When the story first broke that the National Toxic Encephalopathy Foundation (NTEF; Las Vegas, NV) was petitioning the US Food and Drug Administration to reclassify Clarins' (Paris, France) Angel Parfum as a drug due to its coumarin content, Perfumer & Flavorist magazine was initially hesitant to give traction to such a strange and marginal action. However, since other trade publications have picked up the story, we feel compelled to comment.
Angel Parfum, which has been on the market for 15 years, is just the latest target in the NTEF's long-running campaign against Clarins. The roots of such a narrow fixation are certainly curious: the NTEF site includes at least nine anti-Clarins news items, including one dubious item (link broken) that appears to draw a connection between the company's fragrances and London terrorists. The fever-pitch alarmism doesn't stop there. In its official press release, Nina Immers, a medical and legal consultant at Vanzer LLC, is quoted as saying, "I have to believe after the 911 incident and all the political events, which have transpired since that time, that the FDA will enforce our rules and standards swiftly. The FDA simply cannot let foreign entities disobey their guidelines without losing both face and authority."
Is Angel truly comparable in any way to the terror attacks on the United States? Can anyone legitimately make the comparison between the marketing of a successful (and apparently safe) fragrance and the war on terrorism? Of course not.