Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The IFRA 45th Amendment: Not What You Expected

The sensationalist titles and the panic woes across the Net about perfume reformulation due to perfumery restrictions issued by regulatory body IFRA (International Fragrance Association) bring on more traffic, furore and fame to the authors than positive results for the industry and the consumer, but that's an old story. True to form and confirming our previous balanced and rational treatment of the subject, the latest amendement of IFRA regulations comes with only 7 changes which will not impact the industry as significantly as claimed.

Critically, the rumours on new policies regulating methyleugenol and fyrocoumarins are not verified by the official source.
“This year’s Amendment will hardly affect the palettes of perfumers,” said Jean-Pierre Houri, IFRA director general. “Previous years have seen quite heavy Amendments due to the change over to our new Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA)* approach. However, this is nearly complete and is reflected in this year’s very light Amendment,” explained Houri as featured on Perfumer & Flavorist.

In regards to whether all companies are bound by the policies of IFRA, let us state that the regulatory restrictions are mandatory for the companies who are members of IFRA (IFRA began as a self-regulatory body and the vast majority of perfume companies are adherening therefore to its rules)

*Quantative Risk Assesment is a process through which fragrance materials suspect for skin contact sensitisation are rationed and was introduced in 2005.

You can read the whole text of the IFRA 45th Amendment announcement follow this link.
Please refer to this link for ingredients restricted and that link for ingredients prohibited.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Restrictions part 1, Restrictions part 2


  1. So why the outrage from perfumery insiders last year??

  2. Alexandra10:26

    Somehow, they still didn`t persuade me that they do all that just because they are worried about our health and not because of some profit thing.

    Off topic: What happened with Vero Profumo EdPs?

  3. But why do you think it's so .... "balanced" today ? The critics did their job, the words were heard and negotiating behind the curtain was not easy. So different compared to 2005 when outsiders were not aware about reformulation.

  4. I suppose some perfume insiders were thinking it was a prime opportunity for them to be heard some more and promote themselves. Others (perfumers) thought it was an outrage that they would be so limited in their palettes and lobbied for changes. Others still might think of the perfumery raw materials shortage that would ensue, which in my opinion is the most serious side-effect of them all...
    Hope I answered your question, at least in part.

  5. Alexandra,

    I think they're more concerned with potential law-suits than money. The companies who participate at IFRA are the ones who produce the perfumes, which makes your theory logical, yet among the expensive naturals there are a lot of cheaper synthetics rationed too, so it's not just money...The matter is complicated because it began as a self-regulatory body, but it soon got out of hand, especially in a litigious society that's hunting for legal settlements etc. Not to mention the hysteria about the "polluted environment" etc etc with all those who bemoan allergies etc attributed to perfume...A mess...

    I think Vero can be reached through her site and she would be most grateful to answer you. The EDPs are a definite reality, I have sampled and reviewed them, so it should be only a distribution problem. Do mail her, she's a sweetheart!

  6. octavian,

    you have a point, although I suppose the toothpaste can't be put back in the tube all the same. There are some changes which will be forever etched.
    Then again, not everything is lost, because imagine if linalool was severely rationed etc. It looked as if it was heading that way for a while. I wonder if it's indeed critics who made an impact or perfumers themselves who lobbied within their own manufacturing companies (I;m not counting indies because they do not belong to IFRA).
    I would love to have been a fly in the wall at some IFRA convention lately. :-)


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