Is Chanel No. 5 your go-to fragrance each day? If so, you may want to stock up on several bottles of the scent. The perfume has come under fire in the European Union because of a proposed ban on fragrances that contain allergens.
In 2006, the European Commission created a list of 26 common perfume ingredients, including citrol found in citrus oils and eugenol found in rose oil, that must be listed on a perfume’s packaging because they can be allergenic. Now, the Commission’s Scientific Committee of Consumer Safety, which is responsible for keeping consumers safe from harmful substances, has expanded the list to 100 substances.
While the Commission insists that all the newly listed ingredients must also be listed on packaging and that there should be limits on the amount of the substances used, there are some materials they believe should be banned completely. They have no authority over laws to officially ban the substances, but they’re powerful enough to put pressure on perfume manufacturers. Plus, the International Fragrance Association, an industry watchdog, is now conducting further research to determine just how harmful the allergens might be to consumers.
So, what do these new findings have to do with Chanel No. 5? One of the key ingredients in the famous fragrance is tree moss, which is one of the ingredients suggested to be banned. Dior’s Miss Dior perfume contains the substance too. Guerlain’s Shalimar and Angel by Thierry Mugler could also be affected by the potential bans.
These companies and other perfumers are obviously upset. The French Society of Perfumers stated that, “the more you use natural ingredients, the more there is a risk of allergies” and that “lemon, jasmine, bergamot all contain allergenics.” Fragrances won’t be the same without these commonly used components. A chairwoman for Chanel said, “it would be the end of beautiful perfumes if we could not use these ingredients.”
There’s some hope for perfumers though. If the possible changes are made, they won’t take effect until 2014. Until that time, the European Commission will compare the allergies caused by perfumes to the economic impact the changes would have on European fragrances.
At this point, Chanel No. 5 hasn’t harmed anyone, so the only potential benefit to the perfume being banned would be the end of the awkward commercial Brad Pitt filmed for the brand! Here’s hoping we’ll still be able to buy our favorite perfumes.
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