Our post today was researched and written by FIDM Museum Registrar, Meghan Grossman Hansen!
In the Least Likely of Places: Discovering Counterfeit Chanel No. 5 in a Museum Collection
“Bathtub Perfume Traps Pool Shark”1
“Pair Arrested in Sale of 11c Perfume for $15”2
These are just a few headlines that tell us about the rampant problem of piracy in the perfume industry, a criminal activity that is prevalent in any field in which luxury goods are involved. For an example of the legal battles that can ensue from the selling of pirated fashions, check out this New York Times blog post. Though Chanel’s fragrances were not the only French perfumes targeted by counterfeiters, Chanel No. 5 consistently turns up in smuggling arrests, counterfeit busts, and consumer warnings about cheap perfume scams. Chanel No. 5 has a cachet that everyone wants, but where does this reputation come from?