Rare Perfume Scents That Smell SO Luxe & Expensive


via Giphy

There are notes like vanilla, jasmine, or citrus that we’re all pretty familiar with, so when we see them listed on a fragrance box we know what’s up. However, there are other rarer notes, that when quoted leave us perplexed, confused, and a little lost. Do ambergris or saffron ring a bell?

However, if you ask any fragrance lover, they’ll tell you that this (in the words of Vivian from Pretty Woman) is a BIG mistake, big, HUGE, as you’re missing out on so many delicious fragrances. So, we decided to clear things up and fill you in on some unknown fragrance notes that will completely awaken your senses.


Vibe: Intense, smokey, woody, warm
Layer with: Vanilla, musk, rose, floral notes.

Oud is one of the most popular fragrances in the Middle East and yet it isn’t widely known around the globe. Oud actually translates as wood in Arabic and it comes from the agarwood tree found in areas of South-East Asia, India, and Bangladesh. However, it’s not found on all agarwood trees and has a unique extraction process, hence why it’s a very expensive ingredient.

The unisex fragrance is, as you’d expect, warm, woody, smokey, and sometimes sweet. It’s one of the most potent fragrance notes in existence, so be warned, a little goes a long way. While the stand-alone scent is very intense, it’s often paired with floral notes like rose, jasmine, and orange blossom for a more wearable, everyday fragrance.

Pink Pepper

Vibe: Spicy-sweet, dry, fresh, berry
Layer with: Spicy notes like saffron or oud, or lighter floral notes like jasmine or Lilly for a daytime perfume.

Pink pepper, also known as pink peppercorn, Baie Rose, pink berry, or poivre rosé, has nothing to do with the pepper you stock in your kitchen. Black pepper is known for its spicy kick while pink pepper has a berry aroma with a subtle spicy kick that can also have a citrusy-woody-rosy aroma. It often smells like roses or blackcurrant leaves and adds a delicious fruity warmth to any fragrance. It’s one of the main notes in our new KAYALI Sweet Diamond Pink Pepper | 25 fragrance.



Vibe: Spicy, rich, warm, edgy
Layer with: Other rich exotic notes like amber or oud

Saffron is a spicy fragrance note that adds an intoxicating warmth to any perfume. It’s a spice obtained from the female parts of the saffron crocus plants, which are collected by picking the flowers and removing the stigmas. The stigmas are dried down and matured, eventually turning a deep vivid red color. The entire process is done completely by hand! In fact, to produce 1kg of dried spice, 150,000 flowers are needed, how insane?! This explains why it’s known as ‘red gold’ and is such an expensive fragrance note.


Vibe: Complex, citrus, bitter yet sweet
Layer with: Sandalwood, rosemary, ylang-ylang, nutmeg, vetiver, clary sage, frankincense, jasmine, and black pepper

Despite the fact that it’s commonly used in many of your favorite fragrances, most people would struggle to describe what bergamot actually is. Often referred to as the “finest flower of citrus,” it has a subtle and complex citrus vibe. It’s fresh, sparkling, fruity but also bitter and spicy. Bergamot looks like a lime but when it’s fully ripe it turns a yellowish-orange. The flesh isn’t edible; however, you can extract the essential oil from the rind, which possesses the fresh, fruity and bitter tones.


Vibe: Oceanic, aquatic, fresh, light
Layer with: Vanilla, jasmine, white florals

One of the most expensive and valuable raw materials in perfumery is named ambergris, and it’s produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. While this may sound gross, it’s used in perfumes with an ocean-like, fresh scent like the cult fave Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue Eau De Toilette, $82. The strange substance is made of fish beaks that make their way into the whale’s intestines, and when this rock-like substance is later ejected by the whale, it washes up on shorelines.

For more fragrance inspo, check out the scents that turn men on.