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  1. #1

    Default Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Does anyone know about the diluent rules for room fresheners and sprays.

    The UK HMRC are having a real problem with me wanting to use perfumers alcohol in anything other than a skin scent. They say they have to refuse me a licence if I use TSDA for room scents. I have obviously promised not to, because I want the licence. I am waiting again for their answer. It has delayed my application for weeks.

    But why?

    I will not disobey, as I have no intention of breaking any laws, but they do seem awfully prohibitive in this aspect. I'm sure there are good reasons, but I would love to know what they were. I haven't heard of anyone else having any problems with this

    The main problem as far as I understand it, seems to concern the labelling of the scent. I apparently am allowed to have a licence if I label the product a skin scent but not allowed if I label it air freshener or room scent...????

    The lawful issue seems to be whether it is labelled for on, or off, the skin.

    Is there something obvious that I'm missing?

    Is it the flammability? Is DPG less flammable? What are the laws on room scents and the diluents?
    I shall look it up as well, but I wondered if anyone with experience could point me in the right directions to find out.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    There are (at least) two very clear and very different sets of EU regulations regarding fragranced products. One which is concerned with cosmetic and skin scents, the other to do with Household and Detergent Perfumery. Sometimes the rules overlap (labelling of allergens on everything except Airfresheners) and sometimes they don't. It may well be that the flammability is an issue, although I have worked with customers who wanted to use alcohol, and indeed used Butane in their aerosols (and had to label the product as flammable). Whatever the reason Ethanol is very flammable. DPG isn't, but it isn't particularly volatile either. I don't know what system you are working with Mumsy, but I'm sure you could get away with using DPG (regarded as non-hazardous) or possibly Carbitol, although some customers don't like using Carbitol as it is very drying to the skin. This application, shouldn't be a problem.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Thank you so much. I shall investigate all directions. I had given HMRC a full design spec of what I intended to do so that I stayed utterly above reproach later, but I seem to have stirred a hornets nest instead. I have asked the lovely lady at HMRC directly what I am lawfully allowed to use for it and am awaiting a response. The system I was proposing was a latent scented product more akin to the reed diffusers as opposed to an aerosol or spray. I cannot see the difference in technical application between putting it on an inanimate object and skin, but I'm sure there are stringent rules that will tell me once I find them.

    I intended to make two products, the first, an ordinary skin scent and the second, a matching room scented product. I had been intending to use the same blend for both products but it appears that I am not allowed to label and market the room scent as such if I use the TSDA diluent.

    The reason for my confusion is that I have seen many recipes for the reed air fresheners that do use perfumers alcohol mixed with DPG and as far as I had understood, the TSDA 1 and 5 that I have applied for came under that perfumers alcohol title. Am I totally wrong?

    It doesn't matter in a way because I could still market my product without scenting it at all, but it would be a poorer product for it, and I would much rather market a companion scent range to use with it as well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    The key document on this is HMRC Notice 473 (July 2012):

    If you look at Section 18 you'll see a table listing the permitted uses for the various types of TSDA.

    TSDA 1

    1. Manufacture of skin preparations (perfumes, toiletries, cosmetics and external medical applications such as medicated creams and ointments).

    2. Printing ink.

    3. Printing ink components

    4. Biocide reagent.

    TSDA 5

    Perfumes/toiletries.

    For TSDA 1 it's unfortunately very clear as uses 2, 3 and 4 are not relevant that the definition specifies 'skin preparations' which, by implication excludes anything not used on the skin. For TSDA 2 it's not so clear as it depends on what is meant by 'Perfumes / toiletries' and there I think is your problem: the person dealing with your application is, I think mistakenly, of the view that a room spray isn't a perfume or toiletry - most of the industry would say that it is most certainly a form of perfume. It's also clear that to use TSDA in a room spray is both perfectly safe (done properly) and not going to infringe the 'no drinking without paying duty' rule that is the real point behind all these regulations.

    Having got yourself into this position by giving a little more information than you needed to, the only way out will be to apply to have an additional use added to the table. Anyone can do that and HMRC are supposed to assess it on the basis of the intent of the rules. I dread to think how long it might take them to do that however.

    Obviously had you simply stated your intention to make 'perfumes and toiletries' with it, the question of whether a room fragrance is a perfume or toiletry wouldn't have arisen, but now that it has you can't really take it back.

    As a matter of interest, the SOED defines toiletry like this:

    toiletry noun.
    [ORIGIN from toilet noun + -ry.]

    1 The carrying out of one's toilet. rare.

    2 = toilet noun 2. rare.

    3 Any of various articles, cosmetics, or products used in washing, dressing, etc. Usu. in pl.

    Which honestly doesn't help you much as you are left relying on what might be included in 'etc.'

    However the definition of perfume is better:

    [ORIGIN French parfum, from parfumer, †per-: see perfume verb.]

    1 Orig., the esp. pleasantly odorous fumes or vapour given off by the burning of a substance. Later, the odour emitted by any sweet-smelling substance. M16. ▸ b fig. (Good) repute. L16.

    E. Langley The orange blossoms…hurt my heart with the wildness of their perfume.

    2 Orig., a substance emitting a sweet smell when burned. Later, a sweet-smelling fluid (esp. for applying to the body) containing the essence of flowers, spices, etc. M16.

    Looks A bottle of perfume and some tights.

    perfumeless adjective M19. perfumy adjective having or emitting a perfume; like perfume: E17.

    In particular the definition as a 'sweet smelling fluid' though the caveat is not so helpful. In all honesty though, having spent more years than I care to count in and around UK Government agencies I really don't recommend attempting to argue they are wrong - they will just dig their heels in and refuse to grant you a licence at all.

    There is no special, logical reason why this isn't allowed, it's just not in the regulations as a permitted use, therefore it's not permitted. An alternative would be to use IDA (Industrial Denatured Alcohol) which is more poisonous and somewhat smellier, but as your room scent does not go on the skin that isn't so much of an issue. In that case permitted uses 5 and 8 for IDA would cover you.

    Hope that helps.
    A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Thank you Chris. I had got the types of alcohol to apply for from that very list. It was the HMRC that asked me to be more specific and to give them a full spec of what I was up to. I had originally only filled in the basics as required. I must be victim to a spot check. My project is so straightforward, I am really surprised there is a problem.

    I definitely will not be arguing with them or telling them they are wrong but I will certainly try and get some clarification for this later. I need to toe the line for the present in order to obtain the licence for a normal perfume commission. I have managed with Mistral up till now but I will need bigger amounts in the future.

    I obtained some IDA and it stinks... won't do. I really want it organic with nothing in but that is impossible for the present. I did obtain a small amount of totally pure scientific ethanol for a special project but I cannot get that in bulk.

    If I want to be legit, I have to be obedient and just forget the room perfume for now. I shall have to send them a prototype and get their clause permission I suppose.

    Not yet.... first the licence..... don't want no trouble guv....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Try the guys at http://www.alcohols.co.uk
    They should be able to help.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Thank you. You need the licence first before buying from any of the UK suppliers. They are not allowed to sell it to you without one.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Spot check is just really bad luck.

    Nothing stopping you from using the Mistral product for room scent though - they even suggest it - so it qualifies as a manufacturer recommended use.

    I know what you mean about IDA - the methanol smell is strong - it is possible to cover that in some applications but it's not idea for sure.

    Final thought on the organic stuff: it is possible to do, but in this country you have to pay duty on the ethanol as though it was for drinking. Once you've paid that duty HMRC place no restriction on your use of the product for perfumery. The issue is purely one of expense.

    Ironically in the USA the federal authorities permit the use of some essential oils as denaturants, which allows you to start with an organic grain alcohol, denature with an appropriate organic essential oil and have a fully organic finished product, but the UK authorities don't recognise that as a valid form of denaturing and the market isn't big enough here for any of the main producers to lobby them to do so.
    A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    I looked into obtaining the undenatured alcohol and there are a lot of extra rules concerning its storage and regulations on logging what and where it goes after use. Each alcohol type desired needs stating on the application, so I thought I would get the ordinary licence first then re-apply later. I don't mind paying the extra for organic although it is a mega huge difference per litre. The final perfume would just have to reflect that in its price. No need to worry about that yet. I have a way to go first.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    Thank you. You need the licence first before buying from any of the UK suppliers. They are not allowed to sell it to you without one.
    Yes I know, I have the licence and do buy alcohol from my suppliers for my products. The reason that I gave you the link was that they can be helpful and maybe would be able to assist you.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help needed on room scent diluent rules and regs - anyone know?

    Sorry hun. I didn't mean my response to seem like a snub. I had already contacted them ages ago because they are near me and they had stated they needed a licence. I will ask them again specifically about this particular issue because of what you say. Thank you for helping me.

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