Some of the ingredients found in your favorite fragrances could soon be given the boot under tougher European Union regulations. The new rules will require the $31 billion perfume industry to ban certain ingredients and change the packaging of their products.
EU officials claim that they are simply trying to protect consumers from allergies. According to the EU, up to three percent of the population in Europe has a skin allergy to fragrances. The most frequent symptoms include irritation, swelling, rashes and chronic conditions like eczema.
Under the proposed rules, the makers of two of the most popular scents in the world, Chanel No. 5 and Dior's Miss Dior, will have to reformulate their scent. Both designer perfumes reportedly contain mosses, base notes that give perfumes depth and help make the scents last.
"Adapting is a challenge, but it is precisely the talent of our 'nose' to be able to preserve the qualities and olfactive identity of our perfumes, while also taking into account new regulatory constraints," a spokesman for Chanel told The Vancouver Sun.
In 2012, an advisory report initially recommended limiting the use of 12 ingredients such as: citral, eugenol and coumarin. These ingredients are often found in luxury perfumes. The commission argues that it has no plans to ban any perfumes—only the allergens found in them. Chanel and Dior are already reportedly working on altered versions stripped of the molecules atranol and chloroatranol, both regarded by the EU as potential allergens.
"We understand that drastic reductions in the authorised concentrations of these ingredients would have created major disruptions to the industry," said David Hudson, spokesman for consumer policy at the European Commission.
The new regulations will now only ban three of those 12 ingredients. Frederic Malle, who founded the French luxury perfume company Editions de Parfums, told The Daily Mail that he is angry by the changes.
“If we ban citral from perfumes, of which certain elements are allergens, we should ban orange juice. It is absurd. We should not ban nature, only learn how to live with it,” Malle told the paper.
He also added that it can take more than six months to reformulate a perfume and require at least 30 tests. Because allergens in perfumes only impact a small portion of the population, he believes that it’s not right to make the other consumers suffer.
The new regulations are expected to go into effect by the end of this year or during the early part of 2015.