Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Hippie Shit, Chanel's Flower Fields, & Eau de Extinction

This Week in Fragrance: Hippie Shit, Chanel's Flower Fields, & Eau de Extinction

12/06/16 17:15:05 (7 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Hayley Fitzpatrick at explained that Chanel's flower fields are being threatened by modern transportation:

Chanel No. 5 is one of the most well-known and best-selling fragrances in the world, but the production of a 6.7-billion euro ($7 billion) high-speed rail line — the train à grande vitesse — in the South of France could put the iconic scent at risk. The luxury French fashion house believes its field of jasmine flowers and May roses in Grasse, which are used in every 30-milliliter bottle of the scent, will be affected by the rail production. “The construction of a viaduct and the regular passage of high-speed trains over these fields of flowers would force Chanel to cease supporting its artisanal activities in the region,” the retailer said in a letter.

Chanel has proposed alternative plans in support of the project and it remains to be seen what will happen next. Surely a compromise will be made. Personally, I think Chanel should consider opening some of its fields and offering tours on the fragrance creation process. Would you take a Chanel tour of Grasse and perfume-making?


And now for the best name of a fragrance, 2016....drum roll please:

Los Angeles-based marijuana lifestyle label and retailer Mister Green has dipped its toe into the fragrance market with a perfume called “Hippie Shit.”  The fragrance is inspired by the smell of burnt Palo Santo, a wild tree native to Central and South America which is said to be spiritually purifying. Meaning “holy wood” in English, Palo Santo is burned during ceremonies and shamanic rituals, with redolent notes of neroli, wood, smoke, and leather all perceivable.

Graeme Campbell at also adds that a candle and body soap will follow as ancillary products. What other enticingly named fragrances can you think of?

Mr. Green's Hippie Shit Fragrance

Monique Brouillette at reports this week that we could soon wear fragrance derived from plants that have gone extinct:

“We will not bring back the plant, but we hope that by experiencing the scent of the flower that went extinct, people will get a greater appreciation for plants that are lost,” says Christina Agapakis, creative director at Ginkgo. They selected samples of a dozen species that have gone extinct in the last two centuries, including a Hawaiian hibiscus and Nesiota elliptica, a flowering olive bush native to the island of St. Helena’s in the South Atlantic, which disappeared from the wild in 1994 and went extinct in 2003.

Wow! I would definitely be curious to sniff this but imagine that the price tag will be quite hefty. Still, what an intriguing idea! What kinds of extinct or rare plants would you most be interested in smelling?

Ginkgo Bioworks scent strips in glass beaker

Danielle Pergament of offers an interesting reflection on the challenge of finding a signature scent...and perhaps refusing to settle on just one:

They call it a signature scent, and I’ll be damned if I couldn’t pick one. I wanted a signature anything. I wanted to define myself in an increasingly undefinable world. Anytime someone says, “That’s so you,” it feels good. I wanted something that was so me. Problem is: The more I tried, the more confused I became. Could I be Tom Ford Oud Fleur, who smelled like dark alleys and hot, porn-y sex? Or was the real me freshly scrubbed Kai, who brought sweetness and optimism into the room? What if I was Prada Fleur d’Oranger, who was nerdy but in a superchic Italian way?

What are your thoughts about the signature scent? Even though I don't have one, I do have a few that feel more "me" than others...they're my go-tos. But never could I have just one. How about you? Oh, and when you're finished reading Danielle's article, check out the fun "Smell My Neck" video series playing at the bottom of the page.

Woman fragrance shopping

While we're on the topic, has a great article this week titled "My Scent CV"

Scent is one of the most powerful and evocative triggers of memory, whether it’s your mother’s perfume, an aroma that takes your right back to a family holiday or the fragrance you wore to close a crucial deal. From success to sadness, a particular scent can bring you right back to a particular moment in time, and life’s landmarks are often punctuated by the perfumes we choose to wear. From graduations to job interviews to falling in love (and setting the scene for vital days off), here are the fragrances that mark personal milestones for three compelling business women and beauty insiders…

These women have enjoyed a great group of scents and I even found one scent I had never heard of before (!!!!). What might your own fragrance c.v. look like?

Black and white illustration of perfume bottles


Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.


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Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting


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If any of you have ever been to the south of France you'd know how beautiful the region is, and how absolutely terrible is the train system. To get t Grasse alone, you have to change two trains and get a bus that only comes a few times a day. It's not easy at best.

It would be a real pity to lose the iconic Chanel fields to urbanization. But unlike those fields, the train line will make lives of many people of the region better in a very tangible way. Chanel can probably keep small bits of land to preserve their "heritage" and, just like @intredite mentioned - maybe offer tours?


We all already have perfume CVs! Our Fragrantica profiles!

And totally agree with @interdite. I'm super sad for the farmers in Grasse who's livelihoods are being threatened but really jasmine and may roses are produced in many other places and I'd love to see a double blind test to see if anyone, including world-famous noses and rose/jasmine farmers can tell the difference between a jasmine or rose de mai from Grasse and a jasmine or rose de mai from anywhere else. (Of the exact same species of course and while we're at it, we can try different species too.)

And anyway jasmines are itty-bitty little flowers. 8,000 isn't really anything.


@interdite preach!!


thanks again for an interesting is appreciated.


Ahh! Who can pass up such a headline, not to mention the fragrance that inspired it? :-) I bet it smells fantastic!


To anyone who knows about natural oils, absolutes, plant extracts, enfleurage, etc. it is a well known fact that the amount of real plant essences used in commercial, mass-produced perfumes is so infinitesimal that they might as well stop doing it altogether. Chanel, I'm looking at you with your claims of jasmine absolute and rose oils in every bottle. Give us a break.

A bit of science:

"A 30mL bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume contains 1,000 jasmine flowers and 12 May roses [...]"

Doesn't that sound like a lot? Yeah, at first.

But as far as plant extracts go, it comes down to not much since it takes 8,000 jasmine flowers to yield just one gram of the oil. It also takes 1600 roses to yield 1g of rose oil. Just imagine how little rose you are truly getting with TWELVE ROSES. What a gimmick. And essential oils are relatively heavy. One gram is very little of it.

This must come as a relief for them as they will now be able to stop using expensive materials and just go the all-synthetic route. "It's out of their control". *Eye roll*

Call me bitter, but I'm sick of these gimmicks that make true all-natural perfumers look like they are overcharging for their truly vaulable scents.

(This is only my opinion regarding natural extracts in perfumes, not an opinion on the impact of the new train on the social or environmental levels)


Omg Hippie Shit is so up my alley, must try!!!


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