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  1. #1

    Default IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Gentlemen, may be I am getting paranoiac but what if all IFRA restrictions are just result of strong lobby of perfume makers?
    Logic is simple - they do not need now to use the expensive ambergris, musk and civet, etc. but the prices for frags are not reflected this transformation from natural ingredients to synthetic.
    Yes, most of the old names are complaining that due the IFRA restrictions they can't use the naturals now, but do they want really use it and spend huge amount of money for the musk and amber? Given the frequent releases of new version of perfume and overall production they simply Can Not find the required amount Of natural ingredients.
    It's much easier and cheaper use the synthetic and incase the margin of business.
    It would be interesting to see the dynamic of EBITDA/margin of biggest frag houses since let say 1980 up today.

    Personally, I do not believe that such giants like LVMH or P&G do nat have the proper lobby forces to push IFRA and make them amend their restrictions.
    Looks like these restrictions made happy most of the perfumery houses....
    So, «Hell is full of good meaning and wishings» (c)

    Strictly IMHO.

    Sad if I am right, and double sad if I am wrong.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Several things come to mind when one realizes that the quality of present - day blends is far from what it used to be.

    - IFRA pushing synthetics: thinking that IFRA is an organization being actively influenced by multinational corporations through lobbying activities is not farfetched.

    - Watering down blends in order to force consumers to run up of their fragrances in a shorter time span, thus improving rotation - thus improvng sales frequency.

    - Using less quality materials in order to improve profit margins. Here is where IFRA's decisions come in handy.

  3. #3

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    No, it's just an excuse to discontinue fine fragrances and prevent new ones from being made.

  4. #4

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    I totally agree with this interpretation. As if things weren't clear enough, IFRA is an association of perfume firms, it's not an EU bureacracy. Obviously, Monsieur Arnault and co do not care much about the quality of the perfumes, they just think that people will buy whichever swill is tossed at them. Which, often, is sadly true.

    Interesting also how clothing has instead gone to a different business model, where the luxury segment goes out on a tangent. Current stilletto heels cause documented harm to millions of women, but that's ok (as it should be). But if one person in a million sneezes when smelling oakmoss, that's a ban! I wonder what said CEOs would do if a newly created organization were to decree the maximum height of heels.

    cacio

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    I had the same idea a few years ago and ran the theory by a friend who is a perfumer in Europe. She told me that in most cases the synthetic aromachemicals, many of which are patented by aromachemical manufacturers who can name their price, are more expensive then the natural ingredients they are replacing. Take the higher expense of production and combine it with the risk houses run of alienating long-term customers when they discover the perfumes they've loved for years are inferior and the 'conspiracy theory' is dead on arrival. IFRA guidelines are not mandatory and do not carry the weight of law but companies must abide by them or risk losing their liability insurance - not because they want to.

    Sure sounds like a viable theory, though!

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    I'm sorry, but there could be very good reasons for IRFA clamping down on fragrance ingredients. I'll start with CANCER.

    it's very possible lots of our old classics are quite unhealthy and dangerous. After all, we are all spraying massive amounts of chemicals onto our skin everyday, which is then absorbed into our blood.

    i welcome oversight in the name of consumer safety, even at the expense of a little quality. what's the point in owning a heady Guerlain if you are dead?

  7. #7

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    What I know for sure is that I'm having a lot of problems getting any enjoyment from recent frags, with very few exceptions, including those I liked not that long ago. However, I've got more than enough vintage to keep me entertained for decades. If they want to produce junk, they can keep it !

  8. #8

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Topsail:
    I'm not an expert here, but I don't think cancer is the reason for most IFRA restrictions (I'm not even sure any study does in fact exist - we're not talking about smoking 20 cigarettes a day and getting cancer.) I doubt that Mitsouko wearers are having higher cancer rates, but of course, I'd welcome such a study.

    As far as I understand, most restrictions are because of potential allergens. Meaning that one person out of a million can get a skin rash. According to these criteria, nuts, bread and milk should be forbidden too. There are certainly many more people allergic to peanuts than to oakmoss.

    NineXsever:
    you are making an interesting point, that is, that the materials that substitute the old ones are more expensive. Almost hard to believe. If that's the case, the simplistic explanation must be discounted. Still, there must be a reason why big perfume companies are willing to enforce these self-imposed regulations. Economists (I am one) talk about collusion - when firms team up to restrict competition. Restricting materials could be a way to restrict competition. You want to avoid anybody creating anything too good, and destroy the Mitsoukos, Chanel no 5 (jasmine - but I haven't smelled), and so on.

    But then they don't seem to restrict competition in marketing costs (ads, stars etc). So the argument must be more complex.

    cacio

  9. #9

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by nineXseven View Post
    I had the same idea a few years ago and ran the theory by a friend who is a perfumer in Europe. She told me that in most cases the synthetic aromachemicals, many of which are patented by aromachemical manufacturers who can name their price, are more expensive then the natural ingredients they are replacing. Take the higher expense of production and combine it with the risk houses run of alienating long-term customers when they discover the perfumes they've loved for years are inferior and the 'conspiracy theory' is dead on arrival. IFRA guidelines are not mandatory and do not carry the weight of law but companies must abide by them or risk losing their liability insurance - not because they want to.

    Sure sounds like a viable theory, though!
    There's some confusion on the IFRA (not surprising, given the nature of it): all of the houses and brands (Caron, Guerlain, etc. excepting the niche brands) are subject to IFRA regulations by default. They aren't members per se but they don't make their products, nor do they own most of the trade secrets their business is based on. They are the advertisers and distributors of a product made by Givaudan and the other manufacturers. They can't walk away from the IFRA regulations their producers signed up for, nor are there any sufficiently large producers who aren't IFRA members.

    Health regulations are occasionally warranted (nitro-musks) but the judicial record shows almost zero cause for company alarm; any potential "damage" is so minuscule as to not be actionable. It's a rash. It goes away.

    Please keep in mind that the original IFRA headquarters were in Geneva ...actually inside Givaudan's. Look at the executives: almost all of them come from the big six. Voting is based on market share so the big guys call the shots. It's not a conspiracy, just capitalism.

  10. #10

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topsail View Post
    I'm sorry, but there could be very good reasons for IRFA clamping down on fragrance ingredients. I'll start with CANCER.

    it's very possible lots of our old classics are quite unhealthy and dangerous. After all, we are all spraying massive amounts of chemicals onto our skin everyday, which is then absorbed into our blood.

    i welcome oversight in the name of consumer safety, even at the expense of a little quality. what's the point in owning a heady Guerlain if you are dead?
    What year do you think it is safe to start buying fragrances from that point on? I agree with not wanting to put harmful things on my skin...I'm assuming nothing I have will fall into that category..just curious.

  11. #11

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    It's been discussed previously on here that the IRFA regulations have very little (if anything) to do with allergies or anything harmful. It's really about certain companies having a monopoly over the aromachemicals used to create the vast majority of fragrances. It's like saying that starting today, all new prescription drugs can only be made by Pfizer or Merck.

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Topsail, you mention cancer? Due to perfume use? It would be like smoking... things should have gone awry many years ago.

    It is clear from the way it is organized that IFRA aims at controlling the business. At the same time, it is a paradox IFRA's guidelines leave room for niche companies.

  13. #13

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topsail View Post
    I'm sorry, but there could be very good reasons for IRFA clamping down on fragrance ingredients. I'll start with CANCER.
    If you are going to comment please do a little background reading before running for the hills screaming 'CANCER'.

    As mentioned here and elsewhere, the general case for restrictions is about potential allergic reactions and my understanding is that these recommendations have been arrived at in the usual way - exposing subjects (presumably mice) to overdosages to see what happens.

    There is no reason why perfumes could not carry health warnings like foodstuffs containing peanut oil or even a lot of cosmetic products suggesting a trial application 'and if rash occurs see a doctor' or whatever. Why is this not happening? In my opinion it is because the big manufacturers (whom the IFRA presumably purports to represent) own the copyrights to the new synthetics and ultimately it is just so much damned easier putting a slug of the same concoction in every new batch of a perfume than having to worry if a hurricane is going to wipe out next years crop of this flower or the local government is going to up the export duty on the harvest from that flower. Ultimately it's easier, cheaper and more consistent.

    It's economics that are at play here, not concern for the general public (although given the litigious nature of some countries I suppose a good case could be made for 'risk aversion').

    The whole Oakmoss vs. Treemoss thing seems to be an elephant in the room - looks like the wrong one got hammered and no-one wants to admit it from where I'm sitting. And citrus? I get more citrus oil on my hands peeling an orange than wearing AdP Colonia . . . do we ban oranges?

    IFRA, like various other 'nanny' organisations involved with food and natural products, will be the death of just about anything natural if it suits the interests of big business. If it wasn't so sad to see an industry, an artform, being destroyed from within it would be just plain funny.

    In my own profession the advent of synthetic and sampled musical instruments was controversial but at least we have the option to use real string players where budget permits and will fall back on sampled strings for smaller jobs. Sometimes we mix a bit of both. This analogy holds true for perfumery.

    The current IFRA restrictions, however, seem to state that certain naturals can only be used in such small levels that the whole intent and character of the perfume has been changed.

    To carry the music analogy further, it's like telling a music studio 'sure you can still use real strings for that symphony - but only a trio . . . and BTW, I can point you in the right direction to a great new software disc (made by one of members, as it happens) that sounds exactly like the London Symphony Orchestra on a good day - everybody's using it!'.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zizanioides View Post
    There's some confusion on the IFRA (not surprising, given the nature of it): all of the houses and brands (Caron, Guerlain, etc. excepting the niche brands) are subject to IFRA regulations by default. They aren't members per se but they don't make their products, nor do they own most of the trade secrets their business is based on. They are the advertisers and distributors of a product made by Givaudan and the other manufacturers. They can't walk away from the IFRA regulations their producers signed up for, nor are there any sufficiently large producers who aren't IFRA members.

    Health regulations are occasionally warranted (nitro-musks) but the judicial record shows almost zero cause for company alarm; any potential "damage" is so minuscule as to not be actionable. It's a rash. It goes away.

    Please keep in mind that the original IFRA headquarters were in Geneva ...actually inside Givaudan's. Look at the executives: almost all of them come from the big six. Voting is based on market share so the big guys call the shots. It's not a conspiracy, just capitalism.
    Z - thanks for this. This is the clearest explanation in re. to IFRA and how it works .
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    This is about money and has always been, imho. The synthetic molecules produced by the big labs are patentable. Natural ingredients are not, and besides, they're difficult to source -- who wants to deal with a bunch of small growers? -- and shift in price due to unmanageable things like weather. What I see happening is 100% synthetic perfumes for the mass market and much more expensive ones, which contain some traditional ingredients, for the high end. Just in the last couple of years, the prices on new luxury and niche perfumes have doubled. And indie perfumers have to charge a lot because their ingredients will be more difficult to find, now that the big boys aren't buying, say, Grasse jasmine or oakmoss from Romania. So, all in all, a perfume hobby is going to become much more costly. Thank God for the decanters, online discounters, splits and auction sites!
    Olfacta
    also at http://olfactarama.blogspot.com
    Musings and random thoughts about the genie in the bottle

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    If you are going to comment please do a little background reading before running for the hills screaming 'CANCER'.
    it's not very nice, or "reasonable", to assume I've done no reading or research just because you hold a different opinion.

    there was absolutely a recent study done showing links to cancer from 17 popular fragrances.

    or try this: http://tinyurl.com/4vt932e

    there are simply very little long-term studies done on the effects of all these chemicals we douse ourselves in everyday. it's more than just allergies. it's also the risk of cancer, infertility, and other unknown long-term effects.

    and on a very personal note, I am basically infertile. i could have kids, but it would require in-vitro fertilization because the morphology (shape) of the sperm are unable to achieve conception with an egg. i've been wearing fragrances since i was in my teens (now 30's). i live an extremely healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise, etc) and no one else in my family has had the problem i do. while it's not conclusive that it is my cologne use that is the 100% culprit, the "smoke" is there, and it is definitely something that needs to be studied and precautions taken.

    not a big deal as I don't want kids anyway, but a lot of other guys who wear cologne sure as shit do. since 1950, the fertility rates of western males (i.e. those with the discretionary income to have perfume collections, amongst other things like cellphones) has declined dramatically.


    "health advocates point to growing evidence that perfumes, hair gels and other fragranced products may contain chemicals such as phthalates, which can disrupt hormones. In addition, they point to other compounds that can affect immunity, the nervous system, or play a role in cancer and other health problems.

    “Even if the general population isn’t likely to suffer acute effects from exposure to fragrances, there are long-term chronic health effects connected to these chemicals that we don’t fully understand yet,” says Carrie Loewenherz, an industrial hygienist for the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health."

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Topsail, you mention cancer? Due to perfume use? It would be like smoking... things should have gone awry many years ago..
    not sure what you mean by this, but I am also a big believer in personal liberty and responsibility. I would be all in favor of making perfume out of whatever they want to, but put a BIG FAT LABEL on the side that says "this product may increase your risk of cancer, infertility, or other health problems."

    then, it's on the consumer to decide.

  18. #18

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topsail View Post
    I would be all in favor of making perfume out of whatever they want to, but put a BIG FAT LABEL on the side that says "this product may increase your risk of cancer, infertility, or other health problems."

    then, it's on the consumer to decide.
    We seem to be 100% in accord on this

    And I do apologise for my earlier flippant comment - it's helpful to see your expanded explanation. My own comment was specifically to reading about the specific IFRA situation being discussed here, which might help readers make informed comments on the hamfisted way it has instigated restrictions in the face of more rational options - i.e. said labelling.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 25th March 2011 at 04:36 PM.

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?


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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topsail View Post
    I'm sorry, but there could be very good reasons for IRFA clamping down on fragrance ingredients. I'll start with CANCER.

    it's very possible lots of our old classics are quite unhealthy and dangerous. After all, we are all spraying massive amounts of chemicals onto our skin everyday, which is then absorbed into our blood.

    i welcome oversight in the name of consumer safety, even at the expense of a little quality. what's the point in owning a heady Guerlain if you are dead?


    Im sorry but you cant use that as an excuse - it may just be me but it seems that every 2nd day we are told to change our lives because something that we have been using for years can contibute to cancer. At the end of the day ANYTHING that enters our body can contribute to cancer because it is something that our bodies doesnt make itself. People say that all the E Numbers in food contributes to it and that they are the reason the human condition is so weak atm (how easily people get colds dont recover as quickly fro things ect), then people compare the human condition to people in the war (gran, grandad, mums and dad) We are the 1st generation (speaking of myself - aged 22) of the human race that has been totally brought up with these things to make things last longer or keep colour ect but it is to the detrement of the people that are eating the products. If you are wanting to help take away the risk of cancer, focus the cross-hairs on the food industry - not the fragrance - because at the end of the day we can all live without fragrance ( well some of us, lol) but NONE of us can live without food.

    I'll get down off my soap-box now :-)

    Thank You

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    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Topsail View Post
    I'm sorry, but there could be very good reasons for IRFA clamping down on fragrance ingredients. I'll start with CANCER.

    it's very possible lots of our old classics are quite unhealthy and dangerous. After all, we are all spraying massive amounts of chemicals onto our skin everyday, which is then absorbed into our blood.

    i welcome oversight in the name of consumer safety, even at the expense of a little quality. what's the point in owning a heady Guerlain if you are dead?


    Im sorry but you cant use that as an excuse - it may just be me but it seems that every 2nd day we are told to change our lives because something that we have been using for years can contibute to cancer. At the end of the day ANYTHING that enters our body can contribute to cancer because it is something that our bodies doesnt make itself. People say that all the E Numbers in food contributes to it and that they are the reason the human condition is so weak atm (how easily people get colds dont recover as quickly fro things ect), then people compare the human condition to people in the war (gran, grandad, mums and dad) We are the 1st generation (speaking of myself - aged 22) of the human race that has been totally brought up with these things to make things last longer or keep colour ect but it is to the detrement of the people that are eating the products. If you are wanting to help take away the risk of cancer, focus the cross-hairs on the food industry - not the fragrance - because at the end of the day we can all live without fragrance ( well some of us, lol) but NONE of us can live without food.

    I'll get down off my soap-box now :-)

    Thank You

  22. #22

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    This is a great thread! Well-thought out responses like this, open discussion back and forth, a little feelings getting ruffled - this is why i joined basenotes!

    Personally, living in Los Angeles, I feel it's hazardous enough just to leave the front door in the morning and breathe in the "air". Not to mention what kind of carcinogens are likely in my water. Leave it up to me if I want to wear real oakmoss and assume the health risk. Probably be the healthiest thing I do all day!

  23. #23

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Another issue is that if so called great perfume houses really would like to produce natural based frags they could use OFF-SHORE model to produce it somewhere say in Oman, Russia ( no restrictions at all, you can pack the piece of shit and sell at Tiffany price )
    They do not want it. That's it. As it's been said earlier it's all about money.
    And nothing about health care. Bottle of coke is best detergent for your kitchen pot. Just try

  24. #24

    Default Re: IFRA restrictions - Conspiracy of Perfumery Producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Gardenia View Post
    Z - thanks for this. This is the clearest explanation in re. to IFRA and how it works .
    My pleasure =D It's one of the few areas of fragrance knowledge I can contribute a little on (with the usual caveats that it could be complete nonsense and I'm horribly wrong, although that's unlikely here).

    To further the conversation, look at what the health NGO's complain about and look at what the IFRA does. Galaxolide, Cas No. 1222-05-5, is a popular boogey man in pamphlets such as this, cited as disrupting hormones. Does it? No idea, but the EU does list it as very ecotoxic, persistent and dangerous to aquatic life. But it's a workhorse musk, in all kinds of household products. IFRA ban? Nope. Not even limited. Same thing with strychnine analogs, oxalic acid, all kinds of toxins and ghastly skin irritants that are passed over in favor of limiting naturals. Fragrance does need regulation but this is the wrong approach.

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