Fragnance is a fragrant substance that is used in a wide range of products. It is found in cleaning products, perfumes, toiletries and air fresheners. However, some people have allergies to fragrance. Therefore, it is important to know what fragrance ingredients are in products and to avoid fragrance-containing products if you are allergic to them.
Perfumes are usually composed of three main structural components, the head, middle, and base notes. The head note is characterized by a strong, sweet, or light odor. These notes are typically associated with citrus fruits and herbs. The middle note is characterized by a light odor, such as a flower or a floral scent. The base note is characterized by a more powerful odor, such as a woody or floral odor.
There are more than 4,000 different chemical substances that can be used as fragrances. These are mostly synthetic substances, but some are derived from natural raw materials. This means that the composition of each individual fragrance is very different.
Many of these chemicals have been linked to health problems. Some have even been linked to cancer, birth defects, and hormone disruption. Thus, companies are making a concerted effort to develop safety assessment programs for their fragrances. In the United States and Canada, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) are involved in safety assessment.
To create a perfume, a variety of raw materials are steeped in heated oils and then filtered through fabric. After the material has been filtered, it is then dissolved in alcohol. A waxy aromatic compound is formed.
The liquid is then cooled and condensed. The distillation process is the most common method of extracting the fragrance from plant matter. Most fragrances are distilled at very high temperatures, so the distillation process is often used for very delicate materials. If a raw material cannot stand the distillation process, it is instead absorbed into fats.
In addition to its use in household products, perfumes are often added to make cleaners smell better. Some fragrances contain stabilizers and UV-absorbers. Other formulas may also contain ingredients that cause allergic reactions, so it is important to read labels closely.
Although many fragrance chemicals have been categorized as potentially harmful, they are still safe for most consumers. Despite the risks, there is no federal law that requires manufacturers to list all the ingredients in their fragrances. Moreover, some individual constituents of a fragrance have been known to cause allergen-induced contact dermatitis. For this reason, a number of fragrances are not listed on the label of cosmetics.
A number of companies are now taking steps to promote safety in their fragrances by developing safety profiles for their ingredients. The fragrance industry is in fact self-regulating, with the IFRA and RIFM working together to develop voluntary standards for the chemicals that they use.
While there is no requirement for fragrances to be listed on labels, most companies do provide an ingredient list, although the FDA does not have authority to require the listing. Companies that manufacture their own fragrance mixtures purchase it from a perfume house, who then assembles it into various product blends.