I picked today's picture, taken yesterday, while on the way up to another part of the town, because it means: heading forwards towards summer. Quite funny: We seem to go from "feels like winter" to "almost summer" within a day or two or three. That's the way it can go in the middle of Europe; Hopp! and happy you are after a whiff of air from Mediterranean air has found its way to you. And Puff!, there you go after a wave of Northern chills has hit the Alps.
Of course, as often in my blog: Multiple meaning ahead! I am getting quite worried, about the clouds on the horizon. Looks like the worst is over in Europe's financial/dept/bank crisis and summer ahead? I am not so sure. The situation is similar in other parts of the world. Does it matter? Yes and no.
Since 10 years (almost) I am also looking into the world as a marketplace for perfume. It helps to understand the world. And since I am doing this, I have seen currencies losing value, people losing jobs, and getting re-employed for less, if they are lucky. A good friend and me, we often come to the conclusion: We all did not feel how much less well off we actually got during the last 10 years because we think that we can still buy a lot of stuff.
There's a lot of cheap stuff out there. China keeps us happy for the moment.
For "niche perfumes", this is actually not true. There, in the higher end niche, perfume prices got out of control. When I am worried, sometimes, that my 130-160$ are a lot, I just have to get online to visit a perfume sites and get relieved. Higher end means, only, price. No quality difference. Even if it says oudh. Forget it. Chances are good that the fragrant stuff that went into the bottle you buy for 400 $, from brand names starting with A to Z, costs less than what went into your average designer scent in the 80-ies.
Here's the deal: Close you eyes, forget the price tag and compare.
I know how the prices in perfumery are calculated. Some prices are just ridiculous. But then: If you have those 400 bucks, sure spend it, but don't expect much more than an extra Svaroski here or there.
So yes, it matters, really and the financial crisis has just highlighted the growing separation within our societies. High (price) end perfume markets are an example of the luxury market. Luxury markets have been growing the last couple of years AND A lot of money was pumped in the monetary system in the last couple of years. How does this go together? Simple: The luxury market growing faster than the economy tells you where the money goes. Money has a tendency to flow upwards these days.
I do not know, but I am a bit on the alert lately. I feel that I see a couple of signs on the wall for change. Let's call it exuberance, coupled with robbery. >400$ for 50 ml fragrant liquid: robbery. 10000£ increase in a month: Nuts (housing market in the UK, average asking price for homes in the UK). Add more dept on already high dept to get our of depts: Risky to say the least.
And no, it does not matter really. We cannot do much about it. Except buying put options, maybe, gold, if you happen to have money; and I am not talking about gold in perfumery, but the real stuff.