Printer ink

Think of it as rainbow-coloured, liquid gold.

A regular refill container of ink contains around 10-25 millilitres of liquid. That translates into a cost of $1,500 to $2,000 per litre at your local stationery store for a basic printer, more for premium models.

Printer companies suggest that research and development costs figure into the sticker price of a cartridge. Modern printers push tens of thousands of drops of ink through a razor-fine nozzle at speeds of up to nearly 50 km/hr.

Something to think about the next time you set your print quality for that 100-page document.

Scotch

Bottles of highly prized scotch have in recent years sent bidding paddles flying at auctions around the globe.

In 2007, a bottle of whisky aged for 157 years fetched $67,000 US.

The price of scotch is determined by a number of factors including how it is aged, the type of cask in which it has been stored and the distilling process.

A survey of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario lists bottles ranging in price from about $15 to $26,000 - the equivalent of about $70 to $37,000 per litre.

Perfume

Blame the splashy marketing campaigns and crisp packaging for the high cost of smelling pretty.

Some analysts suggest that product development and marketing account for 99 per cent of a bottle's cost.

The raw materials that go into making perfume are humble oil extractions and alcohol, although some companies will tout rare and prized essences.

As for cost: A 50-ml bottle of Chanel No. 5, for example, rings in at a little more than $79 - or $1,597 per litre.

Beer

Relaxing with an ice-cold beverage: it's a rite of a Canadian summer.

But as any beer drinker can tell you, the price tag for that simple pleasure varies depending on your brew brand of choice.

A 24-bottle case of Lakeport Ale costs $28.95 - or $3.53 a litre - at the Ontario Beer Store.

On the higher end of the scale, imports, such as a four-can pack of Boddingtons Pub Ale from the U.K. can cost $6 per litre or more.

Coffee

Ready for a jolt? The average price of coffee beans has skyrocketed to a 34-year high.

It's up about 78 per cent higher than last year, and more than 362 per cent from a decade ago, according to the International Coffee Organization.

Price changes have been less frequent at the coffee counter than at the gas pumps, but those hikes have not escaped public notice.

A grande-size Starbucks coffee goes for $2, which translates into $4.22 per litre. That's a little more than at Tim Hortons where a large goes for $1.57, roughly $3.85 per litre.

Nail polish

The bottles may seem tiny and inexpensive, since a little lacquer goes a long way.

But a 14.7 ml bottle of brand-name nail polish, priced at $5.99 at your local drug store, translates into a whopping $407.32 per litre. Prices can run cheaper and more expensive, depending on the brand.

Never fear - it's a little less costly to take the polish off. Regular nail polish remover runs about $10 to $15 per litre.

Olive oil

The market for this kitchen staple has become a lot like the one for wine in recent years. The quality of what you buy is limited only by your tastes - and your pocketbook.

An everyday one-litre bottle at your grocery store can run anywhere from $6 or less to more than $10.

But for those with more exclusive tastes, there are boutique options for $20, $30 or $40 a litre and up. The size of the producer, quality of the olives and methods of pressing the olives account for much of the price difference.