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  1. #1

    Default Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Is there something that can raise the threshold for skin irritation, allowing higher percentages of ingredients? (e.g. oakmoss)

    I recall a trick when I applied the substance DMSO on the skin - it was quite irritating on its own but if a bit of honey was added it produced no irritation at all. Is there something that can be added to alcohol based perfumes that does a similar thing? I think glycerine is one but it's not miscible. At first glance it seems to be sticky, non-volatile substances, as if they form a barrier.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Isn't it because it was only irritating at some concentration, and diluting it lowered the concentration?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    With DMSO specifically I tried different dilutions with water first but only honey gave the soothing result and not much was needed.

    Interesting that honey and glycerine are both humectants and anti-irritants.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think that the irritation with many perfumery materials has more to do with causing allergic reactions, chemical sensitivities and sun sensitivities. I've been looking into this myself quite a bit and I don't think there is much that can be done about it. Each person is different so I think the best thing to do is not spray perfume onto the skin if someone is concerned about it. Ferulic Acid is an antioxidant that also acts as a sun screen, it is used in cosmetics for this purpose so it might be worth a try. I'm in the process of tearing down my studio so it's an experiment I can't do right now otherwise I would get to it. In a couple of months I should be back in the cauldron.
    Justin E. Beasley

  5. #5

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    I am no expert here but I recently learned about "quenching". I can not speak to the effectiveness of such a technique, but apparently, irritation from certain chemicals can be reduced by including a separate chemical that occurs alongside it in nature. For example, in certain citrus oils, Citral and Limonene are always present alongside one another.

    In terms of 'complete' essences like Oakmoss though, I have no clue how this technique would be implemented, or if it's even possible.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    I had a kind of reaction from a new perfume formula, I'm not sure if it was from oakmoss (I've been OK with these levels before)
    or ylang-ylang. I applied it to the wrist at night and for the next day the area was red.

    Clothes-only application could be a good thing because this formula is quite volatile on skin.

    It makes sense if the body tolerates combinations that we've been exposed to for millenia as food sources,
    of course some foods are irritating and we still consume them.
    Last edited by Odeon; 7th April 2014 at 12:25 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by moogsauce View Post
    I am no expert here but I recently learned about "quenching". I can not speak to the effectiveness of such a technique, but apparently, irritation from certain chemicals can be reduced by including a separate chemical that occurs alongside it in nature. For example, in certain citrus oils, Citral and Limonene are always present alongside one another.

    In terms of 'complete' essences like Oakmoss though, I have no clue how this technique would be implemented, or if it's even possible.
    Quenching Citral with Limonene, Phenylacetaldehyde with PEA, and Cinnamic Aldehyde with Eugenol was once thought to work, and perfumers were encouraged to use those combinations for safety's sake. Quenching is no longer recognised by IFRA etc. It is now not thought to work.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Quenching Citral with Limonene, Phenylacetaldehyde with PEA, and Cinnamic Aldehyde with Eugenol was once thought to work, and perfumers were encouraged to use those combinations for safety's sake. Quenching is no longer recognised by IFRA etc. It is now not thought to work.
    Thans David, I too had wondered about this topic, but also had never gotten decent intel about it either.
    I appreciate your experiences... :-)

    PK
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  9. #9

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Good to know! Thanks David.

    P.S. I learned about quenching from 'Perfumery: Practice and Principles' by Calkin and Jellinek, this copy published in 1994... I'm not sure if they've updated since, but I'll be sure to have a few grains of salt around while looting these texts!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odeon View Post
    I had a kind of reaction from a new perfume formula, I'm not sure if it was from oakmoss (I've been OK with these levels before)
    or ylang-ylang. I applied it to the wrist at night and for the next day the area was red.


    Clothes-only application could be a good thing because this formula is quite volatile on skin.

    It makes sense if the body tolerates combinations that we've been exposed to for millenia as food sources,
    of course some foods are irritating and we still consume them.
    I don't know if this is possible food for thought in finding a solution, but I used to occasionally wear a perfume oil that I discovered would cause skin irritation -- but only if I applied it very soon after bathing. My best guess was that the skin was warmer, so heat may have played a part, although maybe it had to do with having removed protective skin oils. However, I also have had a reaction to a capsaicin cream applied to the foot joints -- only if I then put shoes and socks on. Which makes me more likely to think body heat might play a part. If you applied it before bed, that might be a factor?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meriem View Post
    I don't know if this is possible food for thought in finding a solution, but I used to occasionally wear a perfume oil that I discovered would cause skin irritation -- but only if I applied it very soon after bathing. My best guess was that the skin was warmer, so heat may have played a part, although maybe it had to do with having removed protective skin oils. However, I also have had a reaction to a capsaicin cream applied to the foot joints -- only if I then put shoes and socks on. Which makes me more likely to think body heat might play a part. If you applied it before bed, that might be a factor?
    Interesting, i have the same problem with some scents, after bath they make my skin burn once applied. Specially citrus ones, they seem to leave the skin red when applied after bath (and then this effect disappears quickly).

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Meriem that is a good thought because hot water also opens up the skin. I will try lower dilutions
    and apply them during day. So far it only causes a reaction on the wrist and not the back of the arm
    but I am worried it's only a matter of time before sensitivity builds up.

    David thanks for the industry's word on quenching so we don't try re-invent the wheel.

    Update: it is not the ylang-ylang causing the reaction because I tested it by itself.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Odeon, First, I might suspect Eugenol, as it does a rashy thin on me. But Ylang does include some Eugenol. There might be an aggregate amount of eugenol in your blend to add up to the number which makes you react.

    Meriem, Capsaicin, isn't that pure chili (BANG-ZOOM) POWER? Seems to me that that WOULD make anything HOT, putting chili oil on your skin...! :-)


    PK
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  14. #14

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Odeon, First, I might suspect Eugenol, as it does a rashy thin on me. But Ylang does include some Eugenol. There might be an aggregate amount of eugenol in your blend to add up to the number which makes you react.

    Meriem, Capsaicin, isn't that pure chili (BANG-ZOOM) POWER? Seems to me that that WOULD make anything HOT, putting chili oil on your skin...! :-)


    PK
    Paul, yep, that's the stuff :-), and it makes the area you apply it to a bit hot. So it's not surprising that a little additional heat would make it downright irritating. As for eugenol, I think (from my own experience) you're onto something, that would be a likely culprit. For myself, I react badly to clove oil, and I know it's a fairly common irritant. The perfume oil that I reacted to after a bath had a small amount of cinnamon, which (correct me if I'm wrong) I believe also contains eugenol, though less than clove.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    PK you could be right on with the eugenol because the formula contains clove bud EO.
    I did not suspect it because I have regularly used similar levels. I need to add up
    all the eugenol contributions and skin test the diluted EO.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    I have just calculated the eugenol levels:

    My previous fragrance containing clove bud EO has total 0.61% eugenol @ 15% strength

    The new fragrance has total 0.71% eugenol @ 20% strength but I intend to go to 15% later
    which results in 0.53% (using the upper limit of 90% eugenol in clove bud EO)

    Interesting to see if it's as simple as staying below the IFRA's 0.5% to avoid reaction.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meriem View Post
    Paul, yep, that's the stuff :-), and it makes the area you apply it to a bit hot. So it's not surprising that a little additional heat would make it downright irritating. As for eugenol, I think (from my own experience) you're onto something, that would be a likely culprit. For myself, I react badly to clove oil, and I know it's a fairly common irritant. The perfume oil that I reacted to after a bath had a small amount of cinnamon, which (correct me if I'm wrong) I believe also contains eugenol, though less than clove.
    Depends which Cinnamon oil you mean. Cinnamon Leaf Oil contains a lot of Eugenol (a sensitiser) but Cinnamon Bark Oil is mainly Cinnamic Aldehyde (an even worse sensitiser).

  18. #18

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Just to add a thought to this discussion - Irritation and sensitisation are not the same:

    Irritation occurs when a material aggravates the skin on contact, is frequently exacerbated by other factors like heat, sunlight and so on and usually fades very quickly with time. You can also reliably test for irritation via patch-tests.

    Sensitisation is a very different matter because it occurs when your level of (lifetime or at least very long-term) exposure to a given material reaches a critical level (which is different in different people and does not appear to occur at all for most people). Until that level is reached you may be able to tolerate large amounts of a material on your skin with no apparent problem at all. Once you reach the point of sensitisation, suddenly the same material can cause major problems (not just rashes but the full range of histamine / allergic responses) even when only traces are present. This makes it virtually impossible to test for at the individual level. Testing at the population level to determine the point at which no sensitisation appears to occur based on exposure levels from all known sources forms the basis of the RIFM work that leads to the imposition of the IFRA standards.

    It is perfectly possible for an ingredient to act as both a sensitiser and an irritant (eugenol is an example), but it is also possible for an ingredient to be only one or the other, so far as I know capsaicin, while certainly an irritant, is not known to cause sensitisation, and Iím not aware of any irritation problems with Lyral but it is thought to be one of the most potent sensitisers in perfumery.

    The most common sensitisation problems found in the population are however not with perfumery materials but with metals, most notably nickel.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

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

  19. #19

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Thanks for clarifying Chris. So you would be fine with Lyral until one day it gives a major reaction.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odeon View Post
    Thanks for clarifying Chris. So you would be fine with Lyral until one day it gives a major reaction.
    Well yes, except that it probably wonít: most people will never experience a problem. I believe itís about 2% of people presenting at dermatitis clinics who turn out to have developed sensitivity to a standard fragrance mix containing - Lyral - clearly thatís a tiny number in the population but possibly an indicator of greater numbers that are undiagnosed. The data is far from clear, which has led to the heavy restriction by IFRA limiting Lyral to 0.2% of the finished product (0.02% in lip balms and intimate use products).

    It is also almost certainly going to lead to a complete ban on the product in all cosmetics in the EU in a few years time: make the most of it while you can, Lyral is a lovely product that is very hard to replace!
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

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

  21. #21

    Default Re: Are there anti-irritants that can be added to perfumes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Just to add a thought to this discussion - Irritation and sensitisation are not the same:

    Irritation occurs when a material aggravates the skin on contact, is frequently exacerbated by other factors like heat, sunlight and so on and usually fades very quickly with time. You can also reliably test for irritation via patch-tests.

    Sensitisation is a very different matter because it occurs when your level of (lifetime or at least very long-term) exposure to a given material reaches a critical level (which is different in different people and does not appear to occur at all for most people). Until that level is reached you may be able to tolerate large amounts of a material on your skin with no apparent problem at all. Once you reach the point of sensitisation, suddenly the same material can cause major problems (not just rashes but the full range of histamine / allergic responses) even when only traces are present. This makes it virtually impossible to test for at the individual level. Testing at the population level to determine the point at which no sensitisation appears to occur based on exposure levels from all known sources forms the basis of the RIFM work that leads to the imposition of the IFRA standards.

    It is perfectly possible for an ingredient to act as both a sensitiser and an irritant (eugenol is an example), but it is also possible for an ingredient to be only one or the other, so far as I know capsaicin, while certainly an irritant, is not known to cause sensitisation, and I’m not aware of any irritation problems with Lyral but it is thought to be one of the most potent sensitisers in perfumery.

    The most common sensitisation problems found in the population are however not with perfumery materials but with metals, most notably nickel.
    Thank you for this explanation of the difference. So, if i understand this right, if Odeon is sensitive to, say, eugenol, he'll always have some kind of reaction now no matter the level; if it's merely an irritant, he can mitigate that by using less of the eugenol, or no exposure to heat or whatever.

    Interesting about nickel sensitivity: I have read that one is more likely to react more strongly in hot weather, as perspiration leaches the nickel to the skin. My experience bears this out (I have a couple of pairs of cherished earrings I only wear in cool weather, because I can't tolerate them long in summer -- the nail polish coating trick doesn't help). But that is different, because of the leaching action...and you can't exactly put an impenetrable barrier between your skin and the perfume.

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