The End of Chanel No.5? Proposed E.U. Ban Threatens Iconic Fragrance

You may want to stock up on Chanel No 5 now: The iconic perfume is one of many fragrances that could be seriously affected by a proposed European Union allergen ban.
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Tyler McCall
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You may want to stock up on Chanel No 5 now: The iconic perfume is one of many fragrances that could be seriously affected by a proposed European Union allergen ban.
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You may want to stock up on Chanel No 5 now: The iconic perfume is one of many fragrances that could be seriously affected by a proposed European Union allergen ban.

According to the Telegraph, E.U. scientists have identified 100 potentially harmful allergens commonly used in perfumes--and now they're pushing for stricter protective regulations on the identified allergens within the fragrance industry. These measures include more detailed ingredient lists on product packaging, restricted use of ingredients such as citral and eugenol (components of citrus oils and rose oil, respectively), and in some cases, an outright ban on ingredients.

So why is Chanel No 5 in peril? Tree moss, a key ingredient in both Chanel No 5 and Dior's Miss Dior, is one of the ingredients the E.U. would like to see banned. Other notable fragrances that could be affected by the new measurements are Guerlain's Shalimar and Angel by Thierry Mugler.

Understandably, French perfumers are a bit miffed. "The more you use natural ingredients," explained Sylvie Jourdet of the French perfumer's society, "the more there is a risk of allergies. Lemon, jasmine, bergamot all contain allergenics." The E.U. would like to see the use of these kinds of ingredients limited to under 0.01 percent. Françoise Montenay, a chairwoman at Chanel, lamented, "It would be the end of beautiful perfumes if we could not use these ingredients."

The proposed reforms wouldn't take place until 2014, during which time the European Commission will consider the economic importance of European fragrances versus the actual number of allergies that occur from perfumes. There is hope that these historic fragrances won't have to completely reformulate. As Jourdet said, "Chanel No 5 has never done any harm to anyone."

Well, almost no one.