What is IFRA?

IFRA stands for the International Fragrance Association. It is a global trade organisation representing the fragrance industry.

IFRA provides guidance and sets standards for the safe use of fragrance ingredients in consumer products like perfumes, cosmetics, detergents, and other scented goods.

The organisation works to ensure that fragrances are safe for human health and the environment.

IFRA develops guidelines for fragrance safety and provides resources for industry members to comply with regulations and best practices.

What are the differences between Regulations(law) and Standards (Industry Standards)?

Regulations (laws) are mandatory rules, enforceable with legal penalties, ie CLP.

Standards (industry standards) are voluntary guidelines developed by industry stakeholders to promote best practices and quality within specific sectors. Standards are useful in showing due diligence in the absence of product specific regulations.

Why should we comply with IFRA?

Compliance with the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) standards is important for several reasons:

Consumer Safety: IFRA sets standards for the safe use of fragrance ingredients in consumer products. Compliance with these standards helps ensure that products are safe for consumers to use and reduces the risk of adverse reactions or health issues.

Regulatory Compliance: Many countries have regulations governing the use of fragrances in consumer products. Compliance with IFRA standards often aligns with regulatory requirements, helping companies meet legal obligations and avoid penalties or recalls.

Industry Reputation: Adhering to IFRA standards demonstrates a commitment to quality, safety, and responsible manufacturing practices. This can enhance the reputation of companies within the fragrance industry and build trust with consumers.

Environmental Responsibility: IFRA also considers the environmental impact of fragrance ingredients. Compliance with their guidelines helps minimise the ecological footprint of fragrance production and use, contributing to sustainability efforts.

Risk Management: By following IFRA standards, companies can mitigate the risks associated with using potentially harmful or allergenic ingredients in their products. This helps protect both consumers and businesses from liability issues.

Overall, compliance with IFRA standards is essential for ensuring the safety, quality, and sustainability of fragranced products, while also meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining industry reputation.

If I am not an IFRA member, do I still have to comply?

Even if you are not a member of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA), it's still important to comply with their standards if you are involved in the production or use of fragrances in consumer products.

Here's why:

Legal Compliance: Many countries have regulations governing the use of fragrances in consumer products. Even if you're not an IFRA member, these regulations may require
compliance with IFRA standards or similar guidelines to ensure the safety of products and protect consumers.

Consumer Safety: Regardless of membership status, ensuring the safety of your products and the well-being of consumers should be a top priority. IFRA standards are developed based on scientific research and industry expertise to minimise the risk of adverse reactions and health issues associated with fragrance ingredients.

Industry Standards: IFRA standards are widely recognised within the fragrance industry as best practices for ingredient safety and product formulation. Even if you're not a member, adhering to these standards can help maintain consistency and quality in your products, which can be important for building consumer trust and brand reputation.

Risk Management: Non-compliance with industry standards, including those set by IFRA, can pose risks to your business, including legal liabilities, reputational damage, and loss of consumer confidence. By following recognised standards, you can mitigate these risks and demonstrate your commitment to product safety and quality.

Why on an IFRA certificate does it state that my fragrance can be used at a certain percentage in my product, but then, under the CLP regulations state that it is too hazardous and therefore cannot be used?

The discrepancy between the permissible percentage of fragrance use indicated on an IFRA certificate and the restrictions outlined in CLP regulations regarding its hazard level can arise due to several factors:

Different Focus and Criteria:
IFRA primarily concentrates on assessing fragrance safety within the context of its intended use in consumer products, setting permissible usage levels based on scientific research and industry expertise. In contrast, CLP regulations are concerned with classifying chemicals based on their hazards and associated risks, irrespective of their intended application. Therefore, while IFRA may deem a fragrance safe at a certain concentration for consumer use, CLP may classify specific components of that fragrance as hazardous substances due to their intrinsic properties.

Varied Regulatory Frameworks:
IFRA operates within the fragrance industry and sets standards tailored to its requirements, often based on self-regulation and industry consensus.

CLP, however, is a regulatory framework mandated by the European Union (EU) for the classification, labeling, and packaging of chemicals, including fragrances. These frameworks may employ different methodologies, thresholds, or criteria for assessing hazard levels, leading to discrepancies in their evaluations of fragrance safety.

Ingredient-Specific Concerns: The disparity could stem from certain fragrance components that are subject to differing regulations or restrictions under IFRA and CLP. While IFRA may determine the safe usage of specific ingredients within a fragrance formulation, CLP may classify those same ingredients as hazardous based on different criteria, such as their potential for skin sensitisation or environmental impact.

Updates and Revisions:
Regulatory frameworks like IFRA and CLP undergo periodic revisions to incorporate new scientific evidence, industry developments, and emerging regulatory requirements. As a result, discrepancies may arise when one framework updates its standards more frequently or when there's a lag in harmonising regulations across jurisdictions.

In summary, the incongruity between IFRA's permissible fragrance usage percentage and CLP's hazard classification can be attributed to differences in focus, regulatory frameworks, ingredient-specific considerations, and updates to regulations over time. It's crucial for companies to navigate and reconcile these variations to ensure both compliance with regulatory requirements and the safety of their products. If the limits are very low on the IFRA certificate for your product, for instance, in a Diffuser if the limit is 5% you will find it probably won’t smell. We will only offer SDS’s for any Diffusers where the limits are above 10%. If the IFRA limits are fine but under CLP it is classed as hazardous then it can not be used in your product. We do not offer any help with compiling SDS’s or CLP labels for Candles, Diffusers or Room Sprays deemed too hazardous.