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Fragrances are very complicated chemical mixtures and their exact formulation is usually strictly confidential. To enable fragrance manufacturers to protect their unique formulations, but still provide information about the safety of the ingredients, IFRA certificates are used.

IFRA (International Fragrance Association) periodically publishes a set of standards which can prohibit, restrict or set specific criteria for the use of various fragrance ingredients.  These ingredients may be common to both natural and synthetic ingredients.  So IFRA standards can also apply to essential oils as well as commercially bought fragrance oils.

The science behind the IFRA standards is robust and considers various toxicological end points and types of exposure to the substances in question. By using these standards, fragrance manufacturers are able to provide an IFRA certificate which helps to inform the client on the safe levels of use in particular types of cosmetic and other products. 

Although IFRA certificates are an important factor in assessing the safety of a fragrance blend there are some ingredients which are regulated in the EU/UK at different levels to those deemed safe by IFRA.  As safety assessors it’s important that we consider all safety data and would only permit fragrance blends at levels which comply with all safety requirements.

​You will see that some fragrances have a very high percentage permitted under the relevant IFRA category, even up to 100%, and so you can see that it is not a case of simply being able to use the amount stated.  The way to view the level is that it needs to be at least the level that you wish to use in your final product but if it is less, you will need to adhere to that.  

​IFRA issue periodic updates. Currently your IFRA certificates should be IFRA 49 or 50, all previous versions have been superceded.  This is another reason why you must obtain and check IFRA and Allergen data whenever you order your ingredients.


As a minimum we would ask you to supply the MSDS, IFRA certificate, allergen statement and in some cases the EU regulatory safe limits for each of your synthetic fragrances.

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