Sold in small but luxurious containers, perfume and cologne cost a lot more than the sum of their sweet-smelling oils.

Having as many as 100 ingredients in a fragrance is not unusual, but in many cases the recipe isn't why you'll pay 50% to 60% more than what it costs to make.

Blame Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Usher, or any of the famous faces who lend their star power to a fragrance line. Their involvement isn't necessarily the cost driver, but they are symptomatic of why prices are not lower: Buying a designer scent is indulging in a luxury and buying an "image" as much as a product.

When an item is already an indulgence, manufacturers and retailers alike have a lot more leeway when it comes to price.

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