European scientists have called for a ban and reduction of potentially harmful ingredients used in perfumes such as Chanel No.5 and Miss Dior.Iconic 90-year-old perfume Chanel No.5 is one of a host of well-known perfumes that could be banned following research into the allergy-inducing ingredients they contain.
An EU advisory committee has identified 100 allergens regularly included in fragrances that they believe put EU citizens at risk. As a result, they are calling for new measures to protect citizens from the potentially harmful substances.
The committee has called for tree moss, which provides the woody notes in Chanel’s signature scent and also Dior’s Miss Dior fragrance, to be banned outright. They are also requesting that when any of the 100 noted allergens are used it must be detailed on the product’s packaging. Currently, manufacturers are only required to state the presence of 26 allergenic substances.
“Chanel No 5 has never done any harm to anyone,” said Sylvie Jourdet of the French perfumer’s society. “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 allergenics.”
Other famous fragrances that could be affected include Guerlain’s Shalimar and Angel by Thierry Mugler.
Additionally, the advisory committee have proposed a reduction in the use of 12 specific substances to just 0.01 per cent. These include citral, found in lemon and tangerine oils; coumarin, found in tonka beans; and eugenol, a component of rose oil.
“It would be the end of beautiful perfumes if we could not use these ingredients,” said Françoise Montenay, non-executive chairwoman of Chanel.
The European Commission are expected to propose new regulations within the fragrance industry in January 2014, reports The Times, but says they will consider both the economic importance of perfume – it reportedly earns £1.5 billion a year for France alone – and also the actual number of perfume-induced allergies that occur, which is thought to be low.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH, which owns Dior and Guerlain, has called for the Commission to consider “Europe’s olfactory cultural heritage”.
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