Chanel wants to safeguard the flower crops used in its best-selling perfumes. Therefore, it has bought up more land in southern France to protect its supplies of jasmine and other varieties.
The fashion and beauty firm said in a media release that it had bought up an extra 10 hectares (100,000 square metres) of land.
It is an addition to the previous 20 hectares that the company already feats in partnership with a local family near the town of Grasse. The town is known for its surrounding flower fields.
One sunny August morning numerous workers were busy with this year’s jasmine harvest.
Jasmine is the key ingredient of Chanel’s 100-year-old No.5 perfume, created by late designer Coco Chanel.
In the late 1980s, Chanel and the Mul family struck a deal to anchor its production of five flowers in the region. At that time some local producers started selling their land due to favourable property deals.
These local producers shifted to the region close to Nice and the French Riviera.
“There was a time when there was a threat because jasmine production was starting to move to other countries,” said Olivier Polge, Chanel’s head perfumer.
The jasmine grown in Grasse has an explicit scent. Hence it became a flower and fragrance hub in the 17th century when local leather tanners began to perfume their products.
The Mul family’s production is handled by Fabrice Bianchi. According to him operations were not very affected by the covid-19 pandemic, with pickers able to work outside.
Due to the pandemic, the sufferers lost their sense of taste and smell. This particular problem is known as “noses” in the perfume business.
“For sure, it was a pretty peculiar year,” Polge told Reuters. “But in many ways, it was the same for me as for everyone, even though I’m a nose – we all tried not to get it.”
Chanel’s total revenue in June was $10.1 billion, down 18% on a comparable and constant currency basis. The company said in a statement that the operating profit declined 41% to $2.05 billion.
Chanel “delivered a resilient financial performance in what was a very challenging period,” chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux gave a statement.
It also said its capital expenditures amounted to $1.12 billion last year, a record, confirming its “confidence in the future.”