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  1. #1

    Question question on percentages

    I was a bit confused... Newbie to perfumes although I have used fragrance oils/EOs in wax and bath and body. With bath and body, a lot of the FOs are limited to 5% for safety. I know toilettes, perfumes, colognes, etc. are different percentages such as 20% to be considered a perfume. How can the percentages be that high, for example one component has a maximum percent limit of 5%? And when composing different notes, how do you take into account all the different percents each component max safety use is listed as?

  2. #2

    Default Re: question on percentages

    The commonly-seen 5% figure for fragrance oils and essential oils in simple formulas has no real authority or facts behind it; it's just a rule of thumb that has become widespread.

    The concentration of material that might be used in a perfume for practical reason also could be different than those used in, for example, a soap, a shampoo, or a leave-on lotion.

    Many perfume ingredients are at 1% or less of the concentrate: in other words, 1% or less of the 20%. Few if any will be at 25% of the 20%, which would work out to 5% of the overall formulation.

  3. #3

    Default Re: question on percentages

    Thank you for your response. Ok so using 20-30% fragrance would be perfectly fine? Was just a bit confused, when looking at IRFA sheets on some supplier sites most have 5-8% listed as max use. I know the suppliers perfumers use vs most bath and body that are pre-formulated fragrance oils are very different. I know for bath and body 5% is perfectly fine to use otherwise it'd be too strong, but would imagine perfume would need to be a lot more concentrated since you don't put it all over your body.

  4. #4

    Default Re: question on percentages

    For a perfume 20-30% total fragrance material is usually fine, at least provided that the composition is of perfume type and there's no unusual amounts of problematic ingredients.

    However if doing the type of composition that many do when doing simple things with essential oils, it could be too high, as these simple things often make a given material 25-50% of the composition, an amount that would be thought very unbalanced for a perfume.

    So for example, if you love oak moss or for some strange reason Lyral, or various other things and went to a heavy proportion with these things that could be bad.

  5. #5

    Default Re: question on percentages

    Thank you. Makes a lot more sense to me now! I've mostly been using fragrance oils and just small drop or 2 of EOs in fractionated coconut oil or perfumer's base, but have been looking into getting more involved with aromachemicals/real perfumes.

  6. #6

    Default Re: question on percentages

    Glad it was of help!

  7. #7
    Basenotes Member Imakescents's Avatar
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    Default Re: question on percentages

    Quote Originally Posted by paintednightsky View Post
    Thank you for your response. Ok so using 20-30% fragrance would be perfectly fine? Was just a bit confused, when looking at IRFA sheets on some supplier sites most have 5-8% listed as max use. I know the suppliers perfumers use vs most bath and body that are pre-formulated fragrance oils are very different. I know for bath and body 5% is perfectly fine to use otherwise it'd be too strong, but would imagine perfume would need to be a lot more concentrated since you don't put it all over your body.
    I don't know where you are getting your FOs but I buy from Nature's Garden and on the main page of each FO is usually has 5% listed as max percentage for perfumes but if you go to the IFRA link some are still at 5% but most are more and some are way more, I have seen a few that have 50% and more a few have been listed as unlimited! Nature's Garden has excellent quality FOs, I use them for my soap making and am going to try a few out for personal perfumes just for myself. It was mentioned in a thread I started earlier that mixing FOs and adhearing to IFRA standards would be impossible as FO formulas are kept hush hush, no one knows for sure what exactly is in them except the manufacturer, so mixing FO's for perfume for sale would be iffy as you could be overdosing on no-no ingredients.

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