Chanel kicks up a stink over a high speed train planned to run through its perfume field

Rebecca Smith
Chanel's iconic scent has been around since the 1920s
Chanel's iconic scent has been around since the 1920s (Source: Getty)

Picture the scene: fragrant lavender fields, hill sides blooming with wild flowers and.. a train plundering through at high speed.

Well that's what's planned for the Provencal fields of Grasse and one rather big business isn't too happy about it. Chanel's kicking up a stink and has threatened to quit Grasse - often referred to as the world's capital for perfume - if a TGV line is driven through the Provencal fields where it grows flowers for its No.5 perfume.

The perfume maker uses 1,000 jasmine flowers and a dozen May roses for each 30ml bottle of its renowned scent No.5 it creates - and they're all grown close to its perfumery in Grasse.

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But it has written an open letter to planners over the possible development of a viaduct to carry trains over the Siagne valley.

The quality of the flowers harvested in the area is apparently "unique and exceptional" and as a result "indispensable for the creation of Chanel perfumes".

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The regular passage of high speed trains over the fields of flowers would mean Chanel is forced to "cease supporting its artisanal activities in the region".

But France's state-owned SNCF railway firm says the new €6.7bn (£5.5bn) line will cut an hour from travellers' trips from Marseille to Nice. And as the most congested line outside of the capital, it needs investment.

While the French Riviera is a hotspot for tourists, it's also one of the worst areas for service by the country's high speed rail network.

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Chanel's iconic scent was created by Coco Chanel in the early 1920s, when she met local perfumer Ernest Beaux in Grasse during a summer holiday.

Part of the company's perfume production has been in the region for decades.

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