Why Is Creed Perfume So Expensive?

  • By: Nathan Cherry
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Creed has been perhaps the foremost niche fragrance brand for decades, and one of the few that has achieved a similar degree of success to designer brands, along with Jo Malone

Fragrances such as Green Irish Tweed, Silver Mountain Water, Millésime Impérial, and the wildly popular Aventus are considered landmark releases not only in the niche fragrance space, but in the world of fragrance in general. 

However, there’s one fly in the ointment: the price. Creed fragrances are some of the most expensive niche perfumes on the market, and the cost is actually increasing this year.

But why are Creed fragrances so expensive? 

Creed perfumes are expensive for a variety of reasons. One is that they utilize high quality, natural ingredients, specifically ambergris. Another is the packaging. Finally, Creed has a great degree of brand recognition, and a bottle of Creed is often viewed as somewhat of a status symbol. 

Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look. 

The Price of Creed Perfumes

But how much does a bottle of Creed cost? 

The most popular fragrance from the brand, Aventus, retails for $335 for 1.7 oz/50 ml ($6.70/ml), $445 for 3.4 oz/100 ml ($4.45/ml), $695 for 6.7 oz/250 ml ($2.78/ml), $1,145 for 16 oz/500 ml ($2.29/ml), and finally $1,695 for 33 oz/1000 ml ($1.69/ml). 

Even for a niche fragrance, that is a ludicrously high price, only equalled by similarly placed brands like Roja Dove and Memo Paris. 

But just how and why do Creed charge so much for their perfumes? 

#1 – Ingredients

Creed is well known for using natural raw materials in their perfumes. 

Specifically, naturals are used when it comes to the creation of the characteristic “Creed drydown”, a blend of vanilla, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, and ambergris. 

Of all of these, ambergris is perhaps the rarest and most precious. Meaning “gray amber” in French, ambergris is, ironically enough, a hard, waxy secretion that is formed in the bile ducts of sperm whales – essentially, “whale vomit”.

However, this whale vomit is an exceedingly rare find, and can cost upwards of $40,000 a kilo. It’s also highly prized in perfumery for its fixative properties, and fabled for its rich, musky, and slightly salty aroma which can add an ineffable allure to fragrances. 

A lump of ambergris, one of the most expensive raw materials in the world.

Luckily, there are synthetic materials, such as ambroxan, that can get close to the scent of ambergris. Of course, it’s almost certain that Creed doesn’t use a wholloping amount of real ambergris in their fragrances – they’d go bankrupt in a trice – but they claim to use a certain amount of real ambergris tincture in each of their formulations, which almost uniformly have a smooth, luxurious texture to them. 

Regardless of whether or not there’s real ambergris being used in Creed perfumes, there’s no doubt that they use other high quality natural ingredients in the creation of their formulae. But natural ingredients, no matter if they’re whale vomit or cedar oil, are expensive. 

Of course, the brand has to recoup their costs in the price of the final production. 

#2 – Presentation

Creed bottles are also expensive due to their presentation. 

I wouldn’t say that Creed has the most lavish or luxurious presentation in the fragrance game – that would go to Arabian Oud, in my book – but it is certainly distinctive. 

Creed’s iconic flacon is manufactured by the heritage French glassmaking brand Pochet du Courval, which makes the bottles for such brands as Guerlain and Guerlain. Of course, they don’t do what they do for free, and making the unique Creed bottles at the scale the brand operates on can’t be cheap. 

Furthermore, Creed is known for their powerful atomizers. You can easily control the intensity of a Creed atomizer’s spray, much in the same vein as a Dior sprayer or the amazing sprayer of Arabian Oud’s Amiri. 

The larger bottles come in a unique flacon used for decanting, and the more “luxury” line of Creed – yes, even Creed has a luxury line with fragrances like Spice and Wood and Jardin d’Amalfi – also has a unique design. Factor that in with the fact that each Creed fragrance has a unique appearance, and some, like Millésime Impérial, have a shiny metal exterior…You can imagine how the costs might add up. 

Those costs, of course, are reflected in the final price. 

#3 – Status Symbol 

Even considering that Creed fragrances contain high quality materials and presentations, the truth of the matter is that one of the key reasons why Creed fragrances are so expensive comes down to the fact that they are status symbols. 

Yes, I said it. The price of Creed fragrances are inflated due to their perceived value (like all luxury perfumes). I get it, everyone has got to make a profit. But given the fact that the price of Creed perfumes was significantly lower even as recently as a decade ago might clue you in to the fact that there is no doubt a little bit of profiteering going on here.

The wild success of Aventus, a darling of jetsetters, corporate types, and Instagram influencers, certainly inflated the numbers. 

Creed perfumes are seen as the acme of luxury perfumery. With a rich tradition stretching back to 1760 (allegedly; this whole conceit has been thrown into doubt of late, though I won’t comment too much on that at the moment), there are no shortage of fabulous stories marketable to the moneyed elite.

For example, the brand alleges that Bois du Portugal, a 1987 release, was the signature scent of Frank Sinatra (despite the fact that Sinatra was seventy-two years old at the time and died eight years later in 1995). 

Well, regardless of whether or not you actually buy into Creed’s marketing strategy, there’s no denying that it works, and the brand has successfully enshrined itself in the hallowed halls of upscale department stores and boutiques the world over. This success has ensured that Creed has the capability of charging high premiums for their perfumes. 

The Final Word

So, there are some very obvious reasons why Creed perfumes are so expensive. The onus is on you as the consumer to determine whether those perfumes actually merit the price, and I am not one to talk about spending too much money on perfume. 

So, to recap: 

The cost of Creed perfumes comes down to a few key factors. The high quality and cost of the ingredients in the perfumes, the presentation, and their status as lucrative luxury items all play a role in determining the high price of Creed fragrances.