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Chanel No. 5 Perfume Faces EU Ban Over Health Risks

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EU scientists said that the Chanel No. 5, which has been in production for more than 90 years after it was created in 1921, contains traces of a tree moss, which is included on a new list of allergens believed to be unsafe. Chanel

The iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume is among the collection of other famous perfumes that could soon be banned by the European Union after scientists found that some of the ingredients may cause allergies.

Scientists said that the scent, which has been in production for more than 90 years after it was created in 1921, contains traces of a tree moss, which is included on a new list of allergens deemed to be unsafe.

A scientific review panel for the EU has found 100 allergens regularly contained in fragrances, and as a result the advisory committee is now calling for new measures to protect EU citizens from the potentially harmful substances, Reuters reports.

The committee proposed an outright ban on tree moss and oak moss, which provides the signature woody notes in Chanel's most famous scent as well as Dior's Miss Dior perfume.

The panel has also proposed that when any of the 100 allergens listed in the new roster are used, it must be detailed on the product's packaging. Currently, companies are only required to indicate the presence of 26 allergenic substances.

Luxury brand manufacturers fear that if the new measures are passed, the EU could force them to change formulas to perfumes like Chanel No. 5, Miss Dior, Guerlain's Shalimar and Angel by Thierry Mugler, which they believe could devastate the industry.

If the recommendations are passed, manufacturers say that the scents of many leading brands would never smell the same, and in the future perfume makers would be left with a very limited palette of ingredients.

"It would be the end of beautiful perfumes if we could not use these ingredients," Francoise Montenay, non-executive chairwoman of Chanel told Reuters.

"Chanel No 5 has never done any harm to anyone," said Sylvie Jourdet of the French perfumer's society, according to The Telegraph. "It is the death of perfume if this continues. The more you use natural ingredients, the more there is a risk of allergies. Lemon, jasmine, bergamot all contain allergenics."

The panel also recommended restricting the use of 12 substances including citral, found in lemon and tangerine oils; coumarin, found in tropical tonka beans; and eugenol, a component of rose oil, to 0.01 percent of the finished product.

A spokesman for the European Commission told Reuters that there was no plan yet to ban or limit the perfumes, but it is in talks with all concerned parties, including the industry and consumer groups, to assess the latest recommendations and the potential impact they have on the industry.

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