Why Is Aftershave So Expensive? (With High-Performing Budget Options)

If you’ve been looking for a great aftershave, then you are probably also wondering why they can get so expensive. Aftershaves currently on the market can vary greatly in the ingredients, scents, and overall feel on the face. When looking for an aftershave you’re going to want something with the best ingredients suited to your skin at the best price.

Aftershaves can be expensive because of the scents used rather than any active ingredients. Despite having the least amount of perfume oil of any man’s fragrance, even a small amount of pricy ingredients like sandalwood or rose can drastically increase the price. In many cases, however, you are paying for the brand rather than the product itself.

The truth is that there are plenty of aftershaves on the market that are effective and will do the job fine at a reasonable price, you just need to look in the right places. Keep reading to find out why they can be so expensive and provide recommendations on the best affordable aftershaves. 

Why is aftershave expensive?

Some aftershaves are very expensive because the ingredients used to produce the fragrance within them are usually made from essential oils that are quite pricey to produce. Brands of aftershaves such as Prada and Burberry contain expensive ingredients that have a luxurious feel and scent. 

The ingredients of the aftershave will dictate how expensive it is. Brands that tend to use more luxurious scents have aftershaves that contain ingredients that are expensive to produce and get ahold of. These scents often smell amazing but will cost a pretty penny. 

You may want an aftershave that is more appealing to the nose rather than just doing the job of cooling and calming the skin. For a more luxurious feel and an amazing, unique scent, the aftershave will have to cost you more.

In my opinion, there are aftershaves on the market that not only smell amazing but do a great job of helping calm the skin as well as make it look and feel great after shaving. 

What is the most expensive aftershave in the world?

If you’ve ever balked at spending $20, $50, or even $60 for a nice aftershave, you probably think you’ve been in the presence of the pricy stuff, but what actually the most expensive aftershave?

The most expensive aftershave in the world is the Clive Christian No. 1. This aftershave is expertly crafted and Clive Christian pride themselves on only using the rarest and most precious ingredients in their purest form. Some of the ingredients include 50-year-old Indian sandalwood, powdery musk, and vetiver. It’s like designer clothing but with fragrances. 

Although this fragrance is currently (unbelievably!) sold out on the Clive Christian website, Success Story cites the going price for this “classy bottle” as $2,350.

Why is fragrance so expensive?

While the Clive Christian No. 1 is significantly more expensive than your typical “nice” aftershave, aftershaves, perfumes, and fragrances of all varieties tend to seem very pricy for what you’re getting. What makes these fragrances so expensive?

The cost of the concentrated perfume oil that is used to scent fragranced products (including aftershave) is dependent upon the combination of essential oils used to produce the specific scent. While essential oils such as agarwood ($850 per oz.) or frangipani ($1500 per oz.) are extremely expensive to make, other essential oils such as lavender ($14 per oz.) or balsam fir ($9 per oz.) are much more cost-effective to produce. 

Fragrance products that use the more expensive scents will be more expensive overall, whereas those that use more easily available scents will be more affordable (and will probably still smell great!).

The best affordable aftershaves that smell like expensive ones

You don’t have to pay a fortune to get an aftershave that has a luxurious scent.

These aftershaves are made by trusted and reputable brands and have nearly the same scents as some very expensive ones:

Proraso Aftershave Lotion

At $14, this Proraso aftershave is a great option for someone who is looking for something that smells amazing at a budget price.

The fragrance is made from sandalwood oil and shea butter. If you’re a fan of a more woodsy and warm scent, then this aftershave is the way to go. 

Proraso is one of my favorite brands because I’ve found they are always reliable and use the highest quality ingredients for the price. 

Pre de Provence Aftershave Balm

Pre de Provence is famous for making shaving products that have an amazing scent at a surprisingly low price – this aftershave comes in at just under $20.

This Pre de Provence aftershave is a great option for someone looking for a more herby or citrusy scent. The fragrance is made from sage, thyme, bergamot, and shea butter which produces a fantastic masculine scent. 

Keep in mind the reviews state the scent is a bit weaker or more subtle with this aftershave, so if you’re looking for something more powerful, you may want to try the previous recommendation. 

Taylor of Old Bond Street Aftershave Gel

This Taylor of Old Bond Street aftershave is last on the list and one of my favorites.

This $29 option is another aftershave with a fragrance made from sandalwood and has a woodsy scent with a subtle hint of floral. The reviews also state that the overall scent is more subtle and not overpowering. 

Taylor of Old Bond Street is a great brand for luxury shave products. All their products are made in England with careful attention to fragrance, and this is why they are one of my favorite luxury shaving brands.