Providing useful and relevant information about fragrance

IFRA is committed to providing useful and relevant information about what the fragrance industry makes and the materials it uses.

Ingredients and fragrance creations

First published more than a decade ago, the IFRA Transparency List provides a summary of all ingredients used by our members, however small the quantity and wherever in the world they are used.

The current List sets out the ‘palette’ of nearly 4,000 materials used by IFRA-affiliated companies, based on a comprehensive global ‘snapshot’ survey taken in 2016. An updated survey has been launched in 2020 and will be published in 2021.

To make the Transparency List more meaningful to non-experts, we launched the IFRA Fragrance Ingredient Glossary (FIG) in 2019. The FIG defines the smell – or gives ‘olfactory descriptors’ – of all odor-giving materials on the Transparency List.

The FIG is freely available for download as a way of enhancing consumer knowledge and understanding of fragrance, and is the basis for other communications activities about scent and smell on our website and social media channels.

We are committed to developing these tools further to support consumer understanding, including by better integrating the information on fragrance materials found in the Transparency List, the FIG, and the IFRA Standards, to allow a more comprehensive overview of the materials we use.

Fragrance in consumer products

Most people’s interactions with fragrance come via consumer products (cosmetics and personal care products, household care products, and fine fragrance). The companies making these products interact with consumers on a daily basis and are, as a result, best placed to provide relevant and useful information about the fragrance and non-fragrance ingredients used in their products.

The fragrance industry, as a business-to-business industry supplying consumer goods companies, plays a key role as a provider of information about fragrance materials – but it is not best placed to be the main deliverer of that information.

Our commitment is to continue to work closely with consumer goods companies, providing them high-quality, science-based and intelligible information on fragrance for use on digital platforms, including enhanced off-pack labelling.

The information we provide includes global disclosure of 26 fragrance allergens identified in European Union law. By issuing an IFRA Standard on each of the ingredients concerned, we ensure global application of the rules, even where it is not a legal requirement, and enhance consumer protection.

As set out in our transparency principles, we communicate on ingredients in a way that is meaningful to consumers, with a focus on addressing fragrance materials of particular concern (such as allergens) while ensuring the protection of creativity and innovation and respect for the value and artistry of fragrance creations.

These unique fragrance creations are the fruit of many months and years of highly-skilled work and testing, and years or decades of training, know-how and experience. A perfumer’s artistry and problem-solving abilities, and a company’s investment in innovation, should be properly valued and appreciated. Other artistic works are protected to reward and nurture creativity; fragrance should be no different.

We continue to support the disclosure – via consumer products and brands’ online tools – of relevant information about fragrance creations, including the use of ingredients that are known to cause potential contact allergy issues.

We are committed to providing the well-targeted, easy-to-understand and meaningful information that allows consumers of products containing fragrance to make informed choices and feel safe.