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  1. #1

    Default So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Hi everyone,

    I'll soon be interviewing the Director of IFRA UK for a Basenotes article and I'd appreciate your help in coming up with some sharp, intelligent questions, so please click here for further info about how you can get involved.

    Many thanks!
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    1. What exactly is the deal with Oakmoss and Treemoss?

    I have read on various occasions that Oakmoss was restricted and then that it actually turns out that Treemoss is the one that is potentially more of 'a problem'.

    Has a mistake been made here?

    2. Why can't a simple 'potential allergen alert' be put on packaging like cosmetics?

    Ooops - didn't click the link first - sorry, I got excited. But the questions hold

  3. #3

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Mr Reasonable, thanks for the suggestions. #2 is certainly the one that most people seem to want answered.
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    1. Why limit natural materials with centuries of use while putting no cap on dangerous chemicals (Strychnidin, Crotonaldehyde, Xylene, etc.) and known skin irritants (Oxalic acid, etc.)?

    I've got a few more to add later but good luck with the interview! Exciting stuff!

  5. #5

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Thanks for those. I look forward to reading your other suggestions :-)
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Moooar questions!

    These are phrased bitchily but paint them with a little tact and you've got some nice harpoons to throw.

    1. Critics have panned new IFRA-forced reformulations as pale imitations. When do your members intend to inform consumers that they are, in some cases, buying entirely different products?
    1a. Perfume enthusiast have decried IFRA regulations for destroying classic works of olfactory art, for example Chanel No. 5 from the 80s contained: hydroxycitronellal (10%) and coumarin (5%) ylang ylang/methyl ionone accord at 1:1 (8%)(Perfumery: Principles and Practices, Calkin and Jellinek, 1992.). This is no longer allowed under IFRA guidelines. Why are the classics not being preserved?
    2. If safety is the IFRA's primary concern, why not list allergens and potential sensitizers? Wouldn't this offer better protection to members in the event of a lawsuit and prevent exposure?
    2a. (Assuming the response invokes trade secrets) Since the advent of GC technology, don't competitors know each others formulas, or at least the information that would be revealed in labeling?
    3. Doesn't the IFRA's internal voting procedure (number of votes based on membership dues, which are based on market share, I assume this is still the case) mean the organization does what's best for the largest corporations and not what's best for the industry as a whole?
    3a. I'd bring up the possibilities of companies working to restrict naturals that compete with their patented chemicals but I'd need to look into the Expert Panel vs. Members interactions on bans/restrictions. It may not matter.
    4. Did Givaudan found the IFRA or were there other reasons they shared headquarters?
    5. Recent IFRA changes gutted Bandit into a weak Gucci Envy. To what level of the Inferno do you think your immortal souls shall be condemned for this blasphemy? I'm thinking level 7.

    Ok, maybe leave out the last one :P
    Last edited by Zizanioides; 1st April 2011 at 09:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    I'd ask them to show me a list of all the players who stand to make the most money from the restrictions, because none of it has ever had anything to do with allergens, irritants or toxins of any kind. It's true that some ingredients are questionable in large doses (but only in far greater concentrations than what is in the average perfume), but it still has nothing to do with any of that.

    Every single bit of it has to do with money, most of it having to do with the politcians and corporations who own or ultimately benefit from the thousands of new aromachemicals with which they will use as substitutes for the restricted ingredients. And I'm glad that the laws are making someone feel good. But I prefer the fragrances to smell good, because that's what makes me feel good.
    Last edited by pluran; 1st April 2011 at 10:10 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Thanks for both of your suggestions.

    Pluran, I've heard the idea you propose before, but how does it tie in with the fact tha IFRA's Standards restrict plenty of aromachemicals too?
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  9. #9
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    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    I have just one question that hasn't been asked yet.

    Vanilla.

    There was earlier talk of restricting it, and then IFRA backed off. Having just gotten done with April Fools, the thought occurred to me right now that this earlier discussion might have been the result of an April Fools joke, but I just checked:

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/241...in-Back-Track-!

    http://graindemusc.blogspot.com/2009...-reprieve.html

    Americans consume ridiculous amounts of vanillin. INTERNALLY. Restricting it in perfumes? Laughable.

    Were we saved by a moment of sanity, or do Doctor Evil, Lex Luthor, and IFRA still plot against Lady Vanilla?

    Feel free to leave out the dramatics, but I wouldn't mind if you caught him blushing on this one. This may be a moment for IFRA to show us that they still have some compassion for fragrance.
    * * * *

  10. #10

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Persolaise View Post
    Thanks for both of your suggestions.

    Pluran, I've heard the idea you propose before, but how does it tie in with the fact tha IFRA's Standards restrict plenty of aromachemicals too?
    It's a good question and I can only respond with speculation. There are two reasons that leap to mind: that there are plenty of aromachemicals restricted but not the ones currently under patent and that the IFRA, unlike the FDA, takes an "innocent til proven guilty" stance on new chemicals. The IFRA Secretariat (administration), lead by various industry veterans (Currently one from Unilever), decides which ingredients deserve the groups' investigation. A grand jury, as the old quip goes, might indict a ham sandwich but the IFRA can judge the most common of ingredients (vanillin, citrus, etc.) and find it needing regulation.

    This all comes off sounding like a tinfoil hat conspiracy but keep in mind, the IFRA isn't a consumer protection agency nor is it a watchdog. It's a private group of companies, corporate actors obligated to maximize profits for shareholders. It's the RIAA of the cosmetics/fragrance industry.

  11. #11
    DON'T DRINK AND DRESS

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    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    The IFRA needs to objectively consider dissenting but scientifically valid opinions concerning their rulings. To think of their rulings as indisputable and fully warranted when questioned as to their ultimate validity is the equivalent of subjecting the 'free' public to blind dictatorship edicts--often self serving and probably influenced by economic forces with ulterior motives including those of forces opposed to exposing the truth of the matter.
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  12. #12

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Redneck, I'll see if I can get your vanilla question in there somewhere ;-)
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  13. #13

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Zizanioides, I think a lot of the issues keep circling back to funding and profits...
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  14. #14

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zizanioides View Post
    It's the RIAA of the cosmetics/fragrance industry.
    Okay - we're doomed, then.

  15. #15

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Persolaise View Post
    Zizanioides, I think a lot of the issues keep circling back to funding and profits...
    Agreed. It looks like the IFRA reworked its voting system when it merged with regional groups last year. A very enlightening post from Perfumer&Flavorist (pardon the length):

    Each year the international fragrance industry spends about $14 million in regulatory and science costs, says International Fragrance Association president (IFRA) Demi Thoman (Givaudan). Of that, $8.8 million comes from six top companies: Firmenich, Givaudan, IFF, Robertet, Symrise and Takasago International. In addition, a sizeable amount is generated by client companies that are members of the industry's science arm, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). Under an ongoing realignment of the fragrance industry intended to bring “critical mass around resources,” the six fragrance houses mentioned above will become “IFRA direct members,” meaning they will pay all of their dues directly to IFRA and will have a collective 21 votes on matters before the IFRA board. IFRA will effectively become an association of companies that is, in Thoman’s words, “a quick, simple, streamlined and globally aligned industry association network.” He adds, “It’s not a closed club. This is open to any global company that wants to become a direct member.” The remaining nine votes on matters before IFRA will be distributed based on market share among regional committee representatives: IFRA Europe (three votes), IFRA Latin America (one vote), IFRA Asia (two votes), and IFRA North America, the Fragrance Materials Association’s (FMA) new legal name (three votes). Any change in the number of IFRA direct members would change the total number of overall available votes, while maintaining the proportional 30% share of votes for regional representatives.

    This prevents one of the Big Six from dominating the voting, an improvement, but you only need 20 votes to get something through the IFRA assembly (excepting changes to the by-laws, those need 25) so these six companies can reach consensus and push through ...pretty much anything.
    I'd need to look into RIFM funding but it may be that these companies fund the studies that are eventually used by the Expert Panel. So much for independence.
    Last edited by Zizanioides; 5th April 2011 at 07:44 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    That's a fascinating paragraph. Thanks very much indeed. Fee free to post more... or to send me some info directly to persolaise at gmail dot com.
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  17. #17

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Always pleased to be a thorn in the IFRA's side! It's fascinating to watch what can happen to an art form when there's no legal framework supporting its continuity. But I digress.

    I'll certainly pass on anything interesting that pops up but I think we've covered most of the bases for the moment. You can always take to nailing them on individual ingredients/abuse of process if there's a lull in conversation. Neither of the below bans refer to a study, not proper operating procedure.

    -Verbena Oil: How many other natural ingredients can we expect to see banned for secret reasons? Will those studies be released?
    -Santolina Oil According to Cropwatch, the annual world production was 300 tons and that was back in 1996. At $500 per kilogram it provided someone with a lot of revenue and jobs. Banned from perfumery for no explained reason.

    I'd also ask them about the whole "Chanel No. 5 will be unaffected by the IFRA restrictions.". According to Jellenick's GC analysis circa 1994, Chanel #5 relies on a 1:1 accord of ylang-ylang and methyl ionone at 8%, 10% hydroxycitronellal, 5% coumarin and an estimated 4-5% jasmin. The respective IFRA restrictions are 1.3%, 50%, 3.6%, 2.5% and .7%. So No. 5 either a)was affected by the restrictions mentioned in the article or b)wasn't even Chanel No.5 or c)both.

    Good luck, give'em hell. I expect denials and obfuscation on their end but, sadly, they can get away with it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Once again, thanks very much indeed for all the helpful links and ideas.

    You may be interested to know that in Essential Oil Safety, Robert Tisserand writes that although verbena oil isn't terribly phototoxic, it has been shown to present a significant sensitisation risk.
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  19. #19

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    If, like me, you rarely read the front page, have a look at Persolaise's first installation of the interview, fascinating stuff.

  20. #20

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    I wear verbena and citrus scents in the summer and have never had a problem with photo toxicity. I want real flowers, too, fake perfumes smell terrible and I'll make my own before I'll buy that garbage.
    Last edited by beachroses; 10th May 2011 at 03:11 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Thanks very much for the link :-)
    ---

    I am a Jasmine Award winning fragrance critic, amateur perfumer, Basenotes contributor and regular columnist for Esprit Magazine. My perfume guide, Le Snob: Perfume, is published by Hardie Grant. Click on its title for more info.

    For giveaways, reviews of new perfume releases and thoughts on all sorts of scent-related matters, please visit Persolaise.com or find me on Twitter or Facebook.

    Many thanks.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zizanioides View Post
    Always pleased to be a thorn in the IFRA's side! It's fascinating to watch what can happen to an art form when there's no legal framework supporting its continuity. But I digress.

    I'd also ask them about the whole "Chanel No. 5 will be unaffected by the IFRA restrictions.". According to Jellenick's GC analysis circa 1994, Chanel #5 relies on a 1:1 accord of ylang-ylang and methyl ionone at 8%, 10% hydroxycitronellal, 5% coumarin and an estimated 4-5% jasmin. The respective IFRA restrictions are 1.3%, 50%, 3.6%, 2.5% and .7%. So No. 5 either a)was affected by the restrictions mentioned in the article or b)wasn't even Chanel No.5 or c)both.
    This is one I would like to know about to .
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  23. #23

    Default Re: So... what would you like to ask IFRA?

    There's so much material here to look into I'm a bit of a loss and where to start.

    She claims the IFRA prevented the ban of a nitrile, tagets, and oakmoss. So far she's correct about tagets .

    I'll update this as I get around to factchecking.

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