CHANEL threatens to leave Provence over high-speed rail plans

Chanel has threatened to abandon the historic Provence site where it grows flowers for its No 5 scent if a high-speed rail line crossing its fields goes ahead.

The luxury goods houses says it will leave Grasse, dubbed the perfume capital of the world, unless plans are dropped to drive a TGV line through the fields of jasmine and May roses required to make the world’s most famous scent.

Every 30-militre bottle of No 5 contains 1,000 jasmine flowers and a dozen May roses grown close to its perfumery in Grasse.

Chanel settled in this corner of Provence famed for its lavender fields and wild flower-strewn hillsides around 30 years ago, entering into a partnership with the local Mul family. Today it grows 12 hectares (30 acres) of flowers. It chose the Grasse area due to the “unique and exception quality of the flowers harvested there that are indispensible to the creation of Chanel perfumes,” it insisted.

A public consultation process on the final route is due to end this month, after which the transport ministry will have the final say.

Chanel No5 L’Eau