The Difference Between Fragrance and Perfume


Fragrance is a chemical compound found in almost every conventional beauty product and detergent, but its effects on human health are unknown. In fact, only 800 out of 4,000 fragrance ingredients have been tested for toxicity. Because they are thought to be trade secrets, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1967 does not require companies to disclose their fragrance ingredients. In fact, the law does not even require them to list the chemicals contained in their fragrances.

While the two terms have many similarities, there are some significant differences. A perfume may be more or less expensive if it is made from synthetic ingredients. Synthetic perfumes are created in labs, thereby avoiding the need to use natural ingredients. However, synthetic perfumes are more difficult to create than natural fragrances. Fragrance products usually consist of three structural parts: the head, middle, and base notes. Each of these notes affects the perception of the others. Top notes, for example, are small molecules that have a fresh scent and are common amongst many perfumes. Other common top notes are citrus fruits, herbs, and light fruits.

Perfume is the most common type of fragrance in the personal care industry, with the FDA defining it as a mixture of chemicals that give a product a distinctive aroma. Similarly, colognes contain artificial fragrances made of aldehydes and phthalates. Fragrances are also used in other products such as hand washing creams and body lotions. A fragrance house is a company that specializes in developing fragrances, but it is not always necessary for the company to disclose this information.

The International Fragrance Association has compiled a list of common fragrance ingredients, including phthalates, which have been linked to numerous negative effects on human health. For example, phthalates may disrupt hormone function, reduce sperm count, and even cause reproductive malformations. Meanwhile, acetaldehyde is linked to several studies that label it a human carcinogen. Ultimately, it is not possible to say whether or not fragrances are healthy.