Report: L’Oréal, Estée Lauder Perfumes Linked to Child Labour


Jasmine flowers picked by children were used by perfume suppliers to L’Oréal and Estée Lauder brands, a BBC Eye Investigations report has found.

The investigation followed families in Egypt throughout the summer of 2023 who pick jasmine for local factories. These factories extract jasmine oil from the flowers, and supply it to international fragrance houses such as Givaudan and Firmenich.

These firms are used by beauty conglomerates to produce their scents. The jasmine used in L’Oréal-owned Lancôme’s Idôle Intense and Estée Lauder-owned Aerin Beauty’s Ikat Jasmine and Limone di Sicilia comes from Egypt.

According to the BBC’s investigation, children as young as five work picking jasmine throughout the night, and earn on average as little as $1 a day. Premium perfumes using Egyptian jasmine (which accounts for around half the world’s supply) can cost as much as $300.

The report blamed the issues on poor due diligence practices and pricing pressure from top companies.

L’Oréal and Givaudan told the BBC that they are committed to respecting human rights. Estée Lauder said it had contacted its suppliers to investigate the allegations. Firmenich said it had switched suppliers in Egypt.

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