Expensive cologne can be a luxurious indulgence or a colossal waste of money, depending on the circumstances. Some of the pros for buying pricier scents include the enjoyment of a luxury product, the use of high-grade materials, and the elegant and distinct packaging that can make the cologne even more appealing. On the downside, shelf life and the opportunity for unfair mark-ups may make expensive cologne a poor value. When given as a gift, expensive perfume or cologne can be a hit-or-miss option, and should be carefully considered.
One definite plus of expensive cologne is the opportunity to enjoy a luxury item. Expensive colognes are not a necessity, so the experience of buying and using one may give the purchaser a sense of prestige or an emotional high. While buying cheaper cologne may be a good means of finding an affordable, every day scent, it rarely feels like a significant indulgence.
In many cases, expensive cologne may be a worthy choice due to superior ingredients. Some less expensive colognes tend to use high alcohol content and artificial scents, which may have less dimension and wear off much faster. On the other hand, the price of a cologne is not always indicative of its quality; some celebrity-endorsed products or famous brands can get away with using cheaper materials because customers are buying the cologne for its image, rather than making a quality-based decision.
Buying expensive cologne can also be a good idea if the user or recipient enjoys beautiful glass bottles. Most high-end scents are packaged in unique, artistic bottles that can be reused as vases or simply displayed after the cologne is gone. Cheaper varieties may be made of plain glass or plastic, and rarely have the beautiful aspect of a high-end bottle.
A significant downside to the value of expensive cologne is the limited shelf life. Regardless of price, most colognes tend to grow stale after about a year. If a person wears the cologne daily, he or she might be able to go through a bottle in this amount of time, but less regular users may end up throwing out half a bottle or more. One possible solution to this issue is to buy smaller containers of a high-end scent, so that less will be wasted. Many pricy brands offer small or sample-size containers for this very reason.
When buying expensive cologne as a gift, it is important to consider the taste and habits of the recipient. The cost of a bottle does not necessarily indicate that a person will like it; some people may prefer a fresh, ocean-based scent of a cheaper cologne to a heady floral blend that's twice as expensive. If the recipient has pointed out a specific brand that he or she enjoys, it may be a safer bet as a gift. It is generally not a good idea to give high-end cologne as a gift if the recipient's taste or preference is unknown.