R.I.P.

Perfumery, a hundred-year-old art, has taken a long time dying, but on January 1, 2010 it will be officially dead. On that date, amendment 43 by IFRA, the international fragrance association, will take effect, and all perfumes on the market, old, young, fine fragrance or shampoo, must follow its guidelines or be in breach of the law in the EU. Among the many disasters that will befall fine fragrance, let me pick an emblematic one: oakmoss. This material is essential to perfumery and especially to the chypre category, including Mitsouko and hundreds of others. From 2010 it will be replaced by things which do not smell like oakmoss. 

— Luca Turin, from Duftnote -- No Benefits at NZZ Folio, found via The Non-Blonde.

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165 Comments

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  1. guerlaingirl says:

    Oakmoss!!! How I love thee. This is just rotten.

    • Robin says:

      The citrus notes are upsetting too. According to the latest update to Perfumes: The Guide, AG Hadrien is now ruined, and I assume the Cristalle is too. And no more Eau de Guerlain…

      • Rick says:

        I wonder if the EU will now outlaw lemons.

      • Rick says:

        OK, reading below, I see there’s a difference between eating lemons and rubbing them on your skin.

        I’ll remember to use rubber gloves and a gas mask the next time I zest some lemons.

  2. Nina says:

    I like Luca’s idea of printing ‘Do not spray on skin’ on the packaging. :-)

    It strikes me, though, that lots of products suggest you do a patch test, eg hair products, to check whether something will affect your skin. Why can’t perfumes do the same thing? I suppose it would dent their profits from impulse purchases, but surely they can find a way to make a marketing asset out of being cautious?

    • Robin says:

      Why the perfume industry has not protested the IFRA regulations is a mystery to me, that’s all I can say. But it’s done…many perfumes are already reformulated to meet the new regulations.

      • wildheaven says:

        Actually big companies are happy with this new regulations, small companies are going out of businesss because they can’t meet the new standards. And that’s also a great excuse to come with cheap, boring perfumes, the excuse: it’s the rules, there is nothing we can do. Shame, it’s all about moneysuckers taking advantage.

  3. bergere says:

    I just wish that the IFRA would show a little discrimination between the various substances it is banning. Why mandate the same response (total removal from perfumery) for substances that have widely varying effects? A neurotoxin is not the same thing as an allergen. Many substances can create mild to severe reactions in some people, but not all people; they should be treated differently from true poisons, which have serious effects on all people. Surely a label such as “may cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals” should suffice for a substance that is non-lethal for most people?

    • Robin says:

      Can’t argue…but it’s done.

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Yeah, my thought exactly, which means there’s something wrong with the whole system.

  4. jirish says:

    These are EU standards, right? Do these apply to American companies? What about independent perfumers? This is incredibly depressing news, but I’m hoping there are people (producers AND consumers) who will take a stand on this. Although I suppose that if the big companies no longer are consuming materials like natural oakmoss, the sources for the materials dry up and it becomes difficult even for independent perfumers who do not have to follow the standards to get the material. I love oakmoss so much that even if it gave me a rash, I would probably just take Benadryl. And the ban on citrus oils is even stupider. Are they going to ban us from eating oranges or zesting lemons?

    • wildheaven says:

      That’s the tip of the iceberg, they are banning natural ingredients and saying go for the synthetics…Who supports this IFRA aberration? My guess is big companies that want quick profits, for eample: orange peel is banned….you cannot patent orange peel, but you can patent some chemical and sell it with profit. Chemicals are easier, cheaper and and you can control their patents and sales. Natural ingredients are “free” in a sense no company “owns” them.

      • Robin says:

        Yep.

      • AlbertCAN says:

        But some established firms such as Laboratoire Monique Rémy (LMR) and Biolande manufactures and sells high-quality naturals and they may be greatly affected as the result of the restrictions. It’s even more baffling since LMR is owned by IFF and Biolande by Chanel. So the whole situation doesn’t make sense to me at all now I think of it.

    • Robin says:

      It will apply to perfumery here because companies will not make separate products for both markets. And in a sense, it’s rather late now to make a stand…as I said above, many companies have already reformulated, or are in the process of doing so, to meet the new regulations.

  5. Anahita says:

    Does this not leave a big door open for the American perfume industry?

    Estee Lauder’s still produced in the U.S., is it not? And has consistently offered quality stuff for the price (Private Collection, a long time favorite, is $40 for 50 ml in a concentration better than much EdP-strength perfumes currently on the market. I hope they can maintain that quality as others have not. Elizabeth Arden has traveled a bit farther down the cheapo ingredients path, but there’s always the chance to improve.

    This is a real opportunity for American industry, if they’re paying attention. Most people, European consumers included, tend to find a way to buy products they really want. Could spark “perfume-tourism” in the U.S. as well.

    • Robin says:

      Estee Lauder’s perfumes are made by the same companies that make all the rest, and they are sold in the EU as well. Not likely they’ll make 2 versions.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Here’s an idea for the niche offerings though: North American exclusive fragrances that have a greater degree of freedom! If there’s enough demand that’s what’s likely to happen–the European markets are largely shrinking anyway. If the EU regulations are strict enough then that’s one way of going around it.

  6. Oana says:

    I am utterly disgusted and upset with the news. It’s unbelievable! It will have an effect on classic fragrances like Opium, Dune, No. 5!

    As well to my understanding oakmoss is not the only one targeted “ingredient”?

    Fragrantica gives the list of perfumes with oakmoss in it:

    Moschino Moschino Funny!
    Chanel Chanel N°5
    Jennifer Lopez Deseo
    Givenchy Ange ou Demon
    Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio
    Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline
    Sean John I Am King
    Dior Dune
    Cacharel Anais Anais
    Guerlain Mitsouko
    Prada Prada
    Anna Sui Secret Wish
    Hermes Eau des Merveilles
    Vivienne Westwood Libertine
    Chanel Allure Pour Homme
    Chanel Chanel N°19
    Ralph Lauren Romance
    Juicy Couture Dirty English for Men
    Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche
    Jennifer Lopez Glow after Dark
    Yves Saint Laurent Paris
    Davidoff Cool Water
    Hugo Boss Boss Bottled
    Calvin Klein Escape
    Ermenegildo Zegna Z Zegna
    Puma Puma Create
    Gucci Envy
    David & Victoria Beckham Signature for Him
    Gucci Gucci Rush 2
    Chloe Chloe
    Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps
    Valentino V
    Chanel Antaeus
    Givenchy Ysatis
    Chanel Cristalle
    Lancome Magie Noire
    Paris Hilton Paris Hilton
    Gucci Gucci pour Homme
    Giorgio Armani Emporio Armani City Glam for Her
    Ferrari Ferrari Extreme
    Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse
    Sisley Soir de Lune
    Gres Cabochard
    Guerlain Habit Rouge
    Clinique Aromatics Elixir
    Lancome Balafre
    Estee Lauder Knowing
    Sisley Eau du Soir
    Hugo Boss Hugo Woman
    Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds
    Sean John Unforgivable Women
    Guerlain Vetiver
    Yves Rocher Magnolia
    Hermes Caleche
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit
    Nautica Nautica Voyage
    Robert Piguet Fracas
    Paloma Picasso Paloma Picasso
    Vera Wang Look
    Priscilla Presley Moments
    Dana Tabu
    Rochas Femme Rochas
    Gabriela Sabatini Gabriela Sabatini
    Dior Diorella
    Viktor&Rolf Antidote
    Robert Piguet Bandit
    Azzaro Chrome Legend
    Dior Dioressence
    Boucheron Boucheron
    Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet
    Fendi Fendi
    Burberry Weekend for Men
    Yves Rocher Venice
    Shiseido Zen
    Chanel Pour Monsieur
    Lancome O de Lancome
    Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren Blue
    Lalique Perles De Lalique
    Trussardi Trussardi Skin
    Carolina Herrera Carolina Herrera

    • Robin says:

      Well, bear in mind that perfumes that list oakmoss as a note don’t necessarily contain REAL oakmoss to begin with…many of those perfumes almost certainly never had any. You don’t have to distinguish between real & synthetic when you list notes in ad copy.

      And no, oakmoss is not the only natural component that’s being regulated.

    • merenguehips says:

      NOOOOO!!!! Must buy Fracas, Bandit, and no. 5 in bulk!! I’m going to go cry in my corner now. Stupid government regulations…

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Actually, speaking of this subject matter I remember Glass Petal Smoke did a fairly good report on the reformulation of Miss Dior:

      http://glasspetalsmoke.blogspot.com/2008/12/scoop-on-miss-diors-current-formulation.html

      According to the link above IFRA states that “Evernia prunastri should not be used such that the level in consumer products exceeds 0.1%”. And, interestingly enough, the post also provides Dior’s official answer on why oakmoss isn’t labelled on Miss Dior’s packaging:

      “Oakmoss is well included in the formula of Miss Dior but does not appear on the full labeling because its concentration in the product is less than 10 ppm (the IFRA rule is that ingredients that could generate allergies must appear on the list of ingredients only if their concentration [in] the product (leave-on products) is more than 10 ppm).”

  7. guerlaingirl says:

    I know there are a lot of G20 protesters about right now — perhaps we could form a small phalanx of pro-citrus and pro-oakmoss activists?

    Maybe we’d get some day-of-event converts?

    No, but seriously, our friends across the pond have to get active. As an American, I have no standing with what the EU is planning to do to the entire international industry.

    • Robin says:

      Nice dream, but the number of people upset by this is small.

    • Phemia says:

      Hello Guerlaingirl,

      If I agree that the EU are doing something wrong , I just can say that it is very little compared to what we have tried to impose to the EU.
      I do not agree with this : “No, but seriously, our friends across the pond have to get active. As an American, I have no standing with what the EU is planning to do to the entire international industry.”

      REMEMBER.

      We wanted all the cheese in the World to be pasteurized for the French that was not acceptable and they are Right!
      Then we wanted all the EU bovine meat to get the US hormones, not acceptable again. The French fought and win again!
      Then we wanted all the chocolate made in the EU with more Soy Lecithin, which is a pure aberration for whoever knows about chocolate!

      So this perfume regulation to which I do not agree is somehow, a small drop in the game of who is imposing the other!

  8. AlbertCAN says:

    Robin…please excuse my geekiness (or even my ignorance for that matter). I’ve read the above-mentioned article and I understand it is a sentiment shared by so many fragrance affcionados…but there IS an IFRA compliant oakmoss absolute available and Dr. Turin didn’t specify what would happen to those. The French oakmoss absolute is low in atranol and is, according to the vendor, “approved for use in perfumery by IFRA”. So I need more information before I react to the situation further.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Forgot to add that IFRA approved oakmoss isn’t a tall tale–it is offered by at least one very reputable wholesaler. I have it and it doesn’t seem to produce any side effect on me–but then again I am not a dermatologist.

      • Joe says:

        I’d love to read more on that IFRA-compliant oakmoss accord, Albert. Is it a synthetic? Must research that.

        • AlbertCAN says:

          It’s all natural. I’ve got it and it smells better than the original (I’ve worked with both before). The IFRA complient oakmoss works just like regular good old oakmoss and here’s at least one supplier:

          http://www.edenbotanicals.com/essentials7.html#oakmoss

          Givaudan also claims to have a oakmoss reconstitution (Oakmoss Givco 214) that can ” accurately reproduces the effect of natural oak moss”, although not having sampled the product myself I can’t vouch for its authenticity:

          http://www.givaudan.com/givcom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=94042c69b88d5110VgnVCM1000008753410aRCRD&vgnextchannel=47d12662f90be010VgnVCM1000001053410aRCRD

          So what can I say? It’s more complicated than it seems.

          • LaurieE says:

            Hi Robin and Albertcan,

            I’ve written about this new low allergen moss on my blog, and I’ve purchased it from Biolandes in France to use myself. It’s very nice, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say better than regular moss. It is like real moss though, unlike the synth Evernyl, which is pleasant but not very close to real moss, or the Givaudan synth, which I don’t care for. The new Biolandes moss is currently advertised as less than 100 ppm atranol by their current methods of detection, but they are working on better documenting the levels because it’ll probably need to be more stringent before it could be approved under the new standards coming up. I really hope it’ll be approved, but I don’t think we know yet. Most large companies just give up and use synth, partly because this new low allergen moss is much more expensive and partly because there’s no assurance yet that it will be allowed. But it is such a nice alternative I’m hoping it’ll catch on and be approved. Here is where I talked about this recently (this topic is close to my heart):

            http://sonomascent.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/a-little-more-on-oakmoss/

          • LaurieE says:

            I should add that the IFRA standards call for using oakmoss that contains less than 100 ppm atranol, and the Biolandes does conform to that. However I’ve seen talk in other documents about possibly wanting lower levels still, so that’s why I’m not sure if this will still be approved in the future.

          • Robin says:

            Thanks so much Laurie!

    • Robin says:

      Albert, all I can say is that oakmoss has already been removed from many perfumes that had high concentrations. If there were alternatives, perhaps they were too costly.

  9. mals86 says:

    Guess I’d better snag some No. 5 for my Mom and some No. 19 for myself before then. And I guess it’s good I found those little minis of vintage Magie Noire last month, too.

    • guerlaingirl says:

      I know! I picked up Fracas, No. 19, and Cristalle so far. I still have to get Bandit and Vol de Nuit and Paris and …probably a vat of Mitsouko.

      • Joe says:

        See my comment below (and whatever Robin’s eventual answer is): It’s my understanding that Mitsouko and other Guerlains have already been reformulated without oakmoss.

        It’s a pity that bottles aren’t labeled with “vintage” year so you know what you’re buying and when it was produced.

        • Robin says:

          That is my understanding too.

        • AlbertCAN says:

          For some Guerlain offerings you can tell by the packaging, at least that’s how I distinguish my Guerlains and so far it’s fail-proof. But the eBay ruling makes buying vintage Guerlain a bit harder. (Thank God I got vintage L’Heure Bleue and Mistouko parfums, though I’m kicking myself for not getting the 1 oz. vintage Mitsouko parfum when I had a chance. Oh well.)

        • AnnS says:

          Joe – you can apparently find out the manufacturing date on this website if you plug in the code on the bottle. I’ve used it a few times, but decided my results were not necessarily accurate enough. It’s worth checking out.

          http://datecalculator.googlepages.com/englishhomepage

          • Joe says:

            Ann, that’s great! I wondered if there was a way to check based on those code numbers on the bottom. According to that site, my Mitsouko is from 2001. Not sure what that means, but it’s still useful to know. Thanks.

      • SmokeyToes says:

        GuerlainGirl, Make that two of us, with Vol de Nuit and Mitsuoko.

    • SmokeyToes says:

      I love Magie Noire too, glad I have several vintage bottles in the cupboard…

  10. Jemi says:

    I heard before that citrus in perfumery is supposedly dangerous, and I have to say, I just don’t understand. Isn’t citrus, including its peel *edible*, and even good for you? If it’s healthy to eat, why would it become dangerous to spray on your skin?

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Well, complicated question because it deals with a lot of biochemistry and the various human skin chemistry reactions. But allow me to cite one example. Bergamot peel is edible but it contains a powerful sensitizer bergapten. (I suppose, after all, citrus fruits do not develop their scents for the sole purpose of perfumery: they have evolved to produce chemicals that optimize their growth.) So while internal consumption of the stuff in question wouldn’t harm anyone…I wouldn’t recommend wearing, say, normal bergamot oil even in low concentraion.

      But photosensitizer-free alternative is available for some. Aside from the bergapten-free bergamot (available even in numerous reputable aromatherapy stores), whole seller such as Laboratoire Monique Rémy (LMR) can even customize phototoxin-free material by slicing out unwanted chemicals–so given all the options I really wonder if the downgrading ultimately comes down to costs rather than all-out restrictions: I may be wrong but some options are available–it would now just costs more and I’m not sure if some firms are willing to foot the extra processes to begin with.

      • SmokeyToes says:

        AlbertCan, does the citrus sensitivity element have to do with sun exposure? You seem like you’re more on the scientific end of things. I’m in waaay over my head on this one!

        • AlbertCAN says:

          There…my dark side of my geekiness–now I’m becoming one of those Biochem profs that I hated years ago! Yes, it has everything to do with sun exposure, the fact that some chemicals found in citrus oils will encourage the skin’s absorption of the UV rays.

    • Robin says:

      Jemi, like many other natural materials, it is a potential allergen.

  11. Joe says:

    Oh, this isn’t nice news to wake up to on a sunny Saturday.

    Robin, can you (or anyone) clarify for me, as I’m confused about the oakmoss situation: has it already been removed from a lot of the chypre formulations? I had gotten the impression it already had happened a few years back — or was the concentration of oakmoss just reduced to be in compliance with some regulation, and now this future dealine is for eliminating it completely?

    I haven’t read the full article yet, but the idea of removing citrus accords is distressing and it seems like it would make the “R.I.P.” claim true in large part. Hm.

    • Robin says:

      Joe, I do not follow the specific IFRA regulations, so don’t assume I know what I’m talking about. I only know that 1) many companies have already removed various IFRA-regulated notes from their perfumes or are in the process of doing so and 2) yes, it was just the concentration, as I understand it, but many perfumes depended on a high concentration.

  12. AlbertCAN says:

    Hmm…can any one fo the NST contributors be brave enough and write an objective report on what’s going to happen in 2010? I would find it more informative than heralding the death of perfumery. As much as I love reading Dr. Turin’s piece I’d rather make informed choices about the future of perfumery.

    I also wonder why mega firms have done such a poor job at lobbying the EU. The whole effort seems non-existent and they would have a lot at stake–unless I’m missing something here.

    • Robin says:

      It is not a matter of bravery — I am not an expert on these matters. And even if I was, I doubt I would be any more objective than Luca Turin.

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Turin’s comments reminded me of Pierre Bergé’s “If Yves Saint Laurent goes so will haute couture” comments a few decades ago: if you replace YSL with oakmoss and haute couture with perfumery one can somewhat capture the sentiment…but I’m sorry–just like there’s still haute couture after YSL (albeit smaller in scale) so will there be an eventual solution. Will it be perfect? I doubt it: but that’s not an excuse to declare the official death of it all. I’d rather spend my energy focusing on finding the alternatives.

  13. rubaiyat says:

    So, is there no point in my rushing to buy a bottle of Mitsouko before it is changed forever…because it is already changed forever?

    • Robin says:

      Stock sits in stores for longer than people realize…might be worth checking.

      • Kevin says:

        R: Turin wrote of reformulated Mitsouko in PERFUMES: THE GUIDE: “it still smells great.” So hopefully the oakmoss substitute they used in new Mitsouko, which I love, will be put into Eau de Guerlain too.

        • AlbertCAN says:

          Hrr, Kevin…I have the new version of Mitsouko and Edouard Fléchier uses tree moss extract as the solution. (Oakmoss is definately not labelled on the newest packaging.) I’m by no means disagreeing with Dr. Turin but Octavian and me both noticed the difference between the newest and the vintage–there’s something edgy about the beginning: Octavian described it as a bit plasticy and, after trying it for months, I have no choice but to agree.

          • Kevin says:

            AC: Thankfully, I don’t get a plastic-y vibe with “new” Mitsouko at all, and I can wear new Mitsouko happily all day (vintage Mitsouko? I love it, but was rarely willing to commit to wearing it for a full day…it was a bit ‘domineering’ for my tastes)

          • AlbertCAN says:

            Kevin: Lucky you! Able to wear the reformulated Mitsouko all day. For some strange reasons it’s quite impossible for me–and I tried and tried…

            The vintage works wonder for me. Oh well.

        • Robin says:

          K, but EdG is just about nothing but citrus & oakmoss. Their review of AG Hadrien in the latest update is precisely what made me realize that scents like EdG, Chanel Cristalle, etc, won’t be worth smelling.

  14. Oana says:

    I am checking on this 43rd amendment and I see that they as well iclude jasmine & ylang – ylang.

    The amendment – http://www.ifraorg.org/Home/Publications/The-43rd-Amendment/page.aspx/165

    • Robin says:

      Thanks Oana!

    • Tama says:

      If you go through the whole list, tons of things we see in perfumes are restricted. I can see why there was a scramble to replace the coumarins – they are not restricted like the oakmoss, jasmine, opopanax and such, but downright prohibited. I think it is interesting that verbena oil is prohibited but verbena absolute is restricted – I wonder what the diff is.

      This is a rotten business, for sure, but I think we will still have nice fragrances to wear in the end.

  15. Oana says:

    Robin, I checked all the amendments and I came accross Verbena Oil which is clearly saying – STANDARD: PROHIBITED – Should not be used as a fragrance ingredient.

    And then I looked back to Oak Moss and it says – RESTRICTED and further notice that IFRA is not recommending of using it. But the recommendation is not a ban or prohibition.

    It says as well:
    6. Introduction of an additional purity requirement in the Standards on Oak moss extracts and Tree moss extracts.

    I am a bit confused..

    I understand that it is not banned and it is only recommended to be NOT used.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Dear Oana, please refer to LaurieE’s comments above regarding the specifics of the situation. There are alternatives but they are very costly–and who knows when the rules will change again?

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Forgot to mention that I defined “very costly” from the perspective of the mega-brands, armed with accountants who will not be impressed with the increased cost of this one ingredient. The new oakmoss is very affordable compared to other natural aboslutes…but what will the accoutants think? And with the way big corporations are structured these days the accoutants hold a great day of power on this subject matter.

        • Oana says:

          Thanks! So at the end it all comes to the money. I keep thinking if natural resources are not usable due to its expenses so whats the perfume is at the end? A mix of synthetic ingredients that smell good? It is loosing a meaning.

          • AlbertCAN says:

            Well, for some firms it comes down to money and marketing. (Thankfully there are some who don’t share the same passion on this subject matter.) I was talking to Helg and she mentions that some firms would hesitate using oakmoss because of their aversion to the smell (and thankfully she likes a good classic chypre).

            But the ironic thing is that the new oakmoss is actually much more affordable than many synthetics out there. You see, depending on the production methods and various other factors some manufactured chemicals like alpha irone (orris butter like) and muscone (musk like) are truly costly, more than the reformulated oakmoss actually! What I’m trying to say is that I would hesitant to label all synthetics are cheap: but I’m not happy to see the restrictions on so many valuable ingredients. A perfumer’s job is tough enough as is :-(

    • Robin says:

      Oana, I probably haven’t been clear enough…this is not an area in which I am an expert in any way, shape or form — I don’t read the regulations, and I don’t want to read the regulations, LOL…I only care about how it affects me as an end user, and on that score, it’s clear that oakmoss has been disappearing from commercial perfumery over the past few years.

      • LaurieE says:

        Some things are prohibited completely but many things are merely restricted to the IFRA specified usage levels, which varies with the application (for example leave-on skin products like perfume fall into one category). In the case of oakmoss you can still use it if (1) the moss has less than 100 ppm of atranol and less than 100 ppm chloroatranol (the Biolandes is the only natural moss I know of at this time that meets the standard) and if (2) you use that low atranol moss at usage rates below what they require for your application. It’s better than nothing. I really hope the Biolandes moss is used more because it’s a great option to have. It’s expensive compared to prices companies paid in the past for regular oakmoss, but it still costs less than many other naturals. It seems well worthwhile if it turns out to be a solution to the allergen problem (I worry that other allergens might be found in moss too, but so far these two are the targets of the rulings).

        I am also concerned that they might keep lowering the allowable atranol levels, but it sounds like Biolandes can probably get this well below 100 ppm so even that may not be an issue, depending how low the standards go. It probably makes large companies nervous to work it into their formulas if they worry IFRA will change the rules again soon though. Smaller companies may be more flexible and may give this moss a chance. I don’t know how it will play out, but I like the product since it is the closest alternative by far to regular moss (it is natural moss) and it does appear to be safer from the standpoint of sensitization.

        • AlbertCAN says:

          Thanks, LaurieE! Given the fact that Chanel owns Biolande perhaps No. 5, No. 19 and Cristalle are not endangered species just quite yet.

  16. hollyc says:

    This is beyond depressing and very remeniscent of Orwell’s 1984. These brainless, corrupt, witless morons won’t be happy until the entire world has been reduced to an uninspiring, dull, grey wasteland. People like this exist in every society and in every sector of society. To quote “Evil flourishes when good men do nothing”. Yes, I realize this is “just” perfume, but this type of senseless, stultifying bureaucracy can rapidly infect every good aspect of society when it goes unchecked. And what is wrong with the perfume houses? Could it be that they are secretly glad to have an excuse to do away with natural (expensive) ingredients in favour of cheap, inferior chemical alternatives in order to pad their bottom line? I suppose I can at least look forward to saving some money, because I won’t be buying this inferior garbage any more.

    • wildheaven says:

      I totally agree with you…good perfumes will be a distant memory. I’m hopeful after this orwelling shceme will be reversed out and will have freedom of creation again…

    • Robin says:

      Hollyc, I know many people make that assumption…that they’d rather produce their own proprietary aroma chemicals.

  17. Robin, thanks for posting this. I’ve spent the last few days reading more about regulations, molecules and chemistry than I’ve ever wanted and I’m still baffled.

    People need to be aware it’s not just oakmoss and citrus. According to Dr. Turin it’s also heliotropine. Can you imagine? I feel like running to the stores and buying every bottle of L’Heure Bleue I can find. And I really want to know what exactly was it in Feminite du Bois that had to be reformulated. Does that mean the entire Bois series is on its way out? Would Uncle Serge ever tell us?

    • Robin says:

      Gaia, good for you for reading more. I mostly refuse to bother…it just makes me mad.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Thanks for lead, Gaia! This sounds like the kind of investigative work Helg likes to do: she is away but this will surely pique her interest.

  18. hollyc says:

    On a slightly lighter note, I believe that the latest summit (G20) in London was aimed at injecting capital into our sinking financial institutions in order to loosen up credit. How on earth am I going to be able to do my part to “spend us out of this global recession” if none of the perfumes I currently adore are no longer worth buying?! I truly do want to do my part. . . ..

    • Robin says:

      Artisanal chocolate, green teas: those are my other money drains. If perfume is gone, I can still do my part to keep the economy going…

    • SmokeyToes says:

      Handmade Italian shoes, I’ve done my part for sure…. :P

  19. Anya says:

    This wouldn’t happen, and wouldn’t have gotten this far if the perfume companies just had some backbone and fought the increasingly-strident and hysterical bad science of the EU bureaucrats. They were all asleep at the wheel and now we’re paying the price for their lack of ability to make IFRA and the EU listen to reason.

    Of course, they could still rebel, withdraw from IFRA, which is a laughable organization, and boycott selling in the EU until sanity returns.

    I’m officially an outlaw perfumer.

    • Robin says:

      Perhaps it is backbone, or perhaps they don’t care either way.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Or perhaps the fragrance industry just pulled the usual “everything-we-do-is-perfectly-safe-but-we-can’t-tell-you-what’s-going-on” strategy that they have been pulling for centuries: but the world is changing and the EU is pulling the “we’ll-do-our-own-research-because-we-can’t-trust-you” kind of approach instead. All of this makes me really baffled, for there are better ways at lobbying those officials: criticizing the methods of evaluation in public, for one, won’t get the politicians to change their tunes. C’mon, if I can think of this then someone must of thought of it sooner: so where’s lobbying when you need it the most? Must be Murphy’s law working.

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Oops…after reading more info and I (again) stand corrected. IFRA contains industry members. To quote Andy Tauer:

        “Who are the members of IFRA? You will see that the big industry is in there, as members, like IFF*. Thus, all regulations are basically influenced by the big industry, too. There seems to be a mutual interest (commission/big industry) and the entire process is driven by industry, too. I feel that the EU Commission is just proving once more that it does not really care about economic growth, about the citizens it’s representing, or small and medium -sized enterprises ( SMEs) but rather plays its game with the big ones, meeting with the who is who; thus the smaller enterprises have to either accept what comes out of these dances or perish.” *{quote from IFRA page: Since the GA of October 17, 2007, companies may also become Direct Ordinary Members of IFRA”}.

        (Quote obtained via Perfume Shrine)

    • AnnS says:

      Well, I’m sure some of these bureaucrats themselves, or their wives, girlfriends, mistresses, and daughters all will have something to say when they realize what’s happend…but it will be most likely too late. Unless we can get Carla Bruni on the bandwagon….

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Oh, I can think of reasons why she would and wouldn’t fight for the cause. It’s been mentioned that the first lady of France likes Guerlain Vol de Nuit and she endorsed Ysatis de Givenchy, both of which have traditional chypre bases…but on the other hand she is new to her role and has been very cautious to exercise her political power since she is relatively new to the job. French politics is traditionally complicated, especially given her husband’s position. In short, who knows? But I would be glad if she does.

  20. platinum14 says:

    OK !
    So, the bad news is that from now until Jan 1st 2010 I will load up all my credit cards and buy everything I love and adore.
    The good news is that after Jan 1st 2010, i will be “cured” of my fragrance addiction. I will be able to live off of my reserves.
    …and to think that peanut butter, that causes anaphylachtic reaction and death, has not been declared a poison yet!

    • Robin says:

      I don’t think so…it isn’t like everything you buy now is “good” and everything you buy after that date is suddenly reformulated. They already starting reformulating to meet those regulations.

  21. mi-cuit says:

    oh GOD! this is worse than the time I accidentally clicked on the “obituaries” section and read through the list of fragrances discontinued. The news is just depressing. All perfume as we know it is being discontinued at once…

  22. Anya says:

    Platinum14, I have blogged about the IFRA and EU insanity for over two years. I’m burned out on the subject, and won’t blog on it anymore. Here’s a partial list I posted in feb. 2007, right around the time I wrote about the “peanuts v. perfume” paradox you refer to:

    Angelica root oil
    Bergamot oil expressed
    Bitter Orange Peel Oil Expressed
    Cade oil
    Cedar moss
    Chenopodium oil
    Citrus oils and other furocoumarins containing essential oils
    Costus root oil, absolute and concrete
    Cumin oil
    Fig leaf absolute
    Grapefruit oil expressed
    Lavender
    Lemon oil cold pressed
    Lime oil expressed
    Massoia bark oil
    Massoia lactone
    Melissa oil (genuine Melissa officinalis)
    Oak moss extracts
    Opoponax
    Peru balsam
    Petitgrain Mandarin Oil
    Rose oil
    Santolina oil
    Savin oil
    Styrax
    Tagetes oil and absolute
    Tea leaf absolute
    Tree moss extracts
    Verbena absolute
    Verbena oil
    and many more are under scrutiny.

  23. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    I am completely in the conspiracy-theorist camp on this one. In this day and age, these massive corporations wield far more power than a handful of EU bureaucrats, and if these regulations passed without real opposition, it’s because it didn’t suit the corporations to fight. Cheap synthetics, patent rights, etc. — it’s all about the bottom line.

    Still, the absurdity is astounding. There are a few cosmetic ingredients to which I’m allergic, and I just read the darn labels so I can avoid them. What was the point of listing perfume ingredients on the packaging if they’re banning anything remotely allergenic anyway?

    • Robin says:

      Agree!

    • Oana says:

      You are right. I agree with you. Hey, I know someone who is allergic to milk, or to peanuts, or to oranges or.. Shall we take it all out of shelves?

      The most disappointing fact is that so far there is no noise from perfumers. Like it is all ok with them.

  24. Veronika says:

    people will still smoke cigarettes but they won’t use chypres and citrus colognes!

    I hope Hermes and Chanel won’t budge on quality. Or I can stop using perfume wright now and wash with everything unscented. Oh dear.

    • Robin says:

      Hermes & Chanel will stop using oakmoss just like everyone else. Actually, I wonder if that is the point of Cristalle Eau Verte — perhaps they’re about to give up on the original Cristalle Edt. Don’t see how they could make it anymore.

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Perhaps. But anyone subpar need not apply to those firms. I always believe that creativity sparks during the darkest hours–let’s wait and see.

        On the other hand I’m so glad Ernest Beaux, upon being order by Coco Chanel to elevate the quality of Chanel No. 5, chose to boost up the aldehyde content instead–it was either that or amplify the oakmoss absolute. Had he chose the oakmoss route we would be having trouble with the parfum today.

  25. Dusan says:

    The fact that all you can do is sit back and watch this charade happen is just infuriating. I can’t believe the IFRA is taking perfume users at large for undiscerning fools. True, I know about molecules and biochemistry as much as the next guy but I CAN tell when something smells different than it used to, and most of the time I don’t like what I’m smelling. Not to mention 90% of the mainstream launches in the past few years have been utter synthetic crap, flankers included. Now here’s a thought – why not put a ban on flankers as well? I sure break out every time I hear another one is out.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, it is maddening.

  26. pinkfizzy says:

    What I don’t quite understand is, do they seriously think spraying Mitsouko on every day is going to harm someone? Wouldn’t people have noticed that by now? Perfume is VOLUNTARY. I don’t go around spraying perfume on people’s babies.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t challenge a regulatory agency’s right to restrict products that are harmful, even if those products are voluntary, but this does seem over the top.

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Easy–the environmental groups have been actively lobbying the government officials for years now. And when the fragrance industry acted defensively the other side gets its way. In fact, it’s classic government lobbying 101 taught in numerous business schools–so I don’t understand why those corporate execs aren’t paying attention.

  27. neuropersona says:

    A common story which will lead to opportunities for innovators like Luca Turin.

    Remember the nose, ears and eyes process vibrations and don’t forget taste. Taste and smell are linked very tightly and those that successfully produce products that link both are profitable corporations. One from my past is IFF, Internationa Flavours and Fragrances.

    Make fragrances not perfumes.

    Cheers,
    NIck
    http://www.neuropersona.com

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know what “make fragrances not perfumes” means.

  28. Geez, as long as the cosmetic industry still uses parabens which are PROVED to cause cancer, why they do not leut us get cancer from perfume?

    It is a good thing, but with the regulation it went as so often too far. Well, maybe the perfume houses will get creative and we will have the pleasure of new experinces in scent.

    See the glass is half full ;-) I just really hope that at least 30% will disappear from the market and yes @dusan, flankers have to be forbidden too!

    • Robin says:

      The economy is going to take care of at least some flankers anyway…but doubt these new rules are going to improve perfumery as a whole.

  29. Oana says:

    And what about jasmin & ylang – ylang? They are being restricted too..

  30. Mediterana says:

    OMG, the terrorists! *hoarding mode activated*

    a worried friend from across the Pond.

    • Robin says:

      LOL…I wonder how many people will start hoarding now!

      • AnnS says:

        I already started buying backups of my absolute top favorites last year. Looks like this year I need to add two or three to the list for backups!

  31. guerlaingirl says:

    New theory: maybe once all of these fragrances have been eviscerated, the “fragrance free” office rules will be lifted? (give me a little light at the end of the tunnel)

    • Tama says:

      Doubtful – I know many of those people are severely anti-chemicals of any kind (whether they actually react to them or not), and since fragrances are made with synthetic molecules, well, that is as chemical as you can get. I was reading a job ad recently where they would give you a list of personal products you could use if you worked there. I clicked that one shut pretty quick.

  32. AnnS says:

    Well, I am sure we could all protest by not buying fragrances for what say, one quarter? That would get some people’s attention. Aside from the desire to go out and scramble for beloved frags before they are reformulated….the best way to get to the mega-coporations is through the wallet. If there is indeed a conspiracy directed at controlling the chems and frags we all eventually purchase, then we can just say no the good old fashioned way. There are many more things in my house that can kill or agitate me besides my beloved fragrances! Anyway….this rush to buy beloved oldies and goodies will certainly dent the spending in new releases!

    But you know, I’m not that negative a person. I’d rather send a lovely and polite letter to Carla Bruni Sarkozy, who apparently loves Vol de Nuit, and ask for her help. Or maybe even Catherine Deneuve…I found a nice list on basenotes with all these famous people’s fav frags. Sounds like a letter writing campaign is in order.

    And, you can cheer yourselves up by watching a movie all about chemicals and control, from 2006, A Scanner Darkly… Hello Substance D. The government controls the most powerful illegal drug…and also the detox programs, etc. All these mega-corps and government bodies have figured out how to keep a pretty tight circle.

    • Robin says:

      LOL…it would be hard to get anyone here to stop buying fragrances for even 1 quarter, that much I can say.

  33. pinkfizzy says:

    I’m having visions of an illegal perfume black market, with jasmine and oakmoss junkies hustling for their fix, and cops bursting in on a roomful of people snorting Mitsouko fumes.

    • Joe says:

      That’s hilarious. An illicit oakmoss-absolute trade, with postal inspectors busting people for trafficking vials through the mail.

  34. jo says:

    THAT IS JUST HORRIBLE!!!!!

    i love the chypres the very best of all, and they are going to be gutted…..i agree with pinkfizzy–we’ll all go to a quiet little room and sniff our favorites and then get arrested…..
    every single one of my favorite scents have oakmoss in them. i guess i will just have to start stocking up and hoarding like everyone else.
    sigh………………..

    • Robin says:

      Start your hoarding very soon, many perfumes have already been “de-oakmossed”.

  35. Joe says:

    You know, I was thinking about this story again last night, and as much as we perfumistas learn to love chypres, etc., the truth is that the industry probably sells one bottle of Mitsouko or Vol de Nuit for every 25 or 50 (or even more?) bottles of EL Beautiful or Acqua di Gio, so in the end, all this stuff we’re up in arms about really doesn’t affect their bottom line very much (though perhaps houses like Chanel & Guerlain might be very much disproportionately hurt by all this).

    I’d say it’s realistic to assume that within 40 years many classics will be totally dc’d and maybe vintage 2010 bottles of Paris Hilton will be collectors’ items fetching high prices.

    • Robin says:

      Agree…it will not be a financial disaster for the industry in the least.

  36. lucknow says:

    has anyone seen bladerunner? all these just reminds me of a future when only the richest people keep animals since they are all extinct. one day oakmoss and all the natural ingredients which are used in perfumery will be extinct and buying perfume will be grossly expensive, or even outlawed…

  37. Blimunda says:

    Ach, I’m a Brit, don’t get me started on the EU……!!

    Thanks for the heads-up though, as I just ordered samples of Fracas and Bandit to try for the first time. I guess, if I really like them, I should buy them both before 2009 finishes! In large bottles of extrait!

    (FYI peeps – I read on the Serge Lutens Nearly All the facts Website, that Muscs Koublai Kahn is being added to the Export range this christmas! Can someone confirm??!!)

    • Robin says:

      Again, many fragrances have already been reformulated…it is not like all the companies will pull their old bottles at the last minute and replace them with new ones.

  38. Oana says:

    This one is a very interesting report – http://www.cropwatch.org/newslet13.pdf

    I see that oak moss, jasmine, ylang- ylang definitely going to be changed or limited to small amounts which is the same, then I think of Chanel No. 5 or Mitsouko which have all these 3 ingredients in the “juice” and keep thinking that they should stop producing it if they are changing it THAT MUCH.

    • Robin says:

      Seriously doubt Guerlain will stop making Mitsouko or Chanel will stop making No. 5.

  39. Robin R. says:

    Call me blase, you guys, but if it’s happening and the big companies are standing around not getting all up in arms about the new regulations concerning oakmoss, et al, I’m not going to hoard my pre-reformulation bottles/jump on the conspiracy theorists’ bandwagon/lose any sleep over it. Laurie E. from Sonoma Scent Studios made several informed and rational comments on this thread and I like her practical, cucumber-cool take on things.

    I see this as a tremendous catalyst for eager molecular scientists in the profit-driven fragrance industry corner the market with the ne plus ultra of benign synthetic oakmoss and have everyone scrambling to place their orders. Heck, oakmoss/shmoakmoss: one of my favourite chypres of all time was created at the beginning of this brohaha with no oakmoss at all. If the future smells anything like Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    • Robin says:

      I can report accurately that I have not lost any sleep over it either. Still think it’s a huge shame.

  40. SmokeyToes says:

    I am really late to reading up on this topic, but that it affects several scents that I adore is a bummer. And it’s a big impact for Guerlain, don’t many of their scents have oakmoss in the formulation?

    I can’t remember where, (NST?) but about a year ago, I saw an article somewhere about this coming down the pike?

    • Robin says:

      Click on ‘ifra” under tags (between the end of the article & the start of the comments) and you can follow the store backwards…

      • SmokeyToes says:

        Thank you! I’ll check it out.

    • Oana says:

      It does a HUGE impact on Guerlain and it is a huge disappointment.

  41. Ayala says:

    I’m still not sure how this article says anything new that we didn’t already know? Oakmoss regulations have been ridiculously strict since 2008 and oakmoss is not scheduled to be reviewed again until 2013. Where else, except this article, is it said that oakmoss will no longer be in use?
    As far as I know it is still growing and being extracted and used. And is still available for fragrance purposes whether or not you comply with IFRA.
    Did all the fragrance companies come together and decide to not bother using oakmoss anymore starting 01-01-2010, and only told Luca Turin about it?
    I sure am not planning to stop using oakmoss, and will be doing everything I can to support the oakmoss extraction industry by buying more of this valuable material.

  42. lightgreen22 says:

    I love Luca Turins idea in his Spring newsletter we must go to Paris march up the Champ Elyess (wait this is an EU regulation, well then we’ll have to march up the main street of Geneva) all carrying signs reading “Mitsouko”

    • Ayala says:

      lightgreen22,
      I will be in Paris in May and I might just do that!

  43. Sweller says:

    I must begin by declaring my interest. I am the Director of Communications for IFRA. I have read this thread with interest and am delighted to see so many passionate people up in arms about the reduction in the perfumer’s pallette. We too at IFRA are not pleased that this pallette is shrinking. I feel it is important to explain the role of IFRA and its motivation. We care about fragrances. We love fragrances, both from an aesthetic and scientific point of view. IFRA was set up to defend the fragrance industry from unscientific regulation and to ensure that customers of fragrance compounds could use them confident in the knowledge that they would be safe for consumers.
    IFRA Standards are global and our members represent approximately 90% of the global volume of fragrance compounds. Our membership consists of both large, medium and small companies. They use both natural and synthetic materials. Our aim is to ensure that the industry stays ahead of the regulatory curve. That we have the best science and are in the best position to defend our materials. Whether we like it or not fragrance is the second most popular allergen. However, the instances are declining thanks to the industry’s responsible behaviour in banning or restricting materials of concern. This trend must continue if the industry is to have a future.
    It is true that our Standards can seem onerous and overly restrictive. However, if the fragrance industry did not take the lead and act responsibly by either banning or restricting materials of concern we would certainly be in a much worse position. The IFRA Code of Practice and system of Standards and the new Compliance Program go a long way to ensure that we are listened to by regulators around the world and that our Standards are included in official regulations for both fragrance materials, cosmetics and household products.
    There are people in activist groups and positions of political influence who think that we do not need fragrance. That fragrance is an unneccessary ingredient in products and if there is any hint of a risk to people or the environment then all fragrances should be banned. Thanks to the Precautionary Principle, this approach has a legal framework in Europe and the US. It means in essence that if you cannot prove 100% that something is safe, then it should be banned. Fortunately for the fragrance industry they had the foresight to set up the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) in the 1960’s to carry out risk assessments for fragrance materials. Then in the 1970s they set up IFRA to implement the risk management via the IFRA Standards. For nearly 50 years the fragrance industry has been defending the perfumer’s pallette and ensuring the safe use of fragrance. We will continue to defend our industry based on sound science. It is a difficult battle and there are always tough choices that have to be made. As an example of what we face the EU Toys Directive, voted into law before Christmas, banned 13 of the list of 26 allergens from toys for purely political reasons. There is no scientific basis what-so-ever. Could it have been politics? Perhaps they wanted to be seen to be protecting the children of Europe before Christmas and the upcoming elections? I will leave it to you to decide. We don’t always win the battles, but we always fight them. To finish I would just like to point out that LaurieE is correct in his earlier posts regarding the purity.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks very much for presenting another viewpoint; it’s appreciated.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Thanks you very much Sweller

      I very much appreciate the time and effort you have spent on addressing many people’s concerns, and I, along with everyone here at NST, share you and your colleagues’ passion for olfactory excellence. It is based on this mutual dedication that has led all of us to discuss and to care about this subject in this first place.

      Please allow me to state my interest on this subject matter. Aside from being a long-time reader of NST I had also been a senior fragrance marketing consultant for several international brands, although under explicit contractual obligations I am not in a position to reveal my former clients. My tenure with those firms ended before the current wave IFRA regulations were formally initiated and currently I am the owner of the lifestyle blog Les Tuileries and a contributor of the fragrance blog Perfume Shrine. Thus as you can see my primary interest, first and foremost, is to learn, to ask questions and to understand all stakeholders’ positions on this issue. That is why I have not written any formal piece on this topic for any site but instead raising pertinent issues and voicing my concerns to the best of my ability. After all I believe this is the only way how, under the spirit of wholehearted communication and dialogue, we can all continue supporting this multi-faceted industry.

      As I was mentioning several posts ago I am keenly aware of some environmentalists’ stance on the allergens, sensitizers associated with various fragrances—and you are right that those people are actively trying to lobby the appropriate officials and to alter the regulations in their favor. With this in mind it is even more pertinent for the IFRA to ensure that its position is better understood, else Dr. Turin’s position above, as eloquent and well-composed as it is, shall be more persuasive than your organization.

      Let me be honest here: I am less than comfortable with the statement “Perfumery, a hundred-year-old art, has taken a long time dying, but on January 1, 2010 it will be officially dead”, nor I think it will be the case. After all, some of the greatest artistic triumphs in history have been created in the midst of various regulatory, economic, sociological, and even artistic restrictions—so why not perfumery this time around? However, as you can see from this blog post we the public needs to have a solid access to user-friendly communication channels and information, and based on my observation several initiatives, though by no mean conclusive, can perhaps further achieve such objective:

      1. The IFRA e-mail contact form, as thorough as it is, is not really open to the public, for one must be affiliated with a company in order to submit a message. And since many people may not have the time to reach the IFRA through other means it would be greatly appreciated if the IFRA can allow the public to contact the organization electronically. (If the IFRA prefers the public to reach the organization via regular mail or phone please let us know which specific department one should contact.)

      2. A thorough, public-oriented FAQ section must be created and regularly updated on the IFRA website, timely addressing the public’s common concerns. If I dare say the post you are reading represents some of the pertinent questions that the public has been asking for years.

      3. Continue doing what you and your colleagues are doing—comprehending and actively addressing people’s concerns. I can assure you it will do wonders to the discussion.

      In all, thank you for allowing me to learn further on this subject and to express my concerns on this matter. I wish you all the best.

      Sincerely,

      AlbertCAN

      • AlbertCAN says:

        Robin: If you don’t mind I would like to post a duplicate copy of the message above on my blog for the sake of thoroughness and professionalism. I hope you understand.

        • Robin says:

          Sure, although I don’t suppose you ought to copy over Sweller’s post w/o permission.

          • AlbertCAN says:

            No, absolutely no intention to do so in the first place–if it’s necessary I’ll insert a hyperlink.

  44. Oana says:

    I dont really believe that any replacement of natural resources are for well being. I try to use as less synthetics in my daily life. Yes, I do agree why do we use fragrance in things as body lotions, soaps and so on. Though already we have alternatives via Clinique and other brands that are fragrance-free.
    Fragrance as a PERFUME has a totaly different meaning to me and I can assume to a majority of people. I do choose to use Clinique as fragrance-free but I want my jasmine & ylang-ylang and chypre perfumes. Why this couldnt be a separate topic? Why labeling is not an option as it is an option for cigarettes? Lets put JASMINE kills or OAKMOSS kills.
    How come it is in favour of people? To shut the doors for the classic is not an option and that’s what it looks to me is going to happen. People used essential oils for hundreds of years and it was a benefit rather than a disaster cause someone had an allergic reaction to it.
    And the politicians? Let me ask what are they wearing today?

    • Robin says:

      LOL at “jasmine kills” — I’d buy a fragrance with that name, actually.

      • SirSlarty says:

        In The Guide, Serge Luetns’ À la Nuit was described simply as “death by jasmine”.

  45. Sweller says:

    Dear AlbertCan,

    Thanks very much for your comments. I will be perfectly happy for you to copy my post onto your blog. I would also like you to know that we will have a brand new website sometime in June, which I feel sure will address your concerns. It will be much more informative and interactive and will also include a blog function. I look forward to continuing dialogue in the blogosphere.

    Stephen.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      Thank you very much for your kindness. I absolutely look forward to the brand new website because there’s nothing more effective at addressing the public’s concerns than comprehensive, readily available information on this subject. In all, I wish you and your colleagues the best of luck: have a great day.

    • AlbertCAN says:

      I’ve managed to post the comments on Les Tuileries: I was hoping that I could include some research information as well, and promptly lost track of everything due to work commitment. Anyhow, I’ll read up on Mr. Weller’s response to Grain de musc before speaking further on this topic. As promised here’s my post in the meantime: http://tuileries.blogspot.com/2009/05/oh-yes-as-promised.html

      Thanks Robin once again for everything.

  46. owengreen says:

    I do regret that there are going to be casualties. Dear friends, some gone forever, some permanently disfigured. But all doom and gloom aside, I think turin is serioulsy underestimating the industry he loves. I do think the larger players are in on this. They have to be. There is a coming shift in perfumery, and they will get theirs.

    Here’s the hope- as purification techniques improve (taking out the minute amount of sensitizers and such). There will be more and more options over time. They will be more expensive for sure, but since when have the actual raw materials been a large part of the cost? Granted, this could be devastating to small natural ingredients suppliers.

    Second- Loopholes loopholes loopholes, some have been found before the law even goes into effect. “Do not spray on skin” is only one example. Others will be found.

    Third- Have you smelled givaudan’s tomato base? It’s completely synthetic and it is awesome. Synthetics, with the use of headspace and other technologies, are catching up with the complexity of naturals, at least in the realm of aesthetics. Not to mention that using synthetics may decrease the load placed upon natural resources- making perfumery greener even if it impacts some of our favorite green notes.

    Fourth- For some of us, perfumery is life. And life always finds a way.

    The end is often times the beginning.

    • Robin says:

      I do not think perfumery is over, and doubt LT does either, but to destroy the masterpieces of perfumery like this is terribly sad. A lovely quote from Grain de Musc:

      ” It’s like saying to painters: you can’t put red in your paintings anymore, because we’ve found out it makes people more aggressive. And, oh, by the way, we’re repainting everything in the museums in pink, so there you go, now there’s a good fellow.”

      http://graindemusc.blogspot.com/2009/04/joyless-world.html

      • owengreen says:

        I totally agree, but Picasso still had a blue period. ;)

  47. Oana says:

    Out of everything that I managed to read, listen to both sides, make up my mind, I feel that in a way I started to loose interest in perfumes. Especially for the ones to come.

    This is an unreasonable banning and as far as I consider it is THE “filthy game”.

    I am happy of what I have now and I will be killing myself with REAL oak moss and jasmin for years to come.

    And in a mean time I will stock up on amber perfumes. I guess amber will be next “deadly weapon”. Who knows.. From now on you can and should expect crazy things.

    • Robin says:

      I can understand your feeling…although for me, I am not sad about what is to come (perfumers will adapt) so much as about the loss of perfume’s history & heritage.

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