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Rating: bad bad
INCI name
Alternative names
Parfüm, Fragrance, Duftstoffmix, Duftstoff, Parfum (Fragrance), Perfume, Parfum (Essential Oils), Fragrance (Parfum), Fragance, Aroma (Fragrance), Parfum (Natural Essential Oils), Fragrance Oil, Natural Essential Oils, From Natural Essential Oils, Essential Oils, Parfum, Fragance (Parfum), Parfum / Fragrance, Parfum/Fragrance, Profumo, Aroma [Fragrance], Parfum (Reine Ätherische Öle Inkl. Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol), Parfum**, Natural Fragrance, Fragrance (Parfum)**
Perfume and aromatic compositions and their raw materials
INCI function
Masking, Deodorant, parfümierend
The INCI function describes solely the purpose of a cosmetic ingredient. It does not reveal its actual effects and skin compatibility. You'll find these and other characteristics below.
  • Rating: bad Skin irritant
  • Rating: bad may cause photoallergic reactions
  • Rating: bad perfume is one of the 20 most common allergens
  • Rating: average Reduces or inhibits the basic odour or taste of the product
  • Rating: good Reduces or masks unpleasant body odours

Studies, literature and statements on Parfum

  • Enzyklopädie der Dermatologie, page 134

    Perfume belongs to the 20 most-frequent allergens.

  • Kursbuch Kosmetik , page 106

    Anyone who dry shaves and uses aftershave every day has a two- to three-fold higher risk of developing allergies than someone who wet shaves and comes into contact with perfumes in aftershaves much less frequently. Fragrances are in first or second place – with an upward trend – in all studies of skin allergies, whether in the Netherlands, the US, or Germany. The reason is thought to be that we come into contact with too many perfumed products. Sensitivity increases, especially in women, who not only use a lot of cosmetic products but also come into contact with scented household cleaners and detergents.

  • Dermatologische und medizinische Kosmetik, page 97

    Phototoxic reactions. If drugs or cosmetics containing phototoxic substances are applied to the skin or ingested and the user exposes himself/herself to the sun, inflammatory reactions of the skin may occur even at low levels of sun radiation. Tetracyclines, perfume oils, preservatives, coloring agents are phototoxic, for example.

    Photoallergic reactions. They occur when a specific sensitization to the substance in question has been acquired and sun hits the skin, or if the sun has altered the substance in such a way that the organism reacts allergic.

  • Körperpflegekunde und Kosmetik, page 293

    Perfume additives are disadvantageous for skin allergies, sensitive skin, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, problem skin, babies’ and children’s skin.

  • Deutscher Allergie-und Asthmabund e.V.

    Fragrance allergy

    Fragrances are an indispensable part of our everyday lives. Both natural essences and oils and synthetic fragrances are used in perfumes and everyday products such as cosmetics, cleaning agents, detergents, and fabric softeners.

    Although interiors are scented to create a pleasant atmosphere, fragrances not only have pleasant properties, but may also cause health problems.

    Intolerance to fragrances is expressed as a contact allergy in the form of allergic contact dermatitis. In Germany, about 15-20 percent of the population is affected. After nickel (15 percent), fragrances are the second most common cause of contact allergies.

    Diagnosis of fragrance allergy

    Two test mixtures are currently available to allergists for patch testing: fragrance mix I and fragrance mix II. The majority of positive findings are caused by isoeugenol and oakmoss. Since the spring of 2007, all 26 allergenic fragrances requiring labeling can be tested individually. This facilitates the search for the trigger somewhat but does not really make it easier, especially since the fragrance compositions in a product usually consist of several individual components with different allergy potentials and at different concentrations.

    Avoid fragrances

    People allergic to fragrances only have to avoid the relevant fragrance. This is not easy, despite the declaration requirements for cosmetics, because on the packaging, consumers merely find the collective terms “perfume,” “fragrance,” “aroma,” or “flavor” that only make general reference to the added fragrances. The composition and concentrations of the individual components are not declared – with the exception of the 26 fragrances that have been singled out due to their high allergy potential. Their INCI names are mentioned separately on the product packaging. The Cosmetics Directive requires their declaration, if the concentration of critical fragrances exceeds 0.01% in products that do not remain on the skin (e.g., shower gels, shampoos) and 0.001% in products that remain on the skin (e.g. lotions, make-up, sunscreens, deodorants).

  • Allergie, Umwelt und Gesundheit

    Duty of declaration

    An estimated 1 to 3% of Europeans currently suffer from allergic reactions to fragrances. For this reason, fragrances must be declared if at least 0.001% of the substance is contained in a product which remains on the skin (“leave-on” product). A limit of 0.01% applies to cosmetics that are rinsed off (“rinse-off” products) (IKW Industrieverband Körperpflege- und Waschmittel e.V., 2004).

    Generally, fragrances are marked with the collective terms of “perfume,” “fragrance,” “aroma,” or "flavor.”

    he 26 fragrances declared to have very high allergy potentials are exceptions to this. They must be individually listed on the packaging. Usually, the INCI name (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is specified. The indication of these fragrances allows both doctors and affected persons to identify and avoid substances with allergenic potential.

    In recent years, experts have identified another 30 chemicals and 26 natural extracts that may cause contact dermatitis and recommended limits for them. When these limits are adhered to, it is assumed that people allergic to the substances will not suffer from allergic reactions when using cosmetics with the aforementioned ingredients and that people not allergic to them will be protected against the development of allergies. An EU committee is currently examining whether and how the previous limits will be newly regulated at the European level. The committee is also examining whether the recently identified fragrances will be included in the list of declarable fragrances.

  • Körperpflegekunde und Kosmetik, page 4

    Odorous or aroma substances require only the terms “perfume,” or “aroma,” with the exception of those substances specified in Appendix 2 Part A No. 67-92. If these exceed a concentration of 0.001% in cosmetics and 0.01% in products that are rinsed out, they must be listed by name.

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