The 16 Most Expensive-Smelling Fragrances, Broken Down by Cost Per Wear

We're firm believers that fragrance is just as important to personal style as clothing. Scent memory is intense; the one you choose will likely leave a lasting impression on everyone you meet. For this reason, we're constantly keeping tabs on the most popular perfumes, the best new offerings, and even the ones our editors are wearing on repeat to stay abreast of the very best aromas out there.

Right now, we're interested in the rich, complex scents that smell downright expensive. You know, the ones that make you do a double-take. We scoured good ol' Nordstrom for the most elegant elixirs and then took it a step further by calculating their price per wear. And honestly, these numbers make a serious case for shelling out the cash for these little bottles of heaven.

We put on our very fashionable math hats and came up with a formula to determine this info. As a general rule of thumb, there are about 10 spritzes for every milliliter of perfume, and we estimate that women will use two spritzes at a time. This means that we get about five wears per milliliter, by volume.

Now that we're done crunching the numbers, we invite you to shop our curated list of the chicest scents to round out your perfume wardrobe, all for a daily price less than that of parking in Los Angeles.

This intriguing option doesn't smell like poison at all. It features Calabrian bergamot and Sicilian mandarin as its top notes, culminating in a pleasantly musky floral.

The cost breakdown: $111 ÷ 500 wears = $0.22 per wear

This is the kind of fragrance you smell once and remember forever. It's that good. The violet accord and cardamom top notes play nicely with the cedarwood, leather, and sandalwood base mixture.

The cost breakdown: $189 ÷ 250 wears = $0.75 per wear

Basil grand vert, neroli, and white musk are all the components of this simple yet elegant cult favorite.

The cost breakdown: $119 ÷ 500 wears = $0.24 per wear

If you're a sandalwood lover, then this nuanced take on the commonly used base will be both surprising and pleasing to the senses. Notes of bergamot, lemon, orange, and petitgrain (a bitter orange-derived scent) sit on top but are softened by lavender and cardamom in the middle. It's just divine.

The cost breakdown: $122 ÷ 100 wears = $1.22 per wear

This Tom Ford option evokes fantasies of the most lavish vacation you can imagine. Oils of cypress fucus algae and armoise mixed with salty driftwood make for a complex, elegant aroma.

The cost breakdown: $128 ÷ 150 wears = $0.85 per wear

This Greece-inspired cologne smells of figs, green fruit, and wears slightly musky. It's the scent of a woman who knows a thing or two about selecting a timeless fragrance.

The cost breakdown: $140 ÷ 500 wears = $0.28 per wear

This lighthearted scent gives you notes of apple, pink musk accord, and cedarwood, which is a winning combination for an everyday go-to.

The cost breakdown: $126 ÷ 500 wears = $0.25 per wear

This sensual floral perfume is deep and sweet, with just enough woody edge to make it interesting.

The cost breakdown: $74 ÷ 250 wears = $0.29 per wear

This refreshing smell is reminiscent of a warm ocean breeze. It's not too strong but certainly leaves an impression.

The cost breakdown: $119 ÷ 500 wears = $0.24 per wear

This crips, citrusy cologne is sweetened with notes of juniper berries but kept spicy with basil and pepper. It smells like a California dream.

The cost breakdown: $135 ÷ 500 wears = $0.27 per wear

This unique scent features top notes of bergamot, bay leaves, black tea, and fig.

The cost breakdown: $189 ÷ 250 wears = $0.75 per wear

The top notes of tuberose and jasmine sambac are soft and lovely. It's a true floral but not aggressively powdery.

The cost breakdown: $140 ÷ 500 wears = $0.28 per wear

This woody fragrance is named for its key ingredient, which happens to be on the more expensive side of perfume ingredients.  

The cost breakdown: $128 ÷ 150 wears = $0.85 per wear

You'll pick up rose, pink peppercorn, and patchouli in this edgy, floral scent.

The cost breakdown: $102 ÷ 235 wears = $0.43 per wear

This complex aroma embodies Italian elegance with notes of bergamot, citrus accord, lemon, magnolia, jasmine, rose, tuberose, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, and vanilla. 

The cost breakdown: $136 ÷ 250 wears = $0.54 per wear

With bergamot, lemon, and pomegranate layered atop a base including sandalwood, and musk, this sweet, floral scent is bold without being overpowering. 

The cost breakdown: $106 ÷ 500 wears = $0.21 per wear

Up next, the 21 Japanese drugstore beauty products with the best Amazon reviews.



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