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Luxury Perfume Makers Will Start Producing Hand Sanitizer To Fight The Coronavirus In France

Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH announced it would provide hydroalcoholic gel to French authorities for free after fears of hand sanitizer shortages.

Posted on March 15, 2020, at 4:18 p.m. ET

Budrul Chukrut / Sipa USA via AP

A Dior perfume ad at a bus stop in Spain.

Perfume and cosmetics makers Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Givenchy will use their production facilities to make hand sanitizer that will be provided to French authorities for free in an effort to fight the coronavirus.

Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, which owns all three brands, announced the move in a press release on Sunday, saying the initiative was in response to the risk of a shortage.

“LVMH intends to help address the risk of a lack of product in France and enable a greater number of people to continue to take the right action to protect themselves from the spread of the virus,” said the press release.

The Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Givenchy production facilities are due to begin production of “large quantities” of hydroalcoholic gel, which is used as hand sanitizer, starting Monday.

The move comes as health authorities around the world have recommended handwashing as a primary measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Consumers have snapped up — and in some cases, hoarded — hand sanitizers in response, leading to shortages. In the US, New York state has begun employing prisoners to make hand sanitizer in response to shortages and in an effort to stop price gouging.

The gel will be delivered to the French health authorities and the Assitance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris. The AP-HP is a network of 39 teaching hospitals around France that treat more than 10 million people per year, according to the AP-HP website.

It was not immediately clear whether the production of perfume and beauty products would be affected. The press release said LVMH will continue to produce the gel for as long as necessary.

"They will do their utmost to produce the needed quantities of the gel. And they have the necessary skills to do so," a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.