Eau de Beaver Butt?

Guest blog by Janet Kalmusky
Lancome, Chanel, Givenchy…. what is that gorgeous smell … rose? citrus? the discharge of beaver sex glands mixed with urine?

Sadly, not knowing what we are buying can inadvertently be supporting animal abuse and the trapping of beavers. The perfume industry has been using castoreum in high end fragrances for centuries. Castoreum is ‘’the yellowish secretions of a beavers castor sac located near the anus, in combination with íts urine, used by the beaver to scent mark their territory’’. It gives a scent of dried leather to the fragrance.

Even more surprisingly the food industry has been using castoreum in food products for decades! It is commonly disguised as harmless looking words like ‘natural flavours’ on labels, so it can be hard to identify.

Alcoholic beverages, baked goods, frozen dairy, chewing gum, candy, beverages, meat products, pudding, gelatin, ice cream, vanilla and raspberry flavouring can all contain castoreum.

What to do? Be an informed consumer!

  • Avoid packaged and processed foods particularly if they include ”natural flavours’’.

  • Ask manufacturers directly what they use as natural flavours.

  • Check out your cosmetics and perfumes for animal based ingredients. Try using essential oils instead.

  • Online sources show these perfumes contain castoreum: Chanel Cuir de Russie, Coty Emeraude, Lancome Magic Noire, Givenchy III,Guerlain Shalimar, Jean Patou 1000, Guerlain Jicky, Frederic Malle Une Rose, Juliette has a Gun Midnight Oud, Paloma Picasso Pure Parfum, Robert Piguet Bandit. Men’s Fragrances: Le Labo Labdanum 18, Chanel Antaeus, Amouage Epic Man, Caron Third Man, and Estee Lauder Aramis.”

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