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Your favourite fragrance, maybe the one named after your favourite celebrity, may make you feel attractive and powerful but it might be doing more harm than good to you

Look at the label on the fragrance bottle, it will simply list an ingredient as “fragrance” but will not mention what exactly the specific ingredients are. It is this discrete action on part of these perfume manufacturing companies which keep their customers in the dark about the actual ingredients used in it.


The FDA describes ‘fragrance’ a chemical combination which gives a perfume or cologne its own individual scent. Fragrance ingredients may be got from petroleum or other raw materials.

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has listed 3,059 materials to be used in fragrance compounds but out of these chemicals some are linked to serious health issues like cancer, gynaecological problems in women, allergies etc. These chemicals are harmful for the health of all especially the pregnant women and infants.

The current laws in the US don’t give the FDA any authority to require a disclosure or public safety of fragrance ingredients.

Although the companies need to list ingredients on the product label, it does not require individual ingredients of fragrance to be listed so as to protect fragrance trade secrets. This leads to gaps in disclosure.

Study Report: “Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance,”

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) have developed and regulated standards in the “fragrance” part of product and it hand it is relied heavily upon by the US, Canada, and Europe which make it a sort of self-regulatory body.

This is s a problem says Jane Houlian, who has co-authored a new report issued by The Campaign for Safe in partnership with the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Houlihan, Senior Vice President for research for EWG, further adds that the fragrance is comprised of chemicals which are not needed to be listed on the label. The report titles “Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance,” includes test results on 17 fragranced products and found 14 “secret” chemicals not listed on perfume labels which have been linked to allergies and hormone disruptors.

This is a really scary situation where people are paying huge money to buy these big branded perfumes and colognes and instead their health is being compromised.

We would urge the Indian food regulator FSSAI and FDA in India to regulate the fragrance industry especially since in India locally made deodorants, perfumes and colognes sell much more than the big brands and if the big brands are defaulting then what can be expected from locally made fragrances.

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