Monday, November 17, 2008

The demise of natural perfume ingredients from Grasse? Perhaps the rest of World should take up the slack.


I blogged a few days ago about the decline of the rose-de-mai farmland in Grasse and a French Perfumer, Isabelle Gelle commented on the Natural Perfumery group listing the reasons she perceived to be at fault, and offering her prediction as to the future of rose (and other natural aromatics) production. Reprinted here with permission:

To me, there are 2 main guilty ones:

1) the consumers who will not pay for pure rose products because as mentioned in the article 'rose is not rose' any longer - I actually browsed the latest website of Scents of Time in which I saw that the
great idea of reproducing various Scents of Time has been once again transformed into another 'chemical' venture, using the now widely spread HEADSPACE technique (which is still leading to reproducing
scents in a laboratory).

2) the European Union who by trying to place every citizen in a sterilised bubble and create a Federal Europe is slowly killing national identities and regional specialties. Note: link and photo from a previous anya's garden blog)



In the end of the day, the decision lies in the willpower of the people to preserve their heritage. Despite the pressure of EU, the French succeeded in making their 'Foie Gras (goose liver pate)' a national
heritage product which cannot be touched. Why don't the Grasse producers (who are all gathered under the Association of Producers in Grasse) fight for the same?

If Grasse producers were setting up a lobbying group to put pressure on the government to declare Grasse and its production fields, national heritage, they would win. I believe that if the rose producer is selling to real estate agents, it is because they get a good financial deal out of it: nothing less, nothing more... France has entered a recession 6 months ago so any buck from real estate developers is welcomed however sad it might be...

However sad it is, I am convinced that rose oil will still be produced in various countries (existing and future) and Grasse is slowly loosing its status of 'capital of perfumery'...

My 2 cents...

Isabelle

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