May 3, 2014 : 1st International Perfume Heritage Day

Lavender ribbon

We need a day!  I mean… we need OUR OWN DAY to celebrate (and perhaps mourn) perfume heritage.

We need to mobilize… all of us… perfume bloggers from around the world and perfume enthusiasts and perfume lovers.  We need to spread the word to the general population that their beloved perfumes are being reformulated because a mere 1-3% of the population are presenting with minor, benign and temporary skin allergies!  And we need to send a message to perfume manufacturers that we are aware that they are changing the formulas and if they change them too much, we’ll stop buying their zombie products.

And you know… all these reformulations are so needless!  All perfume companies have to do is state on the bottle that the perfume may cause minor skin irritation in some people like any benign household cleaner on the market shelf today!

There is so much at stake here, not the least is perfume heritage… our great world tradition of creating perfume that hovers brilliantly between art and craft and has brought such joy to millions of lives.  In the United States alone somewhere between 150 and 200 people die EACH YEAR due to food allergies and there is NOT ONE documented case in the world of death by Chanel No. 5!

So… this is what I suggest.  We proclaim May 3rd to be International Perfume Heritage Day (or “La Journée Internationale du Parfum” in French).  The idea is for all of us to use this day to make people around us aware of what is happening to our perfumes.  How do we do this?  By wearing our favourite perfume on a lavender ribbon that is turned upwards as in the image above.  The upward ends represent the petals of a flower and the downward teardrop represents a drop of distilled oil.

When people ask me on that day, “What are you wearing?” I intend to answer, “Madam.  I am wearing BEAUTY which has suddenly become AN ENDANGERED SPECIES!!!”

Perfume houses should be encouraged to restore at least one of their classic creations and launch the restoration on May 3rd of every year… a special edition with all the oakmoss, jasmine absolute and rose oils in the original formula.  Call it whatever… vintage, original, classique.  State on the box that certain people might be allergic or simply state “Spray on fabric, not on skin”.  Charge what you want for it… perfume lovers will buy it anyway.

And why May 3rd?  Because it’s François Coty’s birthday… the man I consider to be the greatest perfumer of modern times.  And this May 3rd will mark the 140th anniversary of Coty’s birth.

So… Happy International Perfume Heritage Day Everyone!

P.S. Spread the word… and please provide any feedback.  I am very open to making this idea a better one.


Leave a comment


  1. mario

     /  February 27, 2014

    I am with you on that, Normand! I am really disappointed with all these reformulations. Egoiste and Fahrenheit are now just a shadow of what they used to be. I think that the perfume companies are doing weaker perfumes, so we spray more, or buy the associated products (deodorant, aftershave etc,,,).. I’ll wear the ribbon on May 3rd!

  2. Teodora

     /  February 28, 2014

    Brilliant idea!

  3. Consider me mobilized for May 3rd. Nice choice of date and I love the ‘wearing an endangered species’ as I seldom wear my mink lapeled leather jacket these days. But I am brave enough to rock endangered species perfume. It seems there will be ingredient labeling of allergens as per the recent post on Grain de Musc. I will review my favorite ‘fume on May 3rd. It will be a hagiography!

  4. I love your idea!
    I certainly hope it catches.
    Now, I just need to figure out how to make that ribbon. 🙂

  5. Bravo! Très original! Je suis d’accord. Tu devrais prendre une sabbatique et réaliser ce projet.

  6. Great day! And ever better date! symbolic

  1. Sign the petition : Save Perfume’s Soul | The Perfume Chronicles

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