EU anti-allergy restrictions forcing luxury perfumes to reformulate

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

EU anti-allergy restrictions forcing luxury perfumes to reformulate

Related tags Perfume Odor

As luxury perfume makers prepare for new EU anti-allergy restrictions, some may have to reformulate as the European Commission aims to ban widely-used ingredients such as oak moss.

Although oak moss, used at one time in formulations like Chanel No. 5 and Miss Cherie Dior for its scent holding power, it is according to the EC, likely to cause between 1-3% allergic reactions in Europeans.

Going forward, the industry will only be allowed to use this ingredient without two of its core molecules, atranol and chloroatranol, particularly in Brussels, which formulators say will mean perfumes will have a less vigorous scent as a result.

The European Commission also reckons synthetic molecule HICC, or lyral, which replicates the smell of lily of the valley causes dermatitis in allergy sufferers and is imposing a ban.

Some perfume makers have spoken out of late, saying that the industry is being unfairly targeted as there have only been minor cases of allergies and that a ban on these ingredients will lead to more restrictions.

The EU responded that the new regulation seeks to address scientists' concerns about the health hazards related to the use of perfume, but stressed that it was no more focusing on the cosmetics industry than any other.

US also cracking down on fragrance allergens

A recent report by health advocacy group ‘Women’s Voices for the Earth’ has claimed that "secret chemicals" used in fragrances are causing allergic reactions and sensitivity to US consumers.

The report estimated that because of a lack of disclosure of fragrance ingredients, dermatologists face an uphill battle in identifying what is causing a patient's reactions, making it difficult for the patient to avoid the allergen in question.

It further notes that most common cosmetics associated with fragrance allergy are deodorants, perfumes and lotions, with the most common allergens being geraniol and eugenol, which give off rose and clove-like scents.

By law, personal care products ingredients must be listed on a label but there are a few exceptions to the labeling requirements. Fragrance formulas are considered trade secrets and so the ingredients in fragrances are not required to be revealed.

Therefore; the word 'fragrance' must be put on any product that has ingredients added to give the product an odor, but may represent many ingredients.

Related topics Regulation & Safety Fragrance

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