For the next two weeks, we'll be featuring posts from our extensive blog archives. Today's post was written by Meghan Hansen, FIDM Museum Registrar, in 2009. In this post, she dives into our fragrance archive with an investigation into a counterfeit Chanel No. 5 box and bottle.
“Bathtub Perfume Traps Pool Shark”1 “Pair Arrested in Sale of 11c Perfume for $15”2
These headlines suggest the rampant problem of piracy in the perfume industry, a criminal activity 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?