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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Chanel Develops Durable, Low-Cost Perfume For Third World

PARIS—Fashion house and perfumer Chanel, famed for its iconic, $300-an-ounce No. 5 scent, announced that it has created a cost-efficient fragrance for the Third World, one specifically designed for the rigors of dry, dusty, less glamorous environments in the Southern Hemisphere.

Chanel #3"Smelling positively bewitching should be the right of everyone, not just a privileged few," said Chanel CEO Maureen Chiquet at the gala launch for the new scent, Chanel 3rd, in Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou Monday. "It is our hope and belief that this new fragrance will bring much-needed panache to the Third World."

Chiquet said 3rd marks Chanel's first-ever attempt to appeal to a low- or no-income consumer market, and is part of the fashion world's desire to "give something back" to developing countries that have offered much in the way of photo-shoot locales and labor outsourcing. After six years of trial and error, Chanel's 17-member development team was able to bring the perfume's cost down to a more affordable $100-an-ounce.

"That we were able to pull it off for a price that is, by fashion-industry standards, nearly free, is a testament to what we can do for the less fortunate when we really want to," said Chiquet, who expects 3rd to be popular among consumers "from Nigerian shanty towns to Bangladeshi floodplain villages." "I can't express how humbling this whole project has been for us."

As for 3rd's scent, Chanel wanted something "clean, youthful, and beguiling," said Chanel chemist Robert Geneau, adding that organically musky, smoky, and earthy tones had been rejected because the scent's intended users most likely had too much musk, earth, and smoke in their lives already. "3rd has a bright, grassy base, like a fresh breeze after a rain—a very exotic scent for our target customer. There are also notes of cocoa, citrus, spices, and other things our customer sometimes raises and harvests for foreign export, but rarely gets to savor herself. Captivating, and for a fraction of the cost of high-end scents available in the West, 3rd is just the economic miracle developing nations need."

The Onion

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