This post is going to have two topics. It may be a bit “anti” and I am sorry if I might disillusion you. The topics are linked, though.
I do not know if you have ever witnessed a stampede. It is impressive and freightening. I was once in a little stampede by cows. Here’s the thing: From the herd’s perspective it is straight forward, until they fall down the cliff.
The people of Europe are running straight forward, with their political leaders in Brussels blazing the trail. The cosmetics regulation and upcoming changes are a detail, but symbolic for what goes wrong there.
Luc Gabriel, CEO of The Different Company published an open article, through the press and online media. Grain de Musc was so nice to publish it on her blog, too. Here’s the link. Please comment there, too. He starts his letter with “The latest European regulatory provisions of February 13th concerning raw materials used in fine fragrance, if they are adopted, will sound the death knell of high perfumery within five years.”
I think “there, in the European Union”. We will see how bad things will turn, whether some proposed changes, ban of substances, are going to be implemented. I know, for sure, that I will not change the formula for the fragrance L’air du désert marocain for the world, just because the EU is in stampede mode. According to the latest uncertain certainty, there might come changes what needs to be labelled, too. We are talking about some 80 ingredients that we producers need to label on a perfume product. I have no clue how I could, for instance, print the labels for Une rose chyprée, with its rose, and jasmine, and geranium oil, its citrus oils, and vanilla and patchouli, and and and. But then, there is oakmoss in there anyhow. Thus, byebye rose chypree for the EU.
Me thinks: High perfumery will continue to exist, in one way or another. But maybe not there, in Europe. Not in the way it grew and thrived there during the last 200 years.
Yes, there is no reason why France must continue to be the epicenter of high perfumery. Actually, the question is, whether it still is. Dear EU perfume lovers: Maybe it is time to wake up and stop dreaming of jasmine and rose fields undulating in Europe?
There is no law dictating that creativity and new ideas have to sprout in Europe, the world is large. Innovation does not always happens in the offices of big company. Will innovation continue to happens there, in the EU, outside of big business? It is in SME, Small and Medium sized Enterprises where jobs are created and where new ideas find their way to markets. As entrepreneur, of a micro enterprise, I think twice about establishing a perfume company there, in the EU. No, I do not think I will ever establish my company there. The world is large.
I think that Europe deprives itself of opportunities.
I think that Europe’s fragrant cultural heritage is not taken care of by the leaders of Europe.
I think that this heritage is important for Europe’s prosperity and creativity.
I think that both are endangered.
Today’s picture: My breakfast yesterday , a smoothie, prepared with a mixer, made for Moulinex, made in China.