News: All Production of Amouage Attars Now Ceased Entirely?

There are further developments in the situation involving the Amouage attars. I’ve just been informed that the Amouage factory in Oman has ceased all production of the attars entirely.

Source: patrickbaty.co.uk

Source: patrickbaty.co.uk

As some of you who kept up with the comments in my earlier post on this matter may know, it appears likely that the IFRA/EU perfume regulations are going to be adopted in some form in the United Arab Emirates. To be clear, these are Oman’s neighboring states, and their regulations to do not apply to Amouage’s home nation of Oman.

A reader called Taleb wrote that he’d read in his local (presumably Emirati) papers:

that the emirates standards and metrology authorization (ESMA) is going to enforce strict regulations on standardizing the perfume industry in the U.A.E. starting from July 2014. Of course part of the standardization is to comply with IFRA regulations.

Another reader, Dubaiscents, provided a link to a brief article in English on the subject of perfume conformity in the UAE and the plans of the Emirates Standards agency called ESMA. It was a confusing article that focused primarily on the contraband and fraud aspects of perfume regulation, but it mentioned one thing that caught my eye. It mentioned that ESMA had something called The Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS).

I did some digging and it appears that the ECAS is where all the trouble lies. According to the ECAS mission statement:

per the Ministerial Decision No. 114/2 of 2004, ESMA is mandated to adopt International Standards, other Regional and National Standards relevant to the environmental conditions in the UAE in the absence of a UAE or Gulf Standards.

As part of ESMA’s commitment to support the effective implementation of the UAE Standards, the Conformity Assessment Department is implementing a Product Certification Program called the Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme (ECAS) wherein products that affects the public life, health and safety, products that have an impact with the environment and the UAE economy shall fall under this Scheme. Moreover, ECAS shall identify locally manufactured product to be included in this Scheme to ensure the quality of these products so that these products can be competitive in the global market[Emphasis in bolding added by me.]

In a nutshell, the UAE plans on regulating all products — including those that have an impact on the public health — in order to be competitive in the global marketplace, and they plan to achieve this goal via the adoption of international standards.

Perfume is an item that international or foreign law (namely, the EU’s law) has deemed to have an impact on public health and safety. As a result, the UAE is likely to classify it in the same way, and to adopt the international standards that other countries have chosen to regulate that product. Ergo, IFRA/EU laws. Whether they will be adopted whole-sale or in piecemeal fashion that is tailored to the particular needs of the Emirates’ market and culture remains to be seen. However, it’s pretty clear that some form of international perfume regulation is coming to the Emirate Gulf States in three months time.

Attar distillation. Source: Broken Earth Naturals.

Attar distillation. Source: Broken Earth Naturals.

It seemed that Amouage preferred to move all its attars to its home country of Oman rather than run the risk of potentially violating future UAE ingredient levels, or diluting its attars. That was laudable and understandable, though also somewhat frustrating in light of early reports that Amouage was restricting even its Oman sales to long-time, established, local customers.

This latest news, however, feels quite grim. It comes to me from a good friend who is closely involved with the Amouage attars, and whose reliable, local source actually visited the Amouage factory in Muscat, Oman. There, he was told directly that they have completely ceased production of any kind. All that is left is remaining stock, which is virtually nothing. (To be precise, he was told a mere 2 bottles of Homage were available, though he thinks that there may be a few more bottles in general, based upon what he personally observed. All of them, however, would be limited for sale to very established Omani customers. And, after that, nothing.)

Source: straightrazorplace.com

Source: straightrazorplace.com

It’s mystifying to me. Oman is a sovereign nation outside of the Emirates, and what it does at home under its own laws is completely separate from whatever its neighbors in the Gulf may choose to do. Oman has no laws on perfume regulation that I know of, and I’ve heard nothing to indicate that they are planning on following in their neighbor’s footsteps. So, why halt factory production of something that is already restricted to its own people and outside the jurisdiction of third-party regulation? My feeble hope is that this is a temporary issue while Amouage re-groups and decides what its future course of action may be.

However, if, by some miserable chance, this turns out to be a final decision, then I will be irate beyond belief. Not because of the attars themselves, but because of what all this symbolizes: that the EU’s insane neuroses have spread like an airborne Ebola virus to contaminate a whole other continent, one whose tradition of perfumery predates anything in Europe by at least a thousand years. There seems to be no escape from the bloody, sodding EU, their Quisling bedmate, IFRA, and their infection of the perfume industry. It’s all turning into some strange, twisted perfume version of Lebensraum: territorial expansion by dominion and the imposing of “superior” law to ensure the health of a certain group of people. That may be an unfair comparison, I grant you, especially given the loaded connotations of that term, but I’m not feeling particularly charitable or objective at this moment. I simply cannot believe that IFRA and the EU are impacting Middle Eastern perfumery.

The bastards.

[UPDATE: It turns out that the issue is one of insurance stemming from the new UAE law and its indirect incorporation of EU standards. At least, insurance is the explanation provided by Amouage’s Christopher Chong. You can read the details in my review for Homage attar.]

46 thoughts on “News: All Production of Amouage Attars Now Ceased Entirely?

  1. This is so depressing. I can’t quite get my mind around it. The EU is slowly, quietly doing insane things with regulation of seeds, too, which actually threatens the available amount of genetic diversity in crop plants, and I would have thought that if any place was not being steamrolled under their relentless influence it was the Middle East. Gack.

    • They seem to be regulating everything, no matter how big or how asinine and inconsequential. I read somewhere that they had some regulation on the shape of bananas, such that all the ones with a small knob (??), bump, or something had to be completely tossed away, resulting in incredible waste. Now, you bring up the seeds, which is obviously something of much greater significance. I don’t know when this madness will end, or even if it will. Every time I think I have resigned myself to the situation, something happens to make me angry all over again.

      • Most of us want some reasonable degree of rule of law, but there is madness of law just as surely as there is madness of chaos, and it may be harder to recognize and control because few people want to be seen as promoting anti-law.

  2. This is really upsetting, Kafka.
    Perhaps naively, I propose two simple solutions for the IFRA problem in general.
    1) In the case of Amouage, they ought to protect their non-IFRA production by labeling it products of prime cultural and historical importance/value. World heritage, almost!
    2) Why not divide the perfume industry into two: IFRA regulated and non-IFRA regulated. Label it clearly and let the people choose.

    • Labeling in general would be the simplest, most common-sense, logical solution to ALL of this. Not regulation, not the banning of any ingredients at all, but mere labeling to begin with. Unfortunately, we seem to have gone long past that point, at least for things like oakmoss, though perhaps the upcoming 2014 EU regulations for the other 11+ ingredients will rely on simple notification lists on bottles instead.

      The issue of classifying certain perfumes as World Heritage cultural treasures has been brought up in previous IFRA/EU posts or discussions, but I think it would be a difficult situation. Who would judge? By what criteria? How far does one go in terms of definitions and in terms of the perfumes that may qualify? It would be a headache.

      Basic labels solves all of that. If they can do it for cigarettes — a product that actually KILLS people, and a lot of them — then they could do it for perfumery quite easily. But noooooooo, God forbid the EU opt for the simple and practical when it can torture people with endless, nonsensical, bureaucratic micromanaging at a Nanny State level. Now, the madness is spreading to one of the very LAST places that you would think would care about Western ideas regarding perfumery.

      I hope you got your decants while you still could, my dear, especially the Tribute.

    • Let the people choose? How quaint! The people aren’t smart or responsible enough to know what’s in their best interest. That is best left to elites.

      Kidding aside, if only this cancerous notion were confined to ME perfumery!

      • You’re right. I completely agree. The philosophical implications are representative of a much larger (and troubling) trend as a whole.

    • This is all part of the new world order to keep people opressed and control over every sensory aspect of the human being. Check out Alan watt on youtube there lays the rabbit hole of information. From education to privacy to personal consumption everybody brace yourselves to fight back. Its going to be humanities bumpy ride we may be entering another human dark age

  3. In this sad situation, I guess my only hope is to go to perfumer’s who don’t follow IFRA. Is this the death of perfume? Or…the start of a rebellion?

    • I hope there is a rebellion, I really do.

      I wish I could say something more in response to you, but the issue of IFRA/EU perfume regulation has a tendency to make me so angry that calm, logical, unemotional thought is extremely difficult at times. Times like right now. 🙁

    • It *is* scary, in a way, because of how much it symbolizes the encroachment of Western neurosis on a proud culture that really is completely separate in their values and history — both in general and with regard to perfumery in specific. It makes one wonder where all of this is going to end, and what else is going to be impacted?

      All of this over regulations stemming from dubious and arguably unsound scientific tests, done in furtherance of the mere POSSIBILITY that a tiny 1%-3% of a population MIGHT perhaps, maybe, possibly, potentially derive allergies.

      It’s really quite unbelievable how far all of this has gone.

  4. I would classify this as a self-imposed form of cultural imperialism. Amouage appears to have decided to “assimilate” and appear to be “modern” by accepting the EU and IFRA’s standards. Of course, they would not publically state that, but that’s what it looks like to me. That’s tragic, as it goes way beyond perfume; people have thrown their own cultures under a bus many times before in order to assimilate/comply with the dominant culture. It is a cultural death, and should be mourned. It is not out of order for you to reference something from the Nazi period.

    • You understood exactly what I meant and was referencing, so thank you, Julie. It *is* cultural assimiliation.

      What is so frustrating in a way is that Amouage is uniquely placed to hold out, for all the reasons that I just wrote to Dubaiscents. Amouage is technically the Omani royal family’s own perfume house, and its creation was ordered by the Sultan himself back in 1983 or so. His son, a Prince whose name I now forget set the whole thing up. So, Amouage must be funded by the royal family’s rather unlimited, Petrodollar wealth. As a result, they would be quite capable of absorbing the financial cost of smaller production within Oman itself, especially as the attars could then become the most ultra-exclusive, prestige item of all.

      Even apart from all that, however, there is a symbolism here which you have noted yourself. But it’s especially bad when the symbolic meaning translates to the royal family indirectly abdicating control and submitting to Western standards. Even more so when those Western standards don’t even apply or have jurisdiction here, but the royal family is essentially throwing their long, proud Middle Eastern tradition to the wayside nonetheless! I mean, talk about bad PR on a symbolic basis!

      Putting aside the issue of symbolism, it is going to be interesting to see what lesser perfume houses do. What about the Saudi ones who sell in the UAE? I can’t see Arabian Oud succumbing for a variety of reasons, from the way the company seems to operate internally, to their vast number of fragrances (over 160 are mentioned on Fragrantica!). Reformulating all of them to be in compliance with upcoming UAE regulations would entail far, FAR more cost than Amouage reformulating a mere 25 or so attars.

      I wonder if some companies will wait to see what non-compliance penalties may be like before they decide to go through all the expense of reformulation? It will be interesting to see WHAT sort of restrictions the UAE adopts, and just how closely they mirror the current EU ceiling limits. If they adopt them entirely (which is the only thing that would make sense, given their goal of standardization for global competitiveness), then perfume companies like Arabian Oud would have to start reformulating right away in order to be ready on time.

      I suspect the ripple effects of the Emirates’ decision will be spreading out to Middle Eastern companies all across the region. I wonder what anti-Western Saudi groups will make of all that….

    • Exactly. I feel that Amouage have condoned cultural imperialism and the sad but not surprising fact (to me) is that they’ve made this decision based on the mighty dollar (or whatever monetary term they use there).

    • I bet even the bureaucrats in Brussels didn’t think they’d be copied quite so slavishly by a country quite so far away.

  5. I was speaking to the manager of the Dubai boutiques today and he said they are just as in the dark as the rest of us. Requests for clarifications from the factory go unanswered. They only must follow orders and remove ALL attars from the shelves for sale. Not even Tribute and Homage are safe. He didn’t want to speculate on why but, I think your explanation is about as good as we will get. And your outrage is completely justified. As you refer to it and Julesinrose so eloquently put its, this is “cultural imperialism” at its worst. A company based in the Middle East with roots in the ancient culture of perfumery is falling prey to European regulations that are controversial at best – it is abhorrent!

    As I have said on here before, the attars are better sellers in this part of the world than the regular perfumes because this is the culture. People wear oils not alcohol based perfumes. Maybe they still have choices in the numerous other local perfume houses but, it is so sad when a brand known to be the best of the best is lost to them and to all of us because of EU regulations!

    As for why they will not sell them in Oman when it is only the UAE planning to adapt the IFRA rules, I am sure it is purely business. Oman is by far not as large of a market as the UAE. Even if you combine all the other points of sale of the attars (the stores in the GCC – Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar) I am sure they do not do as much business as the four Amouage boutiques in the UAE do. Even the factory itself in Muscat never had as much selection as the UAE stores. And yes, I am sure some of the UAE business would move to the other stores as people search for new ways to buy but, still, the market would drastically shrink and we already know that Amouage had a problem regularly sourcing the materials required to make these – in smaller batches maybe they feel it is not worth it (profit wise) to even try.

    I keep hoping this is all some big joke and they will just magically come back…..

    Until then, I wholeheartedly agree – BASTARDS!!

    • I’m sure you’re right and that it was a business decision, but what puzzles me is that the analysis could easily go the other way. For all that there are economies of scale through larger production and wider distributorship, one could easily argue that there are two big reasons why Amouage could find it profitable to continue to create the attars even for the smaller Omani client base:

      1- They could sell it as a uniquely prestige item. Even if the four UAE stores sell more than all the rest combined, it wouldn’t matter for a prestige item that was only available in one place. Think of Serge Lutens’ bell jars that were, until just 2 years ago, sold only at the Paris flagship stores. It was certainly manageable for them. And what about Roja Dove’s super-expensive Roja perfume that costs $4,000? I’m sure not many of those are produced as compared to his regular line, but he does so for prestige reasons. Amouage could do the same, especially as demand is not flagging at all even amidst the newly narrowed clientele base that has been restricted just to established Omani customers.

      2. Amouage is pretty unique among companies, given the financial backing behind them. As you obviously know, they are the perfume house created and established by the royal family of Oman itself — which is not something many perfume brands can say! Plus, its perfumers are sometimes given a completely unlimited budget from which to work, showing that money is not the main objective at times. Given the wealth and Petrodollars behind them, I’m sure they could afford to take a small hit financially if the attars create cache by being an exclusive, prestige item. “Perfume of Kings” in more ways than one.

      So, in short, they are not necessarily subject to the same considerations as regular companies, and the small expense of reducing the scope of production would be far outweighed by other benefits, imo.

      Also, given that they are technically the perfume house of the Omani royal family, wouldn’t they want to assert their independence even more than if they were a Joe Schmoe corporate entity? There is a symbolism involved in all this that you, I, and Julie have all raised — and that symbolism doesn’t look so great when done by the ruling family of a country.

      • Ha! You’ve answered my response below too with this reply 🙂
        You make a good point – Amouage certainly seem more able than most to rise above the normal “not enough money available/not worth the risk” consideration. It would be a good opportunity to tread the truly exclusive path. However, that would certainly exclude a number of “regular” people – myself included – that couldn’t even begin to afford such high priced luxury items. Of course, that’s based on the assumption that prices for the product would increase in keeping with the new prestige. And how big is the market for the attars in Oman? Is it a relatively small but loyal customer base? How often do they buy?

        So assuming for a moment that the reasoning isn’t financial, then it appears to be political. And so we’re back to the caving to cultural imperialism topic raised earlier. This is particularly hard for me to swallow, given that Amouage isn’t run, as you say by a Joe Schmoe group. Its a ruling family of an entire nation for gawds sake! As I have said before in your other great posts tackling this subject, I continue to feel that here is a piece of the puzzle missing to which we mere mortals aren’t yet (and may never be) privy to.

        • However big or small the Oman market may be, Amouage can afford the small hit. The customer base may be smaller than Dubai, but you have to remember that the Amouage attars are THE single most popular item they put out. In the entire region. Dubaiscents has said elsewhere that they fly off the shelves and can’t be kept in stock long enough. That certainly seems to be true for Oman as well.

          If they do make the attars truly exclusive, yes, that would exclude regular people like you and I. That’s rather the whole point, judging by Roja Dove’s deliberate pricing. lol 🙂 However, Amouage wasn’t selling to people like us in Oman even when the new rules kicked in. They were selling only to established Omani clients.

          In fact, they turned away customers who came to buy in Oman after hearing the news of the possible restrictions. So, that shows that there is more than enough demand for their product. The attars are already directed to a luxury clientele who can’t get enough of it, and who have more than enough money to afford the attars at this price or at even a higher one. People certainly pay more for Roja Dove over there. The per capita disposable income over there is enormous, and my global sales post on the UAE market shows that the super luxury goods sell the most.

          If demand for the attars outweighed stock even in the good old days in Dubai, they won’t even have to raise prices by all that much. They can just keep current production levels and sell to people OTHER than the established, known Omani customers. They will have people flocking to Muscat from elsewhere to buy the attars, the same way people used to flock from all over the world to Serge Lutens’ Palais Royale headquarters to buy the bell jars there.

          But even if they did raise prices, even if they did still suffer some financial loss from losing the profitable UAE shops, so what? The prestige factor would outweigh it. And, again, it’s certainly not as though the Omani royal family couldn’t afford it. Can’t they see the symbolism involved in their decision? Surely they have PR firms to advise them on the large implications of their move?

          Perhaps they simply don’t care at this point, no matter what the symbolic optics look like, because it’s all become too much of a headache. If so, then that’s a bloody shame on a number of levels, especially as they’re setting a tone for other companies who may be looking to them for leadership or guidance. A bloody shame.

  6. I absolutely agree with Dubaiscents. I feel that the reason here is money (I always say “follow the money trail”) – and this was supported by the telling line: “ECAS shall identify locally manufactured product to be included in this Scheme to ensure the quality of these products so that these products can be competitive in the global market.” Amouage obviously wont be able to sell product as is, to anywhere that is under EU/IFRA mandate. This therefore limits them to: adjust to fit the regs so that they can continue to sell everywhere, or don’t adjust and just sell within those areas unaffected by the regs. If they *do* adjust to fit the regs then they run the risk of a marked decrease in sales – people want the attars because they are – well – attars and are made accordingly, no changes are welcome. If they don’t adjust and are therefore limited to sell within Oman, there might not be enough business to justify cost. I guess the question for me then, is – would it behoove Amouage to stay true to their “mission”, keeping the unbastardized formulas and only sell within Oman? Can that single market cover the losses of not selling outside of Oman? As it appears they are stopping production, it seems to be that they have decided no it wouldn’t. While its all very honorable to want to keep the original formulas, the bottom line is that it probably isn’t profitable to do so if limited to Oman.
    Of course, the VERY bottom bottom line is that if it wasn’t for the EU bastards, I wouldn’t be spending part of this very sunny Spring morning at my computer writing about such a debacle.

    • Well, I think Amouage is uniquely placed to absorb the costs, for all the reasons that I wrote to Dubaiscents. They simply aren’t like any regular company. In essence, they are the perfume branch or child of the royal family itself. Then, there is the whole prestige/exclusivity thing that has worked well for other companies, and which would serve Amouage just as well.

      So, I don’t think the “follow the money” rule applies to them in the way that it would for most other companies. But that’s just my personal assessment, and perhaps they don’t agree. 🙂 I know that, if I were in their shoes, I’d give someone two big fingers, straight up…. LOL

  7. The reason it does make sense to most of us thinking from a purely bottom line capitalist perspective is because this is about culture, not money. If it were simply about money, the company could explain their decision in a way that makes sense. There may be political reasons for this, too, that indeed we mere mortals are not privy to. And of course, it may simply be an irrational decision. People do that on a daily basis! Companies do, too.

    Additionally, I was having a chat with my dh midday about this topic but on a smaller scale. It is hard for those who are part of the dominant culture to understand how much one needs to “hide” one’s not belonging to said culture. Businesses and individuals will make decisions to cut off whatever it is that obviates the outsider status. Now that wearing attar is only “necessary” for the most fundamentalist of the Muslim faith, the Omani royal family may want to cease being associated with the production of it. They may not even see their decision for what it is. That is how powerful the push/pull of cultural assimilation/annihilation is. And again, it may be none of this (but it is surely an interesting topic).

    • Interesting. May I ask what makes you say that wearing an attar “is only ‘necessary’ for the most fundamentalist of the Muslim faith”? Yes, the Grand Imam of Dubai (?) or one of the neighboring countries came out in favour of perfume, including alcohol-based ones, but attars are such a traditional part of the culture as a whole that I personally don’t see the association with more political fundamentalist elements. Or, perhaps not a dominant association. Given the timing of events, I don’t think the religious concerns are likely to be driving things, or else the royal family may have disassociated itself long ago.

      Either way, I think both you and Sally are correct in guessing that there must be other factors at play, factors that we’re unlikely to ever learn or perhaps understand.

      Honestly, the whole thing become mentally exhausting at some point, like trying to stab at things in the dark. (Which, I know, is rather your point as well on one level.) 🙂

      • From what I understand it is only the most fundamentalist interpretation of Sharia law that prohibits the handling and wearing of products that contain alcohol. Because of this, moderate Muslims may want to distance themselves from that which is perceived as fundamentalist or non-modern. Whether or not that is an essential part of the culture is rendered irrelevant. This is merely speculation on my part, but we have seen this with other ethnic groups and religions; jettisoning culture in the name of modernism and assimilation.

        I happen to enjoy thinking about these matters. I also believe that we generally do not know why decisions such as this are made, and furthermore, I believe that often the decision makers do not understand the true nature of the decisions they have made. Humans are not entirely rational beings!

  8. I return to my earlier contention, on your last post on this subject, that we have something to offer the future. One day, as very old ladies and gentlemen indeed, we will dab our precious Opium and Panthere and Tribute on the wide-eyed perfumistas of the future and tell them “There was a time when you could wear things like this whenever you wanted to.”
    Will the next rule and reg be that you can’t wear banned materials in public, lest you molest the sensitivities of others? It presents an interesting problem in enforcement. I can see some hapless scent policeman leaning close to be sure we were wearing vintage Opium, closing his eyes, and just giving in…

    • God, let’s hope that perfumes aren’t subject to actual banning in public by governmental agencies. It’s bad enough that some apartment buildings have such rules. Offices, I can understand, but let’s hope it doesn’t extend to something greater and more official than that.

  9. I am afraid that FeralJasmine may be correct. There are many public spaces where I live in which there are signs that read “Fragrance Free Zone,” and the like. I have received emails from a number of organizations informing people that scent is not allowed in meetings or buildings or both. I would be unsurprised if New York City passed a regulation against perfume. They tried to ban smoking in public parks. I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke (at least right next to me) but I find this sort of thing ridiculous. It is also darned ignorant, as the same people who want these rules are wearing the most offensive smelling stuff, from their shampoo to what they wash and dry their clothes with. Additionally, many people, at least where I live, seem to still believe that “all natural” means it’s 100% okay, whereas something that has a commercial label is from the devil himself. Oh, I shouldn’t get started on this!

    • “Fragrance Free Zones” do seem to be the focal point of regulation in the U.S., but let’s hope it’s still just limited to organisations not actual government action. I suppose we should be grateful that the U.S. hasn’t decided to follow Brussels and regulate the ingredients of perfume. Yet….

  10. A few thoughts: I’m not sure if I’m reading an editorial or an actual news report… you’ve infused a lot of personal opinion and interpretation into what began as an informational story, so that by the end, you’re making many assumptions and throwing around extremely heavy words. I must take issue with your reference to Lebensraum – that involved displacement and murder of people – this is about perfume. The two are not even slightly comparable. It’s this kind of “journalism” that ends up being a discredit to perfume writing because it sensationalizes events as if there were some kind of political conspiracy.

    Whether or not Amouage is going to adhere to IFRA regulations is a matter of Amouage’s business decisions. Do you want them to make less profit? Then they can go their own way and stop selling in Europe.

    The world is not going to end because of perfume regulations. This is the capitalism that many of you have bought into by buying such lavishly expensive perfumes such as Amouage in the first place; you’ve participated in the capitalistic game. Amouage is out to make money. Why do you think they’d do anything differently?

    • I have no idea why you would think you’re reading journalism or an actual new report. You are on a blog, reading a blogger’s opinion of things. You’re not on CNN, Reuters, or the Wall St. Journal. I am a blogger who always gives my personal opinion of things. Period. And I have never once pretended to be a journalist.

      What the bureaucrats in Brussels are doing with regard to perfume regulation is considered by many to be outrageous. Given the support by IFRA — an organization funded by the large aromachemical companies in good measure — a lot of people do indeed think there is a perfume conspiracy, one that will benefit only the aromachemical giants. I don’t think the money trail is that clear, but others do. I’ve written quite a bit about the situation with the IFRA/EU perfume regulations, and the extent of the damage that they can cause, even in financial terms as in the case of the city of Grasse. http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2014/02/14/the-eu-proposes-to-act-on-perfume/

      Yes, the term Lebensraum is loaded. I said so myself, and explained that I was not feeling objective at the time of writing. Because, you know, this is not Reuters but a blog where I give my personal opinions. I find it incredibly amusing that you may have confused the two things.

      With regard to Amouage making money, it is my opinion that they could easily continue to make money selling the attars as a prestige, cache, ultra-exclusive item to their home-base clientele. As it is, the attars are the best sellers in the region and fly off the shelves. Why not keep making them, even if they are sold only in Oman? Serge Lutens sold his bell jars as exclusives to his Paris headquarters for years and years. Exclusivity isn’t harmful to the bottom line. Roja Dove sells some extremely high-priced perfumes in small quantities to add to the overall cache of his brand. The attars could be the same thing.

      The issue covered here was not whether or not Amouage would adhere to IFRA regulations, so your claim to that effect is a straw man. The issue was why cease production of an item not covered by IFRA-type regulations in Oman when the item in questions are so popular? The rest was my personal opinion of IFRA/EU-like regulations impacting perfumery outside of EU jurisdiction and in cases where it did not apply.

      No, the world will not end if the bureaucrats in Brussels regulate or destroy perfumes. It won’t end if people regulate what food you can eat, what your choices are with regard to cigarettes, coffee, or even free speech. The world won’t end if a lot of things are done. That doesn’t mean that one can’t be upset about regulations stemming from unsound scientific studies and issued without simpler, more logical alternatives for something that one loves. You are free not to find it worthy of anger. I am free to do the opposite. 🙂

      BTW, I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts, even if we don’t agree. And I do understand your issues with my heatedness. You have a definite point on that matter, but I’m afraid IFRA/EU perfume regulations are an incredibly sore subject with me. I hope you can understand and forgive that.

      • I would like to add to this that accusing you (or anyone else) of indulging in “conspiracy theories” has become the method of choice for minimizing anyone’s opinions. There are, in fact, conspiracies.

        The journalist Michael Parenti wrote at length about this, and I find it relevant (and worth sharing):

        “Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, . . . And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. . .

        Yet there are individuals who ask with patronising, incredulous smiles, do you really think that the people at the top have secret agendas, are aware of their larger interests, and talk to each other about them? To which I respond, why would they not?”

        So, who knows what Amouage is up to! They certainly do not want us to know.

    • this is the silliest comment I’ve read in a while…you must be quite naive to believe that ANY writing can be devoid of opinion ..and the fact that rare materials used in perfumes are at he heart of a luxury business…has quite frankly been around way before Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital. Try the Bible for one……what we are bemoaning is precisely the loss of ancestral connection to aromatics infused with historical and social value…by a bunch of lily livered bureaucrats with nothing better to do in Brussels.

  11. As it is, I spend way too much time bemoaning the fact that IFRA’s regulations have so altered the perfume industry that in order to smell “real” ingredients, we have to scramble to find drips and drops of vintage scents, knowing all the while that limited sources will some day run out. Now I can also forget about ever having an opportunity to smell an Amouage attar! The whole issue is just so sad and frustrating!
    Julesinrose, I was shocked to read that where you live, there are actually signs stating “Fragrance Free Zone”. Seriously??? What the hell? Does that mean your deodorant, shampoo, soaps, etc. must be unscented as well? And who will determine if your products are too highly-scented? As someone who has always loved to leave a nice, soft scent-trail behind, I feel that these restrictions then encroach on MY right to wear what I see fit!! How do we, as fragrance lovers, oppose such laws, regulations, and restrictions?

  12. Lexi, the people who get to decide where I live are simply the ones who are pissy enough to do so. There’s no laws yet, but the more of these signs that go up, the closer we get to having real laws. The local hospital and high school (including adult ed) and one arts center all have “official looking” signs that state they are a “fragrance free zone” along with their “tobacco free zone” signs. I know from talking to people at all these places that it’s about PERFUME, not perfumed products such as hair spray, shampoo, etc. Ignorant. How do we fight back? I have no idea. What do I do? Wear scent. Sometimes I get complaints but mostly I have people whisper to me “What are you wearing? It smells lovely!” and then they say they wouldn’t dare wear perfume or can’t because of “chemical sensitivities.” This is nonsense. I am sensitive to the wretched smell of Bounce dryer sheets and all the fruity horror shows that hair is washed with nowadays, but I don’t put up signs. Grrrr.

    • You know, I have noticed that in my Employee Handbooks from most recent employers there have been restrictions, from a straight up “no fragrance” dictate, to the last ” no over-application of, or strong perfumes”.
      As a direct-care nurse, I have only had one patient in 20 years who claimed she had “chemical sensitivities”, and we were restricted from wearing scent while administering care to her. Instead, like you, I have instead gotten complimented on how beautifully I smell ( I actually hope they don’t ask what I’m wearing, as I don’t like to divulge- I love to be the only one smelling of Alahine, or Coromandel!).
      I am also in agreement with you on the horrid selections of nasty, fruit-scented shampoos that seem to be so popular nowadays. I am repelled by some of them, yet feel it is up to each individual how they wish to smell.
      I’m taking a stand, and saying here and now, that I will ALWAYS wear perfume!! It performs so much more than just making one smell lovely; it calms the mind, elevates a dark mood, stimulates creativity, and becomes a large part of a person’s individual identity.
      The chemically-sensitive can just keep their distance!!! I second your Grrrr! 🙂

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  14. Finally catching up after a grueling two weeks – so all your blog posts have been sitting in my inbox, waiting for me to read them. This is very discouraging news. I thank my lucky stars I decided to buy samples of a bunch of the attars immediately before news broke that they were limiting them. I’m sure I’ll fall in love with at least *something* that is, at least for the moment, not available to me. But it’s better to have sniffed and loved than to never have sniffed at all. Also, the current unattainability of these attars allows me to feel better about spending an obscene sum on samples of them. 😀

    • Welcome back! You were sorely missed, and I will email you at the first chance I get.

      I’m glad you have your samples. They may be small quantities, but they’re practically worth gold at this point. LOL.

    • It’s really a government issue (EU), more than an organizational one (IFRA), but I share your overall feelings, Ruby. The problem seems to be that the perfume industry is split in terms of competing interests, so they can’t unite against the EU bureaucrats. This whole thing has gotten way out of control, and no-one seems to be strong enough to stop it unfortunately. IFRA should be the voice of the perfume houses and of perfume lovers, they should be the ones to stand up against the EU, but they are being funded by the aromachemical giants, so….

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