Will Channel No 5 Be Banned from the Market?
According to the French government, a flacon of Chanel No 5 is sold in the world every 30 seconds. This results in an annual profit of $100 million! Introduced by Gabrielle Coco Chanel in 1921, the 90-year-old fragrance was declared the most seductive perfume in the world in 2009.
In spite of all this, rumor has it that we might have to soon say good bye to this exquisite fragrance. The EU made a study this summer and identified a total of 100 potentially allergenic substances that are often used to manufacture perfumes. There are only 26 such substances that are currently banned, but this might very soon change.
Fragrances such as Chanel No. 5, Angel by Thierry Mugler, Shalimar by Guerlain, and Miss Dior are some of those which contain the aforementioned substances, and the list will very probably become longer as the studies continue. The greatest problem is that for some perfumes – including Chanel and Dior – one of these allergens is an essential ingredient: oak moss.
Officials of the EU have declared that no legal measures have yet been taken in order to ban the newly discovered allergens. Apparently a more ample study is currently taking place to help them determine what to do next, after taking into consideration all the different aspects of the situation: economic, cultural, and so on.
Despite these declarations, negative reactions didn’t hesitate to emerge. Sylvie Jourdet, member of the French perfumers’ society said: “It is the death of perfume if this continues. The more you use natural ingredients, the more there is a risk of allergies. Lemon, jasmine, bergamot all contain allergens.” Reactions from Chanel came through the voice of Francoise Montenay, who said “It would be the end of beautiful perfumes if we could not use these ingredients”. The Commission was also urged by LVMH (owner of Guerlain and Dior) to take “Europe’s olfactory cultural heritage” when they make their decision.
Apparently there is really no good way to end this dispute. Even if the famous fragrances will not be banned, their manufacturers will still have a lot to suffer, because they will very probably be legally compelled to write every ingredient that they use onto their products’ labels. We can already see the huge amounts of cheap replicas of our favorite luxury perfumes…