It would seem the brand's official line is that they're way ahead of the legislators. They've come up with a new variation of a moss material (pictured above) which, according to them, will satisfy both No 5 fans and the anti-allergen lobby. The substance - which they're simply calling 'reconstructed moss' - has been created using the sort of wizardry with which many regular perfume-blog readers will be familiar: the offending molecules in the natural ingredient were identified, removed and replaced with safe components.
I was able to smell the stuff, both on a blotter and on my skin. I confess I found its oakmoss-iness convincing, but we're talking about a quick sniff here, not a scientific evaluation. And the substance's odour is one thing. The way it interacts with other materials is something else entirely.
Who knows, maybe this new creation will turn out to be some kind of wonder-juice. But I'd suggest that its appearance at Chanel launches raises more questions than it answers. Is moss the only component of No 5 which would be affected by the proposed legislation? What's being done to 'protect' the other scents in the range? And if the R&D folks at the brand have spent so much time developing this stuff, does that mean they're pretty certain that the new laws will be passed?
Watch this space.