Every sophisticated lady loves her Chanel No. 5, the iconic unique perfume drop that Marilyn Monroe would have chosen over any outfit. But will this legendary creation survive the new EU regulations banning certain substances from being used in scent creation?
The European Commission is targeting the multibillion dollar perfume industry with ingredient bans and labeling requirements aimed at protecting allergy sufferers. According to the AFP, the new rules could limit the use of certain ingredients (twelve, in an initial phase) that are featured in some of the most iconic perfumes- from Miss Dior to Chanel. A few of these ingredients are coumarin, which is typically found in the tropical tonka bean and eugenol, which is found in rose oils or citral, usually found in tangerine oils and lemon oils.
In 2012, an advisory report had recommended severely limiting the use of these ingredients, regarded as the pillars of the luxury perfume industry.
So what will be the impact on such creations as Miss Dior or Chanel No. 5? The new regulations will basically force perfume makers to reformulate many of their scents. Additionally, a changing of their products’ packaging will be involved, which will lead to extra costs. For the big house creators, these costs may be easier to absorb, but for niche perfume creators, this may prove devastating.
The Commission is planning to ban, in its original form, oak moss and tree moss, two of the most widely used base notes which give perfumes depth and help make the scents last.
Such mosses could be found in Chanel’s No.5 and Dior’s Miss Dior but the brands have been working on using altered versions, stripped of the molecules atranol and chloroatranol, regarded as potential allergens by the EU.
According to the Independent, Frederic Malle, founder of one of the most famous niche perfume houses, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, said he would have to reformulate about a quarter of his scents to protect a “small” group of people and branded the ban on citral “absurd”. According to Malle, “ it can take more than half an year to reformulate a fragrance and a minimum battery of 30 tests is required,” which is considered precious time in the world of perfume creation.
So what will the future of these perfumes look like? For now, this is uncertain, and it looks like many of our favorite classics will have to reinvent themselves to survive the market changes.