Why is Chanel No. 5 perfume so expensive?
The smallest 1.7 ounce bottle of the fragrance–which Coco Chanel created in 1921 and described as “a woman’s perfume with a woman’s scent”–will cost you $105 (shop Chanel No. 5 at nordstrom.com), with prices going up to $215 for 6.8 ounces.
Well, it turns out you’re paying for the lengthy process that goes into packaging that iconic gold-tinted liquid, not just the brand name. According to The New Yorker, one 30-milliliter bottle (approximately 1.01 ounces) of the French fashion house’s signature scent is composed of 1,000 Pégomas jasmine flowers plus 12 Pégomas roses.
So how extensive is the process of growing flowers specifically for your aromatic pleasure? Since the 1980s, Joseph Mul and his family have exclusively grown flowers for Chanel in Pégomas, France. The type of rose used is called the Rosa centifolia, which is known for its “cabbage” and multi-pedaled look and the fact that they produce a smell similar to that of honey, The New Yorker reports.
When the roses bloom in the spring, 70 people hand-pick each individual rose at the 50-acre farm. Last May, Mul expected the men and women that work there to pick 37 tons of flowers.
After picking, the roses are taken to a factory where their oil is quickly extracted, and a long process turns the flowers from pink to brown, and eventually into the liquid dispensed from each bottle.