- Title: Harvest for star flower of Chanel's No. 5 as it celebrates centenary
- Date: 27th August 2021
- Summary: PEGOMAS, FRANCE (AUGUST 26, 2021) (REUTERS) WORKER HARVESTING JASMINE FLOWERS WORKERS HARVESTING FLOWERS JASMINE FLOWERS WORKER HARVESTING JASMINE FLOWERS, PUTTING THEM IN BASKET BASKET FILLED WITH JASMINE FLOWERS CHANEL'S HEAD PERFUMER, OLIVIER POLGE, WALKING IN FLOWER FIELD, PICKING A FLOWER AND SMELLING IT JASMINE FLOWERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) HEAD PERFUMER AT CHANEL, OLIVIER POLGE, SAYING: "The jasmine of Grasse is probably the most important ingredient of (Chanel's perfume) 'No 5'. It is an ingredient that we've had to work hard for since there was a time when it was under threat because jasmine production was starting to move to other countries, probably due to real estate pressure and the evolution of society in general. But that's how in the 1980s we got the idea at Chanel to join forces with the farming family to ensure the quantity and the continuity of the quality of the jasmine." VARIOUS OF WORKER HARVESTING JASMINE FLOWER (SOUNDBITE) (French) HEAD PERFUMER AT CHANEL, OLIVIER POLGE, SAYING: POLGE: "For sure, it was a pretty peculiar year, but in many ways, it was the same for me as for everyone - even though I'm a 'nose' (perfumer), we all tried not to get it (COVID-19)." JOURNALIST: "Did you made special arrangements for your teams during this period?" POLGE: "We made the same arrangements as everyone, with the aim of being as careful as possible, at work and with improved hygiene conditions in the office." VARIOUS OF WORKERS HARVESTING JASMINE CROPS LITTLE TRAIN TRANSPORTING WORKERS WORKERS GETTING OUT OF TRAIN WITH FILLED BASKETS VARIOUS OF WORKERS WEIGHING JASMINE FLOWERS WORKERS TAKING BOXES WITH JASMINE FLOWERS OUT OF VAN, TAKING THEM INSIDE BOXES WITH FLOWERS GOING UP ASSEMBLY LINE WORKERS EMPTYING BOXES WITH FLOWERS INTO VAT WORKER STIRRING FLOWERS IN COOKING VESSEL WORKERS CLOSING VAT BOTTLES OF CHANEL'S NO. 5 POLGE APPROACHING BOTTLES OF PERFUME, SMELLING CHANEL'S NO. 5 POLGE SMELLING CHANEL'S NO. 5 BOTTLES OF CHANEL'S NO. 5
- Embargoed: 10th September 2021 11:48
- Keywords: COVID-19 Chanel Coco Chanel Grasse Mul Olivier Polge Riviera jasmine luxury number 5
- Location: PEGOMAS, FRANCE
- City: PEGOMAS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Fashion
- Reuters ID: LVA001ES21MXL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wearing wide-brimmed hats to shield them from the Mediterranean sun, dozens of pickers are hand harvesting jasmine flowers, the key ingredient in Chanel's No. 5 perfume which this year is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The fragrance, created by the fashion giant's founder Coco Chanel in 1921 and popularised by stars such as Marilyn Monroe, includes dozens of scents but the most important, according to head perfumer Olivier Polge, is the flowers harvested near the southern French town of Grasse.
Chanel struck a deal with the local Mul family in the late 1980s to anchor its production of five flowers in the region. Some local producers had begun selling their land at the time, in a region just inland from prized French Riviera resorts like Cannes.
Now to secure it in the future, the firm has bought up an extra 10 hectares (100,000 square metres) of land, adding to the 20 hectares it already exploits in partnership with the Muls.
The jasmine grown in Grasse has a specific scent. The region became a flower and fragrance hub in the 17th century, when local leather tanners began to perfume their wares.
Fabrice Bianchi, who runs the Mul family's production, said operations were not overly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with pickers able to work outside. The virus causes some sufferers to close their sense of taste and smell - a particular problem for perfumers, known as "noses" in the business.
"For sure, it was a pretty peculiar year, but in many ways, it was the same for me as for everyone - even though I'm a 'nose' (perfumer), we all tried not to get it (COVID-19)," Polge told Reuters.
(Production: Eric Gaillard, Bart Biesemans, Johnny Cotton)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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