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  1. #1
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    I've noticed that in the list of ingredients you often see "perfume" listed as the first ingredient, but then that's often followed by a number of other ingredients ( oakmoss as well as other things sometimes) which also seem like they are aromachemicals of one sort or another.

    What's the story with that ? Are the ones which are listed separately ones which appear on the IFRA list as possible irritants ?

    As a follow-up, if this indeed is the case, would one theoretically be able to date bottles by whether they do or don't have their ingredients listed in a certain prescribed format ?

  2. #2

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    I have been making my own scents for a while now. Thinking along the same lines you are I went through all my boxes and made a spreadsheet to identify the most commonly used ingredients. I found that Eugenol, Citronellal and geraniol among several others to be highly common. I purchased bottles of each...they were VERY INEXPENSIVE BTW. When I smelled them individually, they all are highly potent but far from unique. It would seem to me that many designers are making fragrances where they can base the major portions of the scent around these cheap aromachemicals and just season it with a few less common and more costly ones to make a new scent to bring to market.

    For your second question, I think it may be posible to ID a scent on the timeline much the same way you can tell how old certain items are based on if they have a barcode or not, a patent number or not, etc.

  3. #3

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Good info

  4. #4
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    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    For me, I honestly never pay attention to the ingredients stated on the box of a fragrance I purchase.

  5. #5

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Listing the ingredients of perfume is mandatory, as with any cosmetics per cosmetics regulations (FDA for USA, EU directive for EU). 'perfume' or 'fragrance' is the 'secret formula' and may be listed as such. The oakmoss extracts and other aromachemicals listed are compounds that belong to the 26 perfume allergen list that has been made mandatory to be listed by the EU directive. As most perfumes are either created in Europe or distributed in Europe, those ingredients must be listed. That doesn't mean that say the listed 'linalool' is per se synthetic. It may also be a constituent of bergamot or lavender essential oils used in the formula.

    Shortly: it has nothing to do with IFRA but with the EU legislation on labeling cosmetics.
    hth
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
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    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  6. #6

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Anyone know how Bond gets around this? I own two Bond scents, Washington Square And Harrods Oud Patchouli, and on the box of each it ONLY lists "fragrance, deionized water, SD alcohol." Nowhere on the packaging is a more comprehensive list.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    The chemicals listed are the allergens, if there are no allergens present or if they are present below a certain level then they will not be listed. At the moment there is no necessity to mention whether the allergen is present as a single chemical or as part of an Essential Oil. Thus, as has been mentioned, Linalol can have been added as the synthetic chemical or as Bergamot, or Lavender, or Petitgrain etc. I think this is going to change, and soon it will be necessary to mention the name of the Essential Oil containing the allergen. So, soon you will see Lavenda angustifolia on the bottle indicating that there is some Lavender oil (which is considered an allergen) present at a level above the cut off point.

    Also I think it is worth mentioning again that the list of 26 allergens are thought to have the potential to cause an allergic reaction in a minority of people; it does not mean that you will be automatically allergic to them.

  8. #8

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    What David says. The breaking point is for the perfume allergens 0,001 % in leave-on products (like creams and perfumes) and 0,01 % in rinse-off products (like shower gels and soaps). Thus if a perfume doesn't list it, doesn't mean is not in it, just at lower levels. There is a certain increase in demand for 'allergen free' fragrances, meaning fragrances that don't contain those 26 above the above mentioned levels.
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & research network on all things smelly, daily smelly science twitter feed @SomethingSmelly
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    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  9. #9

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    And if you want a fragrance containing none of the 26 allergens at all, it means that it has to be totally synthetic; pretty well all of the Essential Oils and Absolutes contain at least one allergen.

    There may well be other chemicals that have the potential to cause an allergic reaction, but they haven't been tested yet. And all because 1.0% of the population is allergic to some fragrance material.

  10. #10

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    And if you want a fragrance containing none of the 26 allergens at all, it means that it has to be totally synthetic; pretty well all of the Essential Oils and Absolutes contain at least one allergen.
    Not per se. There are a few natural materials/extracts with a low/below the INCI (=International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) level of perfume allergens like patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver, frankincense, sandalwood and more exotic things like agarwood, seaweed absolute, gardenia extract and others. But it depends on the manufacturer, climate, growing conditions, extraction procedures etc.

    p.s. My interest steams from the unfortunate event of me belonging to that 1% of the population and specializing in creating perfumes that contain as little (known) allergens as possible so that I can also enjoy them on my skin.
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & research network on all things smelly, daily smelly science twitter feed @SomethingSmelly
    www.somethingsmelly.com


    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  11. #11

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    For me, I honestly never pay attention to the ingredients stated on the box of a fragrance I purchase.
    Me too!

  12. #12

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    "Pretty well all of the Essential Oils...", not all of them. However, you will be very limited if you use only those oils that do not contain any of the 26.

    Out of interest Irina, which of the 26 allergens are you allergic to?

  13. #13

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    And if you want a fragrance containing none of the 26 allergens at all, it means that it has to be totally synthetic;
    Sorry David, I should have underlined the above.
    A perfumer can also use natural isolates or aromachemicals that also exist in the profile of naturals and at least recreate some of the complexity of naturals. Or fractions of naturals where the allergens have been removed.

    I'm allergic to all of them and more, even below the threshold of 0.001% so as far as I'm concerned they should just list them if they are present.

    I'm okay with smelling anything btw, just no skin contact with some culprits.
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & research network on all things smelly, daily smelly science twitter feed @SomethingSmelly
    www.somethingsmelly.com


    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  14. #14
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    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    wow this is great answer!! i was wondering for some time about that list of ingredients.....it seemed so useless while its repetitive and all have simmilar stuff listed now it makes sense! thanks !!

  15. #15

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    A perfumer can also use natural isolates or aromachemicals that also exist in the profile of naturals and at least recreate some of the complexity of naturals. Or fractions of naturals where the allergens have been removed.

    I'm allergic to all of them and more, even below the threshold of 0.001% so as far as I'm concerned they should just list them if they are present.

    I'm okay with smelling anything btw, just no skin contact with some culprits.
    What is the difference between a "natural isolate" and the identical synthetic chemical, other than purity (the synthetic will be purer)? As I said before to have a totally allergen free fragrance (i.e. one containing none of the 26) you can only use a very few naturals. Even using a natural isolate , there is the risk of the presence of one of the 26 allergens, even at a very low level.

    I'm surprised that you say you are allergic to all of the 26; have you been tested for them all?

  16. #16

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Hi David, I don't feel comfortable to derail the topic by expanding again on my personal situation. I have written quite a deal on other threads about my allergies, please contact me privately for further questions.

    As for natural isolates, I would like to add the following, that might be of some interest OT.

    Some companies insist on using all natural but allergen free fragrances, from experience I know that a fragrance company may be approached by clients that would like to have such a fragrance created to be used to fragrance, for example, organic all natural skin care products or even perfumes. Then a perfumer may be using the natural derived version of an aromachemical that does not belong to the 26 allergens list. For example vanillin ex turmeric instead of vanilla absolute, to cut down costs, manage the allergen content and still being labeled 'natural'.

    It's not a matter of the one being better than the other, chemically there is no difference, just a different level of isotopes (natural stuff is more radioactive, that is for example one way to quality control natural extracts). And of course the natural isolate is far more expensive than his synthetic bro. But so are the end products and the marketing that use such ingredients.

    To conclude: no perfume allergens mentioned on the box of a perfume does not necessarily mean that the perfume is 100% synthetic.
    Customized consultancy on perfume formulation, safety, training and marketing & olfactory research
    I also offer individual online personalised advice on perfume making to anyone eager to learn how to smell and design like a pro
    www.irinatudor.nl

    Social platform & research network on all things smelly, daily smelly science twitter feed @SomethingSmelly
    www.somethingsmelly.com


    The facts on IFRA restrictions & EU regulations

  17. #17

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Hi David, I don't feel comfortable to derail the topic by expanding again on my personal situation. I have written quite a deal on other threads about my allergies, please contact me privately for further questions.

    As for natural isolates, I would like to add the following, that might be of some interest OT.

    Some companies insist on using all natural but allergen free fragrances, from experience I know that a fragrance company may be approached by clients that would like to have such a fragrance created to be used to fragrance, for example, organic all natural skin care products or even perfumes. Then a perfumer may be using the natural derived version of an aromachemical that does not belong to the 26 allergens list. For example vanillin ex turmeric instead of vanilla absolute, to cut down costs, manage the allergen content and still being labeled 'natural'.

    It's not a matter of the one being better than the other, chemically there is no difference, just a different level of isotopes (natural stuff is more radioactive, that is for example one way to quality control natural extracts). And of course the natural isolate is far more expensive than his synthetic bro. But so are the end products and the marketing that use such ingredients.

    To conclude: no perfume allergens mentioned on the box of a perfume does not necessarily mean that the perfume is 100% synthetic.
    Really don't want you to feel uncomfortable, and I'm sorry if you felt I was being intrusive.

    As for the rest; having worked for a fragrance house that created all natural fragrances and even organic all natural fragrances (including my own) I know what goes on. No allergens mentioned on the box does not mean that there are no allergens in the mix; more important, I think, than your last comment.

  18. #18

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    So is Bond just skirting the issue? I can't believe that neither of the two fragrances I own of theirs don't have levels of any of the allergens above the limits. Maybe this is just their American packaging, and they have different packaging for their EU distribution?
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  19. #19

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    I don't know what the American regs are, but you could be right. No doubt there are others on this site who do know what the American regs are.

  20. #20
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Anyone know how Bond gets around this? I own two Bond scents, Washington Square And Harrods Oud Patchouli, and on the box of each it ONLY lists "fragrance, deionized water, SD alcohol." Nowhere on the packaging is a more comprehensive list.
    Yeah, you really gotta wonder about that, and whether all their frags are labeled that way ?

    Does Bond sell in the EU ? Is their labeling different there ?

    It would be interesting to know what the story is with frags produced in the US.

    As I understand, there is a US IFRA chapter.

  21. #21

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Listing the allergens etc. has nothing to do with IFRA. In Europe it is due to EU legislation. IFRA recommends, governments legislate.

  22. #22
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    Good to know that in the US, the IFRA findings are only "recommendations".

    If they had the force of law, I suspect any number of our up and coming native perfumers (Slumberhouse, for one, and many more I suspect) would be up sh*t creek.

  23. #23

    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    IFRA findings are only "recommendations" everywhere; but recommendations that have to be followed if you are a member of IFRA.

  24. #24
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: That list of ingredients on the label or box.

    I suspect that being a member of IFRA holds some appeal for the larger manufacturers. Being "a member of the club", as it were.

    But I can certainly see where *not* being a member might hold some appeal for some of the newer indie perfume makers, part of who's success may depend on imaging themselves as producers of perfumes which are outside of the mainstream.

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