I am concerned with the importance of knowing the ingredients and who/what is effected in the making of products. Focusing on perfume- a luxury, object of desire, and re-inventing it to reveal the reality behind the cruelty of producing it. Using the iconic Chanel bottle as an example for countless perfumes that use animals in the production. The animals harmed in the perfume industry include the civet cat, the castor beaver, the sperm whale and the musk deer.
African civet cats are kept in cages for up to 15 years after being captured from the wild. Every 10 days the musk from the anal glands of the conscious civet is brutally scraped out.
The more stressed the civet is the more musk it secretes, so farmers make sure the animals are in a high state of stress.
European Castor Beavers are trapped and killed to obtain their scent. The musk comes from from their genital sacs which is filled with thick paste. The leathery emission, called castoreum, is used a base/fixative in perfume.
Ambergris is a wax-like, solid substance from the digestive system of sickened sperm whales. It is often called the ‘Gold of the Sea’ as it is highly valuable. Because of its worth some studies have estimated that most ambergris currently being sold is from slaughtered whales.
Musk deer are hunted ad killed for their musk pods. Found in a scrotum-like sac in front of the penis of the male deer. However both male and female deer are indiscriminately killed in the hunt. the fragrance can be used on its own or as a fixative. Because of its sweet, aromatic intensity and longevity many species of the musk deer are near extinction.