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February 23, 2007

Opposition to IFRA 40th Amendment Heats Up

Tony Burfield has an excellent and well-formed front page column on Basenotes expanding upon the IFRA situation.   He portrays a disdainful emerging "plantation mentality" when it comes to the lack of respect for individual perfumers themselves in the ever-expanding megacorp environment of the mainstream perfume industry and the aloof disconnect between those at the top and everyone beneath.  Such human rights recidivism may not quite move us back to the era of French colonialism in the early 1900's that brought us the insensitive representation of Africans in Vigne's Golli-Wogg perfume bottle (click on thumbnail) designed by Michel de Brunhoff in 1920, whose inspiration came from the books "The Adventures of Two Dutch DollsAfrican_perfume_bottle_1920  and a Golliwogg" and "The Golliwog in the African Jungle", by Florence Upton based upon her experiences with a rag doll that she played with as a child in New York.  Racism in perfumery at that time was also depicted in a glass Mandarin figurine bottle designed by C.K.Benda for Bryenne's Chu Chin Chow released in 1918, which presents a jaundiced Westernized view of a different culture, complete with a 'decapitated' version when the lid is removed.  In the 21st Century, most of us would find this blatant racism distasteful to the extreme.  So, now, in modern time, has classism replaced racism?  Or are they both alive and well and we're so saturated with consumerism that most of us have lost touch with reality?  The battles between human rights organizations and corporate conglomerates and intrusive governments are ubiquitous today; one can hardly fathom the rapidly changing and ever-expansive restrictive environments that drown out the voices of the people, especially because of the loss of an independent media.

The IFRA 40th Amendment controversy may seem to not carry the weight of more overwhelming issues such as AIDS and world hunger, hurricanes and floods, but it is another ka-ching in favor of big business stealing all the marbles and denying access to the game by the artisan perfumer and indie natural cosmetic products maker.

Justice Douglas once said, "Power only concedes power when demanded."  With globalization, the corporate power seems more ominous than ever.  So what, the population has grown also; there are more of us, too.  People, that is. Real folks who need to stop behaving like the automatons these corporations would like us to be.  In the weeks to come, we at Aromaconnection will put forth energy to gather action and momentum to support Cropwatch's huge (but no doubt sometimes lonely) efforts to speak truth to power for all of us.

Posted by Blogmistress on February 23, 2007 in Organizations, Perfumery, Regulatory Issues | Permalink


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