French police on scent of perfume thieves in Cosmetic Valley

Perfume is big business at Christmas time
Perfume is big business at Christmas time Getty Images/E+/Marko Lazarevic

French police are hunting thieves who hijacked a lorry transporting Rochas perfumes, in the latest in a spate of robberies targeting upmarket French fragrances.


Beauty products valued at tens of thousands of euros are expected to resurface on the pre-Christmas black market following the hold-up on Wednesday evening near the Rochas production centre in Poissy, about 30 kilometres west of Paris.

The driver, who was attacked with tear gas and a stun gun, was found tied up on the road at the scene, and the partially emptied lorry was discovered in a nearby forest.

Thieves recently carried out a similar operation against a lorry carrying Guerlain perfumes in the same area and in June 2012 more than two million euros worth of the company's upmarket products were stolen from its factory at Orphin, also in the western suburbs of Paris.

"The way they were carried out is similar but it is too early to say if they were all the work of one gang," a police source said.

The area between Tours, Orléans, Rouen and Versailles is known in the industry as “Cosmetic Valley”, for its concentration of cosmetic-related activities, including around 800 small businesses, as well big names and multinationals such as Dior and Guerlain and Unilever.



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