When it comes to perfume, our hands are tied. On one hand, we find it difficult to spend $150 and above (and per this story specifically, "above" serves as the operative word). Yet on the other, finding a fragrance which feels like The One is similar to finding a needle in a haystack—perhaps harder. Plus, we just really really like to smell good. (Hence why we've spent so much time re-hashing our favorite natural, compliment-inducing, date night, and seasonal picks.) And as we've noticed, collectively, we have very expensive taste.
But just like not all expensive skincare and makeup products are worth their jaw-dropping price tags, the same goes for fragrance. In fact, we've pushed away more bottles than we'd care to admit with grimaces and curled noses—many of which comparable price-wise to a healthy sum of our paycheck. That being said, if you've been in the mood to invest in a seriously luxe perfume (because, honestly, nothing feels quite as satisfying as a soulful spritz of a drop-dead scent) we thought we'd share the most expensive perfumes we own and, plot twist, love.
In other words, sticker shock aside, we'd buy these eight lusty fragrances for ourselves or our loved ones again and again. Keep scrolling for the most expensive perfumes Byrdie editors can't quit.
"Scents have a powerful effect on my mood. This is coming from someone who can't go to bed without spritzing on her flavor of the week. With that being said, a prestige perfume brings me ultimate joy. I recently got my hands on this spicy scent from Byredo and have become addicted. Its notes of Chinese grapefruit, berries, black violet, and leather immediately engulf me after one spritz. It's one of those alluring fragrances that make me feel like a true lady. Without fail, I get asked by an Uber driver every time I get into their car with this on what I'm wearing.
I used to strictly be a lover of florals, but this has me drifting to sultry scents. Maybe it's a new era for me?" — Maya Allen, assistant editor
"Aside from the fact this warm, ever-so-slightly spicy perfume is the most expensive item sitting on top of my vanity right now, it's also near and dear to my heart for other reasons. Anything by Krigler is inarguably iconic (it all began back in 1879 when Berlin-born chemist Albert Krigler created his first ever scent, Pleasure Gardenia 79, which senior editor Hallie Gould mentions in a few) and has catered to likes of royalty—including our Hollywood iteration—ever since. Late last year, I had the opportunity to sit down with Ben Krigler, the fifth-generation owner of the brand, to learn the history behind each and every fragrance and (pinch me) pick a favorite to keep.
Overwhelmed by the majesty of the experience in its entirety (and clouds of spell-binding scent), I chose Lovely Patchouli 55, Jackie O.'s signature fragrance and a magnetic mix of amber, leather, and bergamot. (According to Krigler, Princess Victoria of Sweden was also a fan.)
"Physically, you can only buy the Krigler scents at one of the brand's three locations in Beverly Hills, New York City, or Berlin. However, lucky for you (or whoever you may feel so inclined to gift with one), the bottles are also available online for a pretty, albeit totally justified, penny." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"Normally notes of powdery rose would send me packing, but this subtle floral scent from Chloé is anything but 'old lady'—it's more of a classic, spring-fresh staple. I'm mostly drawn to the base notes of amber and cedar, which give the scent a bit more grit and earthy tenacity." — Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"I have never once sprayed this heart-stoppingly expensive $255 French fragrance and not had at least five people strike up a conversation with me because of it. I have literally formed friendships over this perfume (no joke: I once befriended a beauty editor I hadn't met before on a press trip after she complimented me on it, and we were attached at the hip until we flew home). What can I say? The product's fresh, dreamy tuberose scent just seems to cast a spell on people. So yeah, almost $300 for a tiny bottle of smelly water might sound insane, but human connection is priceless, and this olfactory conversation piece has gifted me plenty of that." — Amanda Montell, features editor
"Okay, this is a special one. Pleasure Gardenia (a fresh, tantalizing mix of gardenia, jasmine, mimosa, musk, and vanilla) is known as the floral fragrance Albert Krigler created in 1879 for his fiancée. (It's also available in this potent blend, $635, which is a more concentrated version of the iconic perfume shown above and packaged in a new diamond-like glass bottle, crafted by an Austrian artisan.) Either way, it's exquisite, special, and expensive. But if you're going to splurge, you might as well go all out." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"I don't think anyone on Team Byrdie thought it possible, but my history of fragrance hoarding was recently dismantled by one incredible scent: Le Labo's Gaiac 10. It's musky, woody, and sweet, like clean skin, but somehow still totally special and unique. It attracts so many compliments, and I love that it smells like me but better. The catch: Not only is it $300, but it's also only available in Tokyo as part of Le Labo's City Exclusive collection. So until I make it to Japan, I'm savoring every last drop." — Victoria Hoff, wellness editor
"Ex Nihilo is one of my favorite fragrance brands in general, but what makes this particular one very special to me is the demi-bespoke experience. A smaller version of its flagship store in France, the Ex Nihilo space at Bergdorf Goodman has the Osmologue, a machine that makes you a personalized fragrance right at the store. You pick one of the already existing fragrances and then choose between three additional variations, each pre-vetted by the perfumer. The variations are enhanced by the addition of one precious raw ingredient (i.e., Rose of May, Australian sandalwood, orange blossom).
I had the luxury of doing this with one of Ex Nihilo's founders, Benoît Verdier, who walked me through everything. I chose Fleur Narcotique because I love florals and enhanced the floral scent by choosing the fragrance personalized with orange blossom, which makes it sweeter. While the Fleur Narcotique fragrance is $325 on its own, a demi-bespoke version will fall around $390." — Audrey Noble, associate editor
"I'm really partial to warm, woody scents with a little bit of spice. They wrap around your body like a cashmere blanket. I like Santal Blush because it has all those things—warm sandalwood and spicy cinnamon, with a hint of floral." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
The most practical way to budget our money? Perhaps not. But thanks to their confidence and compliment-boosting prowess, these are the eight most expensive perfumes definitely worth their (admittedly) high price tags.