• EU to force change of formula for perfume classics

    Reuters is reporting that hundreds of classic fragrances, including Chanel No. 5, will have to be reformulated if EU proposals to restrict ingredients such as citral (from citrus fruits), coumarin (from tonka beans), eugenol (from rose oil) - to 0.01 percent of the finished product; and completely ban tree and oak moss.

    The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), who are advising the EU, say that 1-3% of people "are allergic or potentially allergic to perfume". The industry isn't taking it lying down. Reuters say that "Trade associations including IFRA and Cosmetics Europe, whose members are perfume and cosmetics companies such as LVMH, are aiming to submit a joint industry proposal to the Commission by the end of 2012."

    According to an article Perfume & Flavorist, IFRA suggested "using technologies such as smart labeling, telephone hotlines and websites to help consumers obtain detailed, accurate and beneficial information on fragrance materials, which would allow consumers to evaluate a product in relation to potential skin allergens and their own requirements"

    Which makes a lot more sense in our view.

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    1. Nukapai's Avatar
      Nukapai -
      Well, in this instance, IFRA could rescue these perfumes. We must remember that the EU responds to lobbyists, NGOs, green organisations, consumer organisations and so on. There could also be some concern about legal cases brought on by consumers who have developed allergies.

      In my opinion it's over-protective. But the EU views cosmetics and perfumes as unnecessary risk (so whilst food is essential, cosmetics are easy to eliminate from the list of potential risks one encounters). Try telling a perfume lover this, I know, I know, but if you put your logical hat on you can sort of see where they're coming from. I don't think it would be right to take it to a ban or such severe restrictions. If they must do something, then add warning labels.

      It's funny about alcohol and tobacco, really. I guess the tax revenues generated are still higher than the medical costs. It's difficult to do anything about such a long-established system to do with highly addictive substances. If only the EU realised how addictive oakmoss was

      I sincerely hope that IFRA can protect the industry. Despite all that we, as perfume fans might perceive to be wrong with IFRA, they are actually lesser of two evils and have managed to protect perfumes from over-zealous regulators for decades.

      The big difference here is that if this passes, it wil become law and compulsory. IFRA is still a membership-only organisation (though complying with its recommendations is increasingly demanded by various bodies anyway, so it's close to being mandatory for perfume and cosmetics businesses).
    1. slesperado's Avatar
      slesperado -
      Quote Originally Posted by illyria View Post
      I agree! Whatever happened to the concept of personal responsibility?

      Since it appears these perfume allergies are triggered by application, not by smelling it on someone else, surely it's enough to provide warnings on the product and let people make an informed choice whether to wear it or not. Mitts off my Mitsouko! :-)
      Hey, Illyria. There are actually some people who are allergic to the smell of certain perfume ingredients as well, but I still don't think it's enough to justify a ban on ingredients. The world has more important and significant things to worry about than stuff like this.
    1. mumsy's Avatar
      mumsy -
      I'm allergic to bureaucracy... It is bureaucrazy! Does anyone know know you start online petitions?
    1. treeman5823's Avatar
      treeman5823 -
      I suggest every single BNer emails the IFRA.

      http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/contact-us
    1. Ursula's Avatar
      Ursula -
      Let the hoarding begin. Because this is the only thing we CAN do. Let's inform each other when certain fragrances are beginning to disappear, and disappear they will.

      Oh ... sigh ... oh ... sigh - you get my point.
    1. treeman5823's Avatar
      treeman5823 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post

      Is there a good way to have sythetic coumarin, oakmoss and citral ?
      Modern coumarin is synthetic.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ursula View Post
      Let's inform each other when certain fragrances are beginning to disappear, and disappear they will.
      I don't think fragrances will start disappearing. I think they will just be perverted beyond recognition--a far worse fate, if you ask me.

      - - - Updated - - -

      But really, friends. This looks like the worst regulation push in a while. How are perfumers supposed to get by without coumarin? Coumarin! And oak and tree moss? Banning these will eradicate chypres altogether (unless everyone starts making their own 31 Rue Cambons).

      - - - Updated - - -
    1. iivanita's Avatar
      iivanita -
      democracy is when 3% of people determine the rules to 97% of people,

      or i mixed this up with capitalism and distrubution of wealth?
    1. bargepole's Avatar
      bargepole -
      From Perfume Flavorist:

      In response to the recent adoption of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety Opinion on Fragrance Allergens, The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is proposing a multi-stakeholder process—which includes the input of scientists, regulators and civic groups—in order to address issues surrounding fragrance allergens in cosmetic products.

      Following the adoption of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety Opinion on Fragrance Allergens published July 31, IFRA is proposing a cooperative approach which includes a series of multi-stakeholder workshops and conferences. The first conference slated for December 2012 in Brussels will focus on bringing various areas of expertise together to reach an agreed upon definition of what constitutes a fragrance skin allergen.
      The key phrase is "scientists, regulators and civic groups".

      Having been lectured by a dermatologist in today's Independent on how the proposed bans will NOT affect fine fragrance -- and obviously a dermatologist is automatically qualified to talk about this, being A DOCTOR -- it seems to me that the best way ahead is to form a "civic group" of perfume aficionados.

      Basenotes would, I'd have thought, be a good place to start. Consumers. International consumers. Informed international consumers. With a well-known public voice.

      I never thought I'd live to suggest starting a committee. But here I go: Basenotes should form a committee of articulate, informed consumers and connoisseurs to oppose any more absurd regulation of the fragrance industry. It should then register its interest with IFRA.

      It's fun to yell from the sidelines. But it might be more fruitful to take part in the match. Just a thought.
    1. Birdboy48's Avatar
      Birdboy48 -
      My sense has always been that the whole IFRA push was intended to be a pre-emptive move : they were shaking in their boots that somwhere along the line ellements of the public would decide that perfume was just one more toxic thing in this world. So what do they do ? Hire a bunch of scientists to tell the public that perfume *IS* toxic, and has been so all along. Real smart PR move, eh ?

      But don't worry, us bureaucrats are going to make this toxic mix....well....somewhat less dangerous. "Safe" almost.

      If I *was* one of those people who are paranoid about everything around me being toxic, moves like this would only serve to confirm my fears.










      s
    1. Nukapai's Avatar
      Nukapai -
      You are confusing IFRA (and industry body) with the EU (European regulations and law).

      It is the former that has tried pre-emptively all these years to protect perfumes from being over-regulated to death (despite what it looks like to us perfumistas) and it is the latter that is now recommeding the total ban or severe restriction of several vital perfume materials anyway.

      Yes, there is definitely a money-making side with the former: being able to sell alternatives to materials that the organisation itself is restricting to its members is clearly a very nice deal, considering IFRA is run and financed by all the major fragrance material manufacturers in the world.

      But the pre-emptive function was a real one and it would be a real shame if it had now finally failed.

      The line EU tends to take with all cosmetics and perfumes is that they're an unnecessary risk, however small, so their knee-jerk reaction is always to go "well, might as well say that ingredient X should be avoided entirely even if we don't have a substantial amount (or any) evidence that it's really doing much harm."

      Having read through the whole report this news item is based on, I can see that there is definitely some solid science and research behind the recommendations they make (yes, people really have reacted and become irritated by the materials in question, some more than others), but personally I don't agree with the "throwing baby out with the bathwater" approach at all. Their recommendations, IMO, are wrong and we should be looking for greater ingredient transparency, better labelling and some healthy common sense. We can't possibly go around banning everything that 1-3% of people might be sensitive to. The only reason they're recommending such a dramatic move in this case is that it's perfume, which is considered unnecessary.

      Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
      My sense has always been that the whole IFRA push was intended to be a pre-emptive move : they were shaking in their boots that somwhere along the line ellements of the public would decide that perfume was just one more toxic thing in this world. So what do they do ? Hire a bunch of scientists to tell the public that perfume *IS* toxic, and has been so all along. Real smart PR move, eh ?

      But don't worry, us bureaucrats are going to make this toxic mix....well....somewhat less dangerous. "Safe" almost.

      If I *was* one of those people who are paranoid about everything around me being toxic, moves like this would only serve to confirm my fears.










      s
      - - - Updated - - -

      You are confusing IFRA (an industry body) with the EU (European regulations and law).

      It is the former that has tried pre-emptively all these years to protect perfumes from being over-regulated to death (despite what it looks like to us perfumistas) and it is the latter that is now recommeding the total ban or severe restriction of several vital perfume materials anyway.

      Yes, there is definitely a money-making side with the former: being able to sell alternatives to materials that the organisation itself is restricting to its members is clearly a very nice deal, considering IFRA is run and financed by all the major fragrance material manufacturers in the world.

      But the pre-emptive function was a real one and it would be a real shame if it had now finally failed.

      The line EU tends to take with all cosmetics and perfumes is that they're an unnecessary risk, however small, so their knee-jerk reaction is always to go "well, might as well say that ingredient X should be avoided entirely even if we don't have a substantial amount (or any) evidence that it's really doing much harm."

      Having read through the whole report this news item is based on, I can see that there is definitely some solid science and research behind the recommendations they make (yes, people really have reacted and become irritated by the materials in question, some more than others), but personally I don't agree with the "throwing baby out with the bathwater" approach at all. Their recommendations, IMO, are wrong and we should be looking for greater ingredient transparency, better labelling and some healthy common sense. We can't possibly go around banning everything that 1-3% of people might be sensitive to. The only reason they're recommending such a dramatic move in this case is that it's perfume, which is considered unnecessary.

      Quote Originally Posted by Birdboy48 View Post
      My sense has always been that the whole IFRA push was intended to be a pre-emptive move : they were shaking in their boots that somwhere along the line ellements of the public would decide that perfume was just one more toxic thing in this world. So what do they do ? Hire a bunch of scientists to tell the public that perfume *IS* toxic, and has been so all along. Real smart PR move, eh ?

      But don't worry, us bureaucrats are going to make this toxic mix....well....somewhat less dangerous. "Safe" almost.

      If I *was* one of those people who are paranoid about everything around me being toxic, moves like this would only serve to confirm my fears.










      s



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