Documentation of perfume oils in cosmetic products: Amendment of IFRA standards

Perfume oils are complex mixtures of various chemical ingredients. The exact composition is usually only known to the perfume oil producer, and almost always a well-kept secret.

However, to ensure that a safe assessment of the finished cosmetic product containing a specific perfume oil remains possible – even without considering the exact composition of all ingredients – various documents must be provided by the producer:

  • The list of declarable ingredients referred to in Article 19, Section 1(g) of Regulation (EU) No 1223/2009 - Annex III, position 67 to 92
  • A certificate of conformity according to the currently valid standard of the IFRA (International Fragrance Association)
  • An appropriate certificate of conformity (safety evaluation) which considers the national legislation of the perfume oil for the specific application

For cosmetic products that contain perfume oil, there is another special feature:

For them, in addition to an IRFA certificate (IFRA declaration of conformity), manufacturers should also request a safety evaluation for the existing product type from the supplier of the oil. This is because it also considers the national and European regulatory requirements of Regulation (EU) No. 1223/2009.

Background: IFRA Certificates and their Amendments

The certificates of the International Fragrance Association are based on their currently valid standards. They are further specified by amendments.

The 48th Amendment was already replaced by the 49th Amendment, which was notified in 01/2020. The 48th Amendment therefore remains valid for “new developments” until 02/2021 (13 months after notification of the 49th Amendment) and is still valid for “existing formulations” until 02/2022 (25 months after notification of the 49th Amendment).

Meanwhile, the 50th Amendment was notified in 06/2021 and is valid since 09/2021 for “new developments” (2 months after notification) and, for “existing formulations”, still until 07/2022 (13 months after notification).

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