role in discussing fragrance, as apparently there are performance measures that do not correlate strictly with price, and there seems to be some confusion over the price and specific ingredients used, as they seem to appear in brands across the price continuum. Since there are dopplegangers of smell, at least to casual observers, does that make all fragrance luxury items because there can be, and at times is, little to no difference in performance and possibly even quality, despite price difference? Or, is there still a higher level of luxury with a measure of extravagance that cannot be ascribed to products produced copiously and continuously and competing in markets based on price? The idea of what is extravagance is based on the quality of life for specific cultures. Additionally, "luxury goods" are demanded more as income rises, with a finer distinction than normal and inferior goods. This apparently is not the case with fragrance, as fragranced items are available at the lowest price levels, and this is where the greatest amount of odorant chemicals are used.

  2. #2

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    More like a decoration to embellish but I can understand how it can be perceive as an luxury good.
    "Thank GOD for the nose, for without it we would not be enjoying these beautiful created Scents" also Remember "Balance is everything and the key to appreciating "

  3. #3
    Super Member Emoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    My head hurts reading that!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    I view it as a luxury good but can understand and respect others who might not.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  5. #5

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    In my opinion: yes, but not necessarily due to the more obvious reasons. Strictly personally, associating luxury goods with certain amount of technical, even intellectual accomplishments, a certain brand image/set of corporate values, perhaps also a mood, a mindset, a sense of style and since fragrance fulfills most, if not all of these requirements, it is (in my opinion) quite certainly a luxury good.

  6. #6

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Aventus. Just Kidding with ya. Yes I think fragrances are luxury good. We don't necessarily need them. It's sort of a hobby. A hobby that we wear. More for self satisfaction (and the occasional compliments that come with it).

  7. #7

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    I view it as a luxury good but can understand and respect others who might not.
    I agree... Not all fragrance is what I would call luxury.... There are many that do fall in this category....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Perfume/cologne is a luxury item

    You can live your life perfectly fine with a bar of soap and deodrant.

  9. #9

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Soap and deodorant are luxury items.

    You can live your life perfectly fine with rain/river water.

    This is my point, that sort of reduction doesn't adequately define luxury due to differences in living standards and personal choices. As well, soap and deodorant apply fragrance to the body unless they are fragrance-free formulations. Is this not a luxury item, because it is soap?

  10. #10

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    In my opinion: yes, but not necessarily due to the more obvious reasons. Strictly personally, associating luxury goods with certain amount of technical, even intellectual accomplishments, a certain brand image/set of corporate values, perhaps also a mood, a mindset, a sense of style and since fragrance fulfills most, if not all of these requirements, it is (in my opinion) quite certainly a luxury good.
    Well, this is sort of what I am getting at. How luxurious do you consider B&BW fragrances to be? Are body sprays luxurious, or are they utilitarian?

  11. #11

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Difficult to answer this- B&BW are, at least in part, quite well-regarded on BN, even though their price may be affordable, unexpectedly good comments about their quality were posted on certain threads. As with Axe, being readily and cheapily available virtually everywhere, this brand is (not necessarily in bad way) "victim of its own success". But even here, some of their discontinued body sprays, after shaves etc., especially from the 80s and 90s smell much less linear and generic than expected. If their longevity was better and their branding different, could almost compete with designer powerhouses in terms of well-made fragrance (the discontinued Cedar and Chypre variations for instance are a far cry from today's sweeter and more approachable scent notes- almost tempted to say that there are nearly two distinct worlds of Axe, based not just on price, branding alone, far more the actual scents).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    It depends entirely how you define "luxury good". In business, advertising, and marketing speak, luxury goods are goods for which demand increases when income increases (vs. "goods of necessity" which applies to things like food). Given that definition, and recognizing that even sales at not necessarily luxurious places Bath and Body Works dip when income decreases, I'd say that yes, fragrances at all price points qualify as luxury goods.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    'Luxury' as a concept originally centered on exclusivity has lost much much if its meaning over the years, with 'masstige' brands jostling for space with the more prestigious ones. The mighty credit card has made many things more accessible to consumers though not necessarily more affordable. Personally I don't really care for the distinction. Fragrance is just a fragrance.

  14. #14

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    On a need versus want criteria - fragrance is under the want category. All of us here can & will live w/o fragrance if the need arises. So yes, it's a luxury imho.

  15. #15

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Appreciate those responses. I do want to say I am not questioning the quality of ingredients or product safety of B&BW or most others, but do not believe there is much opulence associated with certain brands. It actually feeds into the idea, a luxurious smell does not have to reflect extravagance in the price relative to other goods. While consumption may go down in poorer economic times, I don't think that in and of itself makes it different from normal goods, not just luxury items. Food is a necessity, but there are normal and inferior foodstuffs, and consumption of each varies with income.

    I cannot and would not argue against the fact that the class of "luxury goods" includes fragrance, but I would argue that the extravagance and opulence intimated by mentioning Ferrari autos and Kiton suits does not apply to mass market fragrances, as Chevrolet and Men's Wearhouse could have just as easily been mentioned, but were not for fairly obvious reasons. There's some deodorant that I find projects and lasts at least as well as some colognes, and with a decent scent, imo. I don't find the idea of deodorant to be a luxury, nor do I believe that it is a need as opposed to a want. I also would not call Coty a luxury brand under certain circumstances, such as when Bugatti or Brioni might be the benchmarks. Really, personal fragrance came about for the same reasons as soap and deodorant, and the availability and affordability of fragrance also means it could be so much more commonly worn. It does not seem to be about luxury in an economic sense, but more about shifts in social acceptance. If I understand it correctly, fragrance is on a downward trend because it is now viewed in some places as rude an harmful to those allergic. Perhaps there is some trajectory shared with tobacco, which was opulent, then pedestrian, and now mostly avoided.

  16. #16

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Yeah it's a luxury item by definition and by classification. Falls right next to watches and jewelry. Most of the brands are considered luxury brands. Go into a Hermes store and ask how much a leather wallet is.
    Last edited by silentrich; 12th August 2014 at 07:15 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Again with this ridiculous notion. Hey, Curve is a luxury brand, just check out the price of the Imperial Majesty edition of Clive Christian. Justin Bieber Someday at ~$40 a bottle broke some sort of sales record in 2011, so that must be the height of luxury.

  18. #18

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Fragrance as a product category is a luxury item, because it's bought with disposable income. Comparisons within the fragrance product category as to which is more luxurious is a completely different question, and is about 'feel', so is not at all objective (as the more seasoned BNers will tell newbies all the time, price does not equal quality).

  19. #19
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomaniac View Post
    Again with this ridiculous notion. Hey, Curve is a luxury brand, just check out the price of the Imperial Majesty edition of Clive Christian. Justin Bieber Someday at ~$40 a bottle broke some sort of sales record in 2011, so that must be the height of luxury.
    It's unclear to me what your point is at this stage?

    Many household/utility non-luxury items are certainly fragranced.

    Personal perfume is not a necessity or a utility item therefore most consider it a luxury item but please do feel free to believe something else
    Last edited by lpp; 12th August 2014 at 09:18 AM.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Of course fragrance is a luxury item. It is not a necessity, it just brings some pleasure but it is not vital to life. You would not die if you had all your fragranced products removed, or had the fragrance removed from those products.

  21. #21

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    sure!

  22. #22

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    It's unclear to me what your point is at this stage?
    I believe that is because the word luxury is being poised with multiple meanings.

    Everything is purchased with disposable income. Disposable income is what you have left over after taxes. That would make food a luxury item if disposable income use meant luxury. Underwear is not vital to life, which would make underwear a luxury item if anything beyond maintenance of basic biological function meant luxury. Not having toenails clippers would not lead to death, so toenail clippers would be a luxury item if anything not related to causes of mortality meant luxury.

    These are not categorized as luxury items because their consumption does not increase by a proportionately greater amount than other normal goods as income increases. They are not a sign of wealth above the average for their cultures. The US has the largest GDP on the planet, yet fragrance use does not have the same penetration as other countries with lower economic output. Also, I am unaware of any stats that show that countries with a higher per capita income use more fragrance per capita as well, but anyone please feel free to provide such. And the fact that fragrance absolutely is so cheap to manufacture and so readily available in so many products means that the presence of fragrance is not something that necessarily scales with income either. There are multiple blog posts and articles stating that it costs two to three dollars in raw materials to make the fragrance itself in a bottle. All the marketing to convince you that three dollars worth of product is luxurious is what leads to the extravagant pricing. That seems more gauche than luxurious.

    My point is that none of that deals with opulence or extravagance. Since fragrance is relatively affordable based on average household income and the availability of value-priced fragrance, then there is not a great deal of extravagance associated with the purchase and use of fragrance by default, as many would suggest. You can get "cheap" fragrance, including EDT or EDP concentration. And since this is available, then there is no necessary connection to opulence for the wearer. My point is that either luxury is painted with a very broad brush to include fragrance at all times for all discussions, or that the instances where opulence and extravagance are explicitly referenced, it is done so alongside fragrances that are not in any way shape or form similar in their price discrimination.

    Again, Ferrari cars, Kiton clothes, and now Hermes wallets have been mentioned. If fragrance on the whole was to be deemed a luxury item, then the appropriate examples of other product classes would reference the LOWER priced brands to reinforce the fact that it is the product class and not the premium brands that indicate luxury. Deferring to the high-end completely takes away the argument of need vs want and moves it right into the "overpriced" or "only affordable to the wealthy" position of thinking where fragrance adamantly represents extravagance and opulence.

    Food happens to not be a luxury item. But if I were to talk only of black truffle and Wagyu beef, you might think I was trying to argue differently, especially if up to that point the topic had been about Chili's. That is where this seems to be, as in a talk of L'Oreal products, Roja Dove and Andy Tauer simply had to be mentioned. Instead of talking about Ferrari fragrances, which is the relevant product category, quarter-million dollar cars were brought up instead. Same for Kiton, where their fragrance line got nary a mention, but somehow eight-thousand dollars suits are connected to L'Oreal's products. And while talking about Bath & Body Works, Hermes wallets at two grand a pop were mentioned instead of a camouflage pattern nylon number with velcro closure straight from Wal-Mart.

    Why?

  23. #23

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Yes it definitely is a luxury good.

  24. #24

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Absolutely it is. Why would anyone ever speak in terms of luxury goods or items unless they were speaking in terms consistent with the currently used economics definition of the term?... That is, a luxury item is one whose demand increases as disposable income increases. Nothing more, nothing less. What's the point in overthinking this?
    Last edited by DuNezDeBuzier; 13th August 2014 at 05:20 AM. Reason: esssesss
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  25. #25
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Luxury

    2 a : something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary <one of life's luxuries>



    “Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”

    “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”

    "I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it."
    -- Coco Chanel

    " Perfume is, among other things, the most portable form of intelligence."
    -- Luca Turin

    "Perfume is a love affair with one's self."
    -- Roja Dove

    "Luxury is something pretty and discreet. Luxury must not be something brash."
    -- Jean-Paul Guerlain

    "Chic is, first, when you don't have to prove you have money, either because you have a lot and it doesn't matter or because you don't have any and it doesn't matter. Chic is not aspirational....Chic is the most impossible thing to define. Luxury is a humorless thing, largely, and when humor happens in luxury it happens involuntarily. Chic is all about humor. Which means chis is about intelligence. And there has to be oddness - most luxury is conformist, and chic cannot be. Chic must be polite and not incommode others, but within that it can be as weird as it wants.
    --Luca Turin

    ____________


    "Perfume is a drug."
    -- pluran

  26. #26

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    It can be. It isn't necessarily.

  27. #27

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    "I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it."
    -- Coco Chanel

    "Luxury is something pretty and discreet. Luxury must not be something brash."
    -- Jean-Paul Guerlain

    "Chic is, first, when you don't have to prove you have money, either because you have a lot and it doesn't matter or because you don't have any and it doesn't matter. Chic is not aspirational....Chic is the most impossible thing to define. Luxury is a humorless thing, largely, and when humor happens in luxury it happens involuntarily. Chic is all about humor. Which means chis is about intelligence. And there has to be oddness - most luxury is conformist, and chic cannot be. Chic must be polite and not incommode others, but within that it can be as weird as it wants.
    --Luca Turin
    Awesome, thanks for those.

  28. #28

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuNezDeBuzier View Post
    Why would anyone ever speak in terms of luxury goods or items unless they were speaking in terms consistent with the currently used economics definition of the term?
    Not sure, but perhaps for the same reason discretionary and disposable income get confused.

  29. #29

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Or:

    a foolish or worthless form of self-indulgence:
    "the luxury of self-pity."

  30. #30

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    lol, well played

  31. #31

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Also, I see that andym has done a spectacular job in the other thread of differentiating a brand associated with custom and labor intensive work from a brand that tries to ride on that history while selling mass market items that are commoditized. If the perfumer works for a third party, earns a set salary with bonus paid no matter the prestige of the purchasing brand, and sells work to any and all comers, then where is the corporate knowledge that affects the quality between brands? According to Fragrantica, Olivier Polge and Dominic Ropion each have fragrances produced by 37 different brands, so how does one claim superiority or otherwise jsutify price differences when the same craftsperson designed the scents, the same chemical manufacturers provide the scents, and they are produced on the same scale (when they are produced on the same scale)?

    Eh, I think Kaern's post was a better way to close this out anyway, as it can apply to arguing on the internet as well

    a foolish or worthless form of self-indulgence:
    "the luxury of self-pity."

  32. #32

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    I say Luxury because you can live without it.

  33. #33

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomaniac View Post
    Again with this ridiculous notion. Hey, Curve is a luxury brand, just check out the price of the Imperial Majesty edition of Clive Christian. Justin Bieber Someday at ~$40 a bottle broke some sort of sales record in 2011, so that must be the height of luxury.
    Visit a third world country where people would give their first-born for a piece of bread, and then come back and tell me perfume isn't a luxury item. I'll bet that sometime after bathing in rain-fed, muddy river water, but just before contracting cryptosporidiosis, you'll find your acutely unusual view of what constitutes a "luxury" is the least of your concerns out where basic hygiene and nutrition is a challenge. Maybe volunteer to help the people in Africa suffering from Ebola.

  34. #34

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    lux·u·ry noun \ˈlək-sh(ə-)rē, -zh(ə-)rē\
    : a condition or situation of great comfort, ease, and wealth

    : something that is expensive and not necessary

    : something that is helpful or welcome and that is not usually or always available
    plural lux·u·ries

    Full Definition of LUXURY

    1
    archaic : lechery, lust
    2
    : a condition of abundance or great ease and comfort : sumptuous environment <lived in luxury>
    3
    a : something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary <one of life's luxuries>
    b : an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease <had the luxury of rejecting a handful of job offers — Terri Minsky>





    Yes

  35. #35

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    To varying extents I do ya of course. I mean lets just think about a common stereo type of something like poor people=smell rich people=smell like perfume. I think thats something thats put in everyones brain from cartoons etc at a very young age. Of course as you get older obviously fragrances are much more accessible. But yea to varying extents I definitely agree. And there are certain fragrances period that even in my mind I just think of as "rich peoples" cologne period.

  36. #36

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by HankHarvey View Post
    Maybe volunteer to help the people in Africa suffering from Ebola.
    ok

    You, uh, ever wonder where hyrax, civet, opoponax, frankincense, or myrrh come from?

    I surely do appreciate your incredibly myopic and racist view of the peoples of the African continent, who exchange children for bread. Throwing your idiotic ass on ignore now, bye.

  37. #37

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomaniac View Post
    ok

    You, uh, ever wonder where hyrax, civet, opoponax, frankincense, or myrrh come from?

    I surely do appreciate your incredibly myopic and racist view of the peoples of the African continent, who exchange children for bread. Throwing your idiotic ass on ignore now, bye.
    And we have a sore loser.
    Last edited by HankHarvey; 15th August 2014 at 10:19 PM.

  38. #38

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    You both had your say, now please back on topic.
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity.
    There is no cure for curiosity."
    - Dorothy Parker

  39. #39

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuNezDeBuzier View Post
    Absolutely it is. Why would anyone ever speak in terms of luxury goods or items unless they were speaking in terms consistent with the currently used economics definition of the term?... That is, a luxury item is one whose demand increases as disposable income increases. Nothing more, nothing less. What's the point in overthinking this?
    Absolutely not. These days fragrance is available to everyone regardless of income, (thank God !!). In Berlin recently I witnessed Pino Sylvestre 30ml edt for sale for in retail perfumeries for €2. The french company Bic manufacture a fragrance in the form of their famous Bic lighters which you can buy retail for €1 - less than a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup, and their fragrances smell really good !!!.
    Fragrance exists on all levels, for all budgets. So fragrance in general can no longer be considered luxury, because by definition it caters to all budgets and does exist retail, for the same price as normal food/ household products.
    Last edited by david; 15th August 2014 at 11:12 PM.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  40. #40

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Luxury is most obvious when it is not available. There are vast swaths of the populated parts of our planet where perfume is not easily found or had. Ironically that also coincides with the things Lomaniac was claiming were not luxuries, like nail clippers and soap. Hard to believe in a Western mindset, but to many people the idea of scenting one's self is a luxury. The price is a factor at ANY price for struggling poor.

  41. #41

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by HankHarvey View Post
    Visit a third world country where people would give their first-born for a piece of bread, and then come back and tell me perfume isn't a luxury item. I'll bet that sometime after bathing in rain-fed, muddy river water, but just before contracting cryptosporidiosis, you'll find your acutely unusual view of what constitutes a "luxury" is the least of your concerns out where basic hygiene and nutrition is a challenge. Maybe volunteer to help the people in Africa suffering from Ebola.
    A ridiculously unfair argument. To people who suffer in these countires, even a bowl of rice is a luxury item. Everything in order to live and survive is a luxury item. In this thread I am sure the original poster was not referring to third world countries ?
    Perhaps the OP could answer this question ?
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  42. #42

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomaniac View Post
    This stems from a debate on the male fragrance board. The meaning of luxury varies somewhat by application. While fragrance can be listed as a luxury good due to the lack of physiological or safety needs addressed by these items, luxury also has a different connotation in discussion of price discrimination and social pecking order. There seems to be obfuscation in use at times, and I should have appropriately addressed what I knew would be a sticking point. While not the one who brought up Ferrari cars or Kiton clothing, I responded by stating that fragrance was not a luxury good on the whole, in light of such commentary and attempted parallels while one of the largest and least differentiated personal care corporations was being discussed. I still hold to that, as cars and clothing do not carry the social connotation of highly luxurious items in the first world. The identification of such brands, along with specific mentions of artisinal and independent perfumes, undermined the discussion on corporate-owned fragrance brands, which is hardly "luxurious" in its high availability and relatively low price.

    Kiton would be considered a high-end luxury clothing brand. Stafford at JC Penney would likely not, yet you can get a lounge suit made by either. A lounge suit itself could be considered a luxury item, but the real point is that there is a massive price difference along with a huge difference in perceived and measurable quality. To discuss the value provided by a Stafford suit by mentioning the build quality of a Kiton would be madness. Television is in no way required for survival. A 73 inch 3D set with 4K resolution would be considered relatively extravagant at this point in time. A 9 inch black & white set powered by D cell batteries and only receiving OTA analog signals would not. Yet, they are both televisions, an neither is required for day to day living. There exist a difference. Does this apply to personal fragrance?

    Is Axe body spray a luxury item in any context, or is there a difference depending on prior statements and the heart of the discussion? I believe this plays a key role in discussing fragrance, as apparently there are performance measures that do not correlate strictly with price, and there seems to be some confusion over the price and specific ingredients used, as they seem to appear in brands across the price continuum. Since there are dopplegangers of smell, at least to casual observers, does that make all fragrance luxury items because there can be, and at times is, little to no difference in performance and possibly even quality, despite price difference? Or, is there still a higher level of luxury with a measure of extravagance that cannot be ascribed to products produced copiously and continuously and competing in markets based on price? The idea of what is extravagance is based on the quality of life for specific cultures. Additionally, "luxury goods" are demanded more as income rises, with a finer distinction than normal and inferior goods. This apparently is not the case with fragrance, as fragranced items are available at the lowest price levels, and this is where the greatest amount of odorant chemicals are used.
    Thanks for this interesting thread. This is a difficult one. A fascinating question !
    The world has changed so much and so fast.
    Technically, when a government slaps on the 30% tax it is deemed a luxury item. On this point I would agree with lpp.
    However, nowadays fragrance is on offer at every level to everyone. Be it in the form of indian produced oil based fragrances available for $1, or outstanding copies, outsripping the original fragrance, (see various test magazines) such as Suddenly Madame Glamour, manufactured by the discount supermarket chain Lidl - available for $5.
    My point is that today, I am sure that every person in the western world owns probably more than one frangrance. Be it in the form of a Gillette body spray or a Faberge edt or a more costly brand.
    So my answer, due to price accessibility and per household/ person ownership would most definitely be NO. Fragrance is no longer a luxury item.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  43. #43

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    A ridiculously unfair argument. To people who suffer in these countires, even a bowl of rice is a luxury item. Everything in order to live and survive is a luxury item. In this thread I am sure the original poster was not referring to third world countries ?
    Perhaps the OP could answer this question ?
    No. As Lomaniac already pointed out above, food is not a luxury item.

    But since you're following my point, if you're saying that food is a luxury to the starving, what does that make perfume? And so it's a super-luxury to the super poor to have and wear perfume, but not a luxury to those of us who can afford it? A Lamborghini is a luxury that the rich enjoy. A $5 Zippo perfume on discount is a luxury you and I and most middle-class people can enjoy, if they choose to. And it is a luxury the ultra-poor, who number in the hundreds of millions, can enjoy only if someone is kind enough to give it to them. Nothing unfair about that. That's reality.

  44. #44

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Caviar.

    All kinds at all prices... available at Costco even.

    Do some people eat it before or instead of paying their electric or heating bills? Maybe, but that's aberrant behavior. I'm not going to waste any of my time discussing it. Most all people that consume caviar will consume and/or demand more caviar the more their income increases.

    Do some people buy fragrance before or instead of paying their electric or heating bills? Probably. It doesn't matter whether the frag is cheap or expensive, easy or hard to find... it would be the same aberrant type behavior.

    I've got a challenge for mr. lomaniac: In 25 words or less, what was/is your point?

    edit: by 'fragrance' I mean bottles of perfume, cologne, etc., not 'fragranced items'
    Last edited by DuNezDeBuzier; 16th August 2014 at 11:57 AM. Reason: meaning of 'fragrance'
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  45. #45

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Anything vital to life and sustinence is not a luxury. Anything over that is. Whatever the price or quality.

    The argument of cost equating to luxury is a luxurious thought process indulged in by those who have no struggle with the former.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Absolutely
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  47. #47

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Anything vital to life and sustinence is not a luxury. Anything over that is. Whatever the price or quality.

    The argument of cost equating to luxury is a luxurious thought process indulged in by those who have no struggle with the former.
    Hi mumsy !
    Respectfully I would disagree. I am speaking now in terms of the western world.
    How many people think of a motor car as a luxury item ? Let's be honest now. Hardly anyone, though it's hardly a neccesity to survive. There are alternatives, such as bicycles and buses. When the first model T Fords came rolling off the assembly lines they were probably at the time considered luxury mass produced items, but times have changed and today hardly anyone thinks of a Fiat Panda as a luxury item. Our standards and "fun bucks" have increased so much.
    The word luxury is certainly subjective. I live in a house that does not have running water or electricity. From my standpoint water is precious and therefore to me considered something of a luxury item. The water I wash my clothes in, is recycled to become the water that flushes my toilette. Other members have used as examples...paying water bills theoretically takes presidence over buying fragrance. I agree, but think it doesn't automatically therefore deem a bottle of fragrance a luxury item. The term luxury is just as subjective as the topic of fragrance.
    The point that really sways me to say that fragrance is not a luxury item in todays western world is the fact that it can be bought so cheaply and is so available everywhere and at every level.
    Last edited by david; 16th August 2014 at 05:16 PM.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  48. #48

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Yes. If you would be poor you would spend nothing/very little on fragrances, if you're rich you may spend a lot (if interested in them), thus perfumes are a typical luxury good.

  49. #49

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Hi mumsy !
    Respectfully I would disagree. I am speaking now in terms of the western world.
    How many people think of a motor car as a luxury item ? Let's be honest now. Hardly anyone, though it's hardly a neccesity to survive. There are alternatives, such as bicycles and buses. When the first model T Fords came rolling off the assembly lines they were probably at the time considered luxury mass produced items, but times have changed and today hardly anyone thinks of a Fiat Panda as a luxury item. Our standards and "fun bucks" have increased so much.
    The word luxury is certainly subjective. I live in a house that does not have running water or electricity. From my standpoint water is precious and therefore to me considered something of a luxury item. The water I wash my clothes in, is recycled to become the water that flushes my toilette. Other members have used as examples...paying water bills theoretically takes presidence over buying fragrance. I agree, but think it doesn't automatically therefore deem a bottle of fragrance a luxury item. The term luxury is just as subjective as the topic of fragrance.
    The point that really sways me to say that fragrance is not a luxury item in todays western world is the fact that it can be bought so cheaply and is so available everywhere and at every level.
    I'm inclined to agree in the real world. It is the word luxury that is the subjective word.

  50. #50

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Absolutely not. These days fragrance is available to everyone regardless of income, (thank God !!). In Berlin recently I witnessed Pino Sylvestre 30ml edt for sale for in retail perfumeries for €2. The french company Bic manufacture a fragrance in the form of their famous Bic lighters which you can buy retail for €1 - less than a bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup, and their fragrances smell really good !!!.
    Fragrance exists on all levels, for all budgets. So fragrance in general can no longer be considered luxury, because by definition it caters to all budgets and does exist retail, for the same price as normal food/ household products.
    That was one special offer though for one fragrance out of thousands. Also cheap chic Berlin...they probably had to lower the price so much to sell any of it

  51. #51

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    'Luxury' as a concept originally centered on exclusivity has lost much much if its meaning over the years, with 'masstige' brands jostling for space with the more prestigious ones. The mighty credit card has made many things more accessible to consumers though not necessarily more affordable. Personally I don't really care for the distinction. Fragrance is just a fragrance.
    This.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  52. #52

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I'm inclined to agree in the real world. It is the word luxury that is the subjective word.
    Terms like "real world" have to be applied to the entire world, not just Western middle and upper-class lifestyles.

  53. #53

    Wink Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rüssel View Post
    That was one special offer though for one fragrance out of thousands. Also cheap chic Berlin...they probably had to lower the price so much to sell any of it
    LOL !! Honestly, I'm not really such a cheapskate !!!
    ....but I do tend to steer clear of those niches...
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  54. #54

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Yes, it is. An affordable luxury indeed but not necessary to survive

  55. #55

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lomaniac View Post
    Appreciate those responses. I do want to say I am not questioning the quality of ingredients or product safety of B&BW or most others, but do not believe there is much opulence associated with certain brands. It actually feeds into the idea, a luxurious smell does not have to reflect extravagance in the price relative to other goods. While consumption may go down in poorer economic times, I don't think that in and of itself makes it different from normal goods, not just luxury items. Food is a necessity, but there are normal and inferior foodstuffs, and consumption of each varies with income.
    It also depends on location, the demographic, etc. I remember when, as a teen, I found Victoria's Secret body care to be a luxury. I couldn't afford any of it.

    In Asia, people pay a high price or ask friends who visit the U.S. to buy them bath and body works items because these appear to be luxurious goods to them.

    My Filipino cousin begged me to get her $20 boots from Charlotte Russe. She thought the brand was "posh".

    For every item out there, there probably is some luxury equivalent of it.

    http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-most...rs-in-america/

    To answer your question: yes, fragrance is a luxury good to me.

  56. #56

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    I think that many items that are "not necessary to survive" are not necessarily "luxury".....
    Last edited by david; 18th August 2014 at 11:21 PM.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  57. #57
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    IMHO, yap. You can live without them.

  58. #58

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    I think that many items that are "not necessary to survive" are not necessarily "luxury".....
    Actually that's exactly what luxury is.

  59. #59

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    I would say so, I put it on par with fine wines, cigars & shoes!!

  60. #60

    Default Re: is fragrance a luxury good?

    For me fragrances are a luxury in this order:

    1. Cuban Cigars
    2. Fine Scotch/Bourbon
    3. Fragrances

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