Provencal Protest in the Lavender Fields

Finally, French farmers have had enough with EU regulations, and have taken to the fields to protest the discriminatory European regulations that are due to come into effect in 2018. If we sit around and let the EU bureaucrats continue ruining perfume's historic and cultural uses and heritages, the beautiful lavender fields that are an iconic site in Provence will be no more. In addition, traditional herbalism and aromatherapy are also going to hurt as a result, if the fragrance industry's demand for lavender will tumble down. Article and image via AP.

"Lavender has been used for thousands of years," said  Francis Vidal, honorary president of APAL, an organization of lavender essential oil producers. "We never heard of any serious problems. Instead, we know that lavender oil helped save tens of thousands human lives."

How can a plant that saved and healed thousands of lives can now be considered a "chemical hazard" and require red & black warning labels by 2018? EU regulators got their priorities backwards. And their facts. As long as they have their little bureaucratic jobs, they will keep the lives of growers, distillers, aromatherapists, manufacturers, perfumers and consumers a s difficult as possible.
I'm sure it makes them feel self-importance and worthy. But this has got to stop. Southern France will not be the same without lavender, and neither will the rest of the world!!!

Please share widely, and support the Provencal lavender farmers!

GMO Perfume, Anyone?

It's no secret that I oppose GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) technology. The notion of consuming vegetables with lethal viruses and pesticides built-in to their DNA is not only non-appetizing to me, but also has taken a toll on the environment that we are only now beginning to see (the alarming rates of honeybee deaths, for instance).

With a technology that is defined as "Synthetic Biology", scientists in large phramaceutical firms are interfering with natural yeast fermentation by injecting it with DNA that will convince it to turn organic matter into molecules otherwise occurring in precious spices such as vanilla, saffron and cinnamon does not excite me either. It's a process similar to beer fermentation - but produces various molecules instead of ethanol (the grain alcohol found in beer).

There is much that we don't know about the world of fungi, and it's role in this earth's ecology and it cringes me to think how our planet's health could be further compromised. Not to mention its implication on growing true spices in (mostly poor) countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and many more than I can even list here. And it will affect many farmers, perfumery raw material growers, and distillers. In Madagascar alone there are 80,000 vanilla farmers, poor and honest people that tediously hand-fertilize their orchids and provide us with real vanilla beans. We might just have to forget about vanilla beans, and those farmers will just have to support their families by digging cassava roots from the ground. 

"The advent of synthetic biology raises thorny economic and regulatory issues, such as whether such yeast-made ingredients can be called natural and whether developing countries dependent on these crops will be hurt".

Science has become a greed-driven industry that releases its Frankenstein into the wild way too soon.
Let's just follow our greed, and find out about the consequences are later. I'm certain that the solutions to the problems that will arise will be bring a steady flow of cash to those who created these problems in the first place.

What To Wear on Elections Day?

It’s Elections Day in Canada, and while some Canadians are having hard time deciding between this political parties and candidates to represent their district; others are faced with far more important and ilfe-changing decisions that can affect great issues such as the environment, health, beauty, mood and self-esteem: what perfume to wear today?

Obviously, your fragrance choice for today should reflect your political views. You want to project a presence that stands in line with all your other values and your party’s vision for a better future for your country. Here are a few ideas of how you can decide on the right fragrance for you, based entirely on politics:

As the name implies, wear something that is classic and tame, continuing the party’s traditions from the early 1950’s. At the same time, this gives you the freedom to wear perfumes with rare animal ingredients. The most traditional being castoreum from local Canadian beavers who’ve been slaughtered and skinned in the process, giving the Crown a lot of gold. Stick to perfumes with uncontroversial names such as Knize Ten or dab of Shalimar perfume and stay away from Cuir de Russie. No. 5 is another classic exploiting the civet cat this time and best worn with a suit and a set of gigantic false freshwater pearls bought from the tourist stores on Robsonstrasse. If you don’t have one yet, pick one up on the way to the polls.

This one was the toughest to pair perfumes with. In fact, I’m still not convinced I have it right yet. All I could come up with is something to do with their proposed carbon tax. So I researched a little and very quickly learned that there is a perfume called Carbon, which I know nothing about, and also one from Weil called Carbonique. I was disappointed there is no perfume with the word CO2 in it, but I’m sure someone clever will eventually do it. The Canadian Liberal Party also really thinks of itself as a leader, so maybe First by Van Cleef & Arpels is a good choice. Alternatively, you may smother every other voters at the polls with a fragrance that most resembles the Liberal party’s leader last name – Celine Dion.

New Democrats
Whatever it is that you’re wearing, make sure it’s cheap. It just doesn’t make sense to be spending money on perfume when you can spend it on so many more important things such as Pharmacare, affordable housing, ensuring fair wages for the blue collar workers, etc. Stick to drugstore fragrances and anything on clearance. Or just wear Democracy. I’ll put it on clearance just for you!

If you are just in a transition into green life, wear Vent Vert or anyting else from the green family. If you are already well into it, wear an aromatherapy perfume from Whole Foods, Utopia by Rich Hippe or get their own organic custom made perfume from one of the indie natural perfumers (depending on what you can afford, of course).
By the way, the Canadian Green Party even has an American-Apparelesque online store
with buttons, bags, T-shirts and other useful items. Too bad they overlooked a green organic perfume for the party, preferably packaged in empty, wildcrafted acorn shells.

If you don’t have a clue what they stand for that’s ok, I didn't even know they exist until today. Apparently, they are really big on property rights, personal responsibility and liberty. Therefore, I would recommend you make sure whatever perfume it is you are wearing is actually YOURS. To be sure of it, you might as well just blend it yourself, right?
Alternatively, you may go with Mon Parfum (Palom Picasso), Ma Griffe (Carven), My Sin (Lanvin), or Just Me (Paris Hilton).

This is where wearing Cuir de Russie might actually be okay. At the same time, you might be confused for a conservative – a great way to fool them all while promoting the Revolution! Alternatively, wear something red: Red Door, Red Delicious, Red Jeans or anything that has the word “Red” in it really. For the more burguoise supporters, look up anything that mentions “Rouge”: Habit Rouge, l'Herbe Rouge, Geisha Rouge, Chypre Rouge, etc.… And if you want to be less literal how about one of those avant-guard scents from the Commes de Garcons Red Series?

And lastly, of course I don’t care what you vote for and am not by any means trying to influence your decision - I just thought just make sure you wear the right perfume today ;) And of course I couldn't resist the opportunity to inject some humour into this blog. So I hope this will be taken as lightly as it was intended. At the same time, I hope that the American voters are going to be able to take some of those ideas and implement fragrant voting when the critical day arrives in the USA.

Oh, and by the way, unlike Americans, who need to register to vote well ahead, Canadians are fortunate as they can excercise their democratic right on the spur-of-the-moment (as long as you make it to the correct polling place): if you are a Canadian citizen, you may register to vote AND vote at the same time, right-on-the-spot at the polls, as long as you have your proper ID’s and proof or residence (i.e.: utility bills addressed to you). Pretty easy, really.

You have till 7pm tonight to vote in most places - so please vote :)

Hope, Victory and Passion

Is it possible that Lee Myung-Bak victory in the presidential elections for South Korea rely on perfume?
Reuters reports that a custom scent named "Great Korea" was secretly spread in the crowd around Lee Myung-Bak during his election campaign, with the sole purpose to remind the voters of the same scent later near the ballots of the same fragrance (secretly, of course).

Thankfully, Canadians need not to fear of such electorial manipulation in their vast country; their capital city Ottawa is one of the leading cities in the world for anti-scent legislation. If you ever wondered why, you got your answer now.

Image of Grenuille's charismatic concour with fragrance ruling the crowds in the movie "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" - courtesy of imdb.com
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