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The Pink Tax: Women charged more for perfume than men

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The Pink Tax on perfume: How women are being charged up to £16 MORE for brands including Gucci, Burberry and Prada than men

  • Women's fragrance more expensive than men's for the same branded versions
  • UK women pay 6p more per ml for perfume than men do for aftershave 
  • There is a 'Pink Tax' of £16.12 on a 50ml bottle of YSL Opium Eau de Toilette
  • French women are experiencing highest price discrepancies at 8p per ml 

By Unity Blott For Mailonline

Published: 09:13 EST, 18 February 2019 | Updated: 09:17 EST, 18 February 2019

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Women are paying up to £16 more for fragrance than men, a new study has found, in what's been dubbed the 'pink tax on perfume'. 

Shopping price comparison site idealo.co.uk calculated the average cost of branded fragrances for men and women by comparing the price of 100 popular scents from brands including Gucci and Burberry.

Researchers found Brits are faced with the second-biggest 'Pink Tax' rate on women's perfumes in Europe, with the price difference averaging 6p per ml between perfumes and aftershaves. 

For example, men's Yves Saint Laurent Opium pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) is 32p cheaper than the female equivalent per ml, equating to a pink tax of £16.12 on a 50ml bottle. 

A pink tax on perfume? A new study has found that women are paying on average £24.90 for Burberry Brit for Eau de Toilette 100ml
A pink tax on perfume? A new study has found that women are paying on average £24.90 for Burberry Brit for Eau de Toilette 100ml
The cost is closer to £23.69 for men
The cost is closer to £23.69 for men

A pink tax on perfume? A new study has found that women are paying on average £24.90 for Burberry Brit for Eau de Toilette 100ml (left) compared to £23.69 for men (right)

The data suggests that French women are paying the most for perfume, with female fragrances setting shoppers back 63p per ml compared to just 55p per ml for the men's edition.

Italian women are subject to a similar level of 'pink tax' on perfumes, paying 62p on average per ml compared to 55p per ml for aftershave.

Spanish women are getting a slightly better deal as fragrances on the whole are less expensive in Spain, however, they're still paying 7 pence more per ml, akin with their Italian counterparts.

In Germany, consumers are getting the best deal as fragrances cost the least here overall, although there is still a 6p premium on women's perfumes. 

The study also revealed significant differences in male and female buying behaviours when analysing the user data. 

Carolina Herrera CH for Women Eau de Toilette (50 ml) costs on average £40.81 for women
Carolina Herrera CH for Women Eau de Toilette (50 ml) costs on average £40.81 for women
Carolina Herrera CH Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) is closer to £36.59 (pictured)
Carolina Herrera CH Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) is closer to £36.59 (pictured)

Carolina Herrera CH for Women Eau de Toilette (50 ml) costs on average £40.81 for women (left) while Carolina Herrera CH Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) is closer to £36.59 (right)

Gucci Guilty pour Femme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) will set you back £32.47 on average in the UK
Gucci Guilty pour Femme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) will set you back £32.47 on average in the UK
Gucci Guilty pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) which costs £29.53
Gucci Guilty pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) which costs £29.53

Gucci Guilty pour Femme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) will set you back £32.47 on average in the UK (left) compared to Gucci Guilty pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) which costs £29.53

What is the pink tax?

The 'pink tax' sees women paying a premium on the same products as men, whether it's plain cotton T-shirts, pens, razors, designer perfume or even just shower gel. 

Research from 2017 revealed that British women were still being charged more for their toiletries than men, despite brands vowing to clamp down on the 'tax'.

A basic pre-holiday shop at a high street chemist for items like razors, deodorant and shampoo set female customers back 21 per cent more than men on average.

The survey compared prices at Boots, although many other retailers have been previously criticised on this issue. 

The products compared in the study included two Gilette shave gels - women's Pure and Delicate at £3.55 for 200ml, and Fusion ProGlide at £2.49 for 250ml - and a Nivea women's anti-perspirant that costs £2.50 compared to a similar men's aerosol at £2. 

A spokesperson for Boots claimed at the time that such products 'are not the same based on ingredient, formulation and use, so can’t be compared on price.'  

The figures suggest that women are overwhelmingly buying perfume for themselves, with 73 per cent of visitors to idealo's 'Perfumes for Women' category being female and just 27 per cent being male.

When looking at the same data for the 'Men's Aftershave page', 54 per cent of visitors are male and 46 per cent female, suggesting that women are more likely to face the expense not only when buying for themselves, but when buying for male partners too.

Idealo's Katy Phillips commented, 'Could women be shunning gender norms and the 'pink tax' by purchasing and wearing aftershave 'for men' for themselves? 

'It wouldn't be the first time that women have played brands at their own game by ditching the 'pink' or women's version of a product in order to take advantage of the cheaper prices enjoyed by men.

'The pandemonium caused by Gillette's recent razor advert aimed at men has brought about a whole host of women declaring that they buy men's razors because they are cheaper and better.'

Rate of perfume pink tax revealed 

  • Angel Schlesser Madera de Naranjo Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £18.73 
  • Angel Schlesser Flor de Naranjo pour Femme Eau de Toilette (100ml) £18.64
  • Armand Basi In Blue Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £17.04 
  • Armand Basi In Red Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £16.72
  • Benetton Sport Men Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £32.41 
  • Benetton Sport Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £30.71
  • Bruno Banani Magic Man Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £11.19 
  • Bruno Banani Magic Woman Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £12.68
  • Burberry Brit for Men Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £23.69 
  • Burberry Brit Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £24.90
  • Burberry Sport for Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £15.76 
  • Burberry Sport for Women Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £16.63
  • Burberry The Beat for Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £16.06 
  • Burberry The Beat for Women Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £16.63
  • Carolina Herrera CH Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £36.59 
  • Carolina Herrera CH for Women Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £40.81
  • Davidoff Cool Water Eau de Toilette (200 ml) £30.36 
  • Davidoff Cool Water Woman Eau de Toilette (200 ml) £30.28
  • Diesel Zero Plus Masculine Eau de Toilette (75 ml) £12.54 
  • Diesel Zero Plus Feminine Eau de Toilette (75 ml) £12.54
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Eau de Toilette (200 ml) £50.65 
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette (200 ml) £64.09
  • Emporio Armani Diamonds for Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £26.33 
  • Emporio Armani Diamonds Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £26.33
  • Givenchy Play for Him Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £27.77 
  • Givenchy Play for Her Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £29.58
  • Gucci Guilty Black pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £26.67 
  • Gucci Guilty Black pour Femme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £28.14
  • Gucci Guilty pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £29.53 
  • Gucci Guilty pour Femme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £32.47
  • Jesus del Pozo On El Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £24.17 
  • Jesus del Pozo On Ella Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £24.50
  • José Eisenberg Diabolique Homme Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £26.33 
  • José Eisenberg Diabolique Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £28.96
  • José Eisenberg Le Péché Homme Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £35.10 
  • José Eisenberg Le Péché Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £34.23
  • José Eisenberg Love Affair Homme Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £58.69 
  • José Eisenberg Love Affair Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £30.72
  • Lancôme Hypnôse Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £23.87 
  • Lancôme Hypnôse Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £42.14
  • Mandarina Duck All of Me for Him Eau de Toilette (30 ml) £5.12 
  • Mandarina Duck All of Me for Her Eau de Toilette (30 ml) £5.07
  • Prada Amber pour Homme Intense Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £37.48 
  • Prada Amber Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £46.48
  • Puma Time to Play Man Eau de Toilette (60 ml) £18.31 
  • Puma Time to Play Woman Eau de Toilette (60 ml) £13.16
  • Roberto Cavalli Just Cavalli Him Eau de Toilette (60 ml) £15.70 
  • Roberto Cavalli Just Cavalli I Love Her Eau de Toilette (60 ml) £49.59
  • Roberto Cavalli Just Cavalli Man Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £11.37 
  • Roberto Cavalli Just Cavalli Woman Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £10.97
  • S.Oliver Man Eau de Toilette (30 ml) £14.49 
  • S.Oliver Woman Eau de Toilette (30 ml) £15.80
  • S.Oliver Original Men Eau de Toilette (30 ml) £14.41 
  • S.Oliver Original Women Eau de Toilette (30 ml) £16.21
  • Tommy Hilfiger Eau de Prep Tommy Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £25.25 
  • Tommy Hilfiger Eau de Prep Tommy Girl Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £8.96
  • Tommy Hilfiger Loud for Him Eau De Toilette (75 ml) £25.16 
  • Tommy Hilfiger Loud for Her Eau de Toilette (75 ml) £12.45
  • Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Neon Brights (50 ml) £20.18 
  • Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Neon Brights Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £17.08
  • Tous In Heaven Him Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £15.46 
  • Tous In Heaven Her Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £17.25
  • Tous Kids Boy Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £22.37 
  • Tous Kids Girl Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £21.93
  • Giorgio Armani Code Homme Eau de Toilette (75 ml) £38.52 
  • Giorgio Armani Code femme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £51.48
  • Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £36.65 
  • Dolce & Gabbana The One Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £39.49
  • Chanel Allure Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £41.03 
  • Chanel Allure Sensuelle Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £57.45
  • Dior Dune pour Homme Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £63.23 
  • Dior Dune Eau de Toilette (100 ml) £66.73
  • Yves Saint Laurent Opium pour Homme Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £27.77 
  • Yves Saint Laurent Opium 2009 Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £43.89
  • Calvin Klein Eternity for Men Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £17.13 
  • Calvin Klein Eternity Eau de Parfum (50 ml) £21.02
  • Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male eau de toilette para hombre 40 ml £24.77 
  • Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau de Parfum 30 ml £28.71
  • Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male eau de toilette para hombre 125 ml £42.17 
  • Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau de Parfum 100 ml £58.81
  • Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male eau de toilette para hombre 75 ml £29.61
  • Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Eau de Toilette (75ml) £39.05
  • Paco Rabanne Black XS for Him Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £30.72 
  • Paco Rabanne Black XS for Her Eau de Toilette (50 ml) £33.97
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio 100 ml £48.28 
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio 100 ml £46.52
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio 50 ml £34.68 
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Femme 50 ml £28.09
  • Hugo Boss Hugo XY Eau de Toilette (100ml) £23.66 
  • Hugo Boss Hugo XX Woman Eau de Toilette (100ml) £24.83
  • Hugo Boss Hugo XY Eau de Toilette (60ml) £20.06 
  • Hugo Boss Hugo XX Woman Eau de Toilette (60ml) £23.78
  • Hugo Boss Orange Man Eau de Toilette (100ml) £25.46 
  • Hugo Boss Orange Eau de Toilette (75ml) £25.38
  • Hugo Boss Orange Man Eau de Toilette (40ml) £18.25 
  • Hugo Boss Orange Eau de Toilette (30ml) £20.95
  • Hugo Boss Orange Man Eau de Toilette (60ml) £20.18 
  • Hugo Boss Orange Eau de Toilette (75ml) £18.39
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