Dossier Fragrances: Trending Ethical Alternatives to High-End Perfumes

Ethically sourced perfumes have enjoyed a growing popularity in recent times. Up to 90 per cent of all consumers now prefer vegan-certified products (1). Indeed, cosmetics are a perfect example and a recent line of fragrances has already begun to turn the heads of conscious shoppers.

What is an Ethically Sourced Perfume?

One issue which has come to light in recent times is associated with how consumable products are produced. For example, some high-street perfumes and colognes are often tested on animals. These very same formulations may contain animal-based ingredients. Beeswax, deer musk and hyrax stone are three common examples (2).

It is therefore clear to appreciate why consumers who care about animal welfare have shied away from these fragrances. This is also why a considerable number of firms are now creating perfumes and colognes that have been derived from animal-free sources. One well-known example can be seen in the perfume Aromatic Ginger offered by Dossier. Designed to mimic the very same appeal of Louis Vuitton L’Immensite, this fragrance provides a similar allure without any of the guilt associated with animal experimentation.

Why Such Costly Price Tags?

While ethics certainly play a crucial role, there are other reasons why countless consumers have now begun to think differently about high-end fragrances. From a practical point of view, these are often associated with the prices themselves. Why are well-known brands frequently paired with such exorbitant costs? Let’s take a look at several reasons.

The Ingredients

The price of a fragrance is partially based on the associated ingredients. While generic brands often employ synthetic materials, well-known names tend to rely upon all-natural substances. Some of these can be incredibly challenging to source and therefore, production costs will increase. These are then inevitably passed on to the consumer. Unfortunately, it just so happens that these very same ingredients are frequently obtained from animals and in some cases (such as the orris root), from plants that require decades to mature (3).


Similar to any retail product, presentation goes a long way towards captivating a potential audience. This observation has not been lost on the fragrance industry. Many luxury perfumes and cologne manufacturers spend a surprising amount of money on packaging. This only stands to reason when we consider the fact that visual appeal is often associated with quality and sophistication.

Packaging is used to hint at the “personality” of the fragrance in question. When referring to high-end products, the materials themselves can be just as rare. Therefore, it is not uncommon for substances such as gold leaf and even Swarovski crystals to be present. While these do not impact the aroma by any means, they are still employed to “hook” potential buyers. Once again, this strategy will impact the price.

Celebrity Endorsements

Many fragrance commercials feature well-known celebrities flanked by stunning locations such as Paris, London or New York. Once again, this type of marketing comes at a price. Endorsement fees can be quite high. Manufacturers are nonetheless willing to make this investment, as consumers will often (at least partially) make a decision based on what famous icons recommend.

To put these observations into perspective, research has found that celebrities will often earn between five and ten per cent of gross sales if they attach their name to a product (4). As always, these third-party payouts are then shunted to the average consumer.

Public Perception

Finally, the price of a perfume or cologne is frequently associated with how it is viewed by the general public. This is why advertisements will often stress qualities such as demand, desire, uniqueness, sex appeal, and rising above the masses. These psychological ploys have been used for decades with a considerable amount of success.

Taking a Step in the Right Direction

It is now apparent to see why ethically sourced and responsibly marketed fragrances have begun to represent viable alternatives to high-end brand names. The good news is that thanks to modern technology, the scents themselves are often indistinguishable from concoctions that could very well cost into the hundreds (or even thousands) of euros.

While some consumers prioritise vegan products and truly care about the manufacturing process, others are simply looking to accommodate a limited budget. Regardless of the intention, the fact of the matter is that conscientious shopping has now become commonplace. This is even more relevant considering how easy it is to compare different items with the help of the Internet.

Of course, well-established firms such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Chanel will always enjoy their place within the limelight. There is still little doubt that ecologically responsible and cost-effective solutions should experience a growing market presence.