Industry Priorities

Fragrance Safety

The fragrance industry is committed to the safe use of fragrance materials and scented products.IFRA North America companies manufacture and supply individual fragrance ingredients (such as essential oils and raw materials), in addition to processing fragrance formulations that go into a variety of consumer products. The fragrance industry takes great strides to ensure that the materials we use in our formulations and those used in scented consumer products, are safe. We have developed a collaborative approach to achieve this through the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), the international scientific authority for the safe use of fragrance materials. The fragrance industry and RIFM have a long-standing and effective safety program that sets the highest safety standards for the use and manufacture of fragrance materials. The industry track-record demonstrates that safety and the most current science drives decisions about ingredient use in fragrance formulas, sometimes directly limiting creative freedoms of perfumers. This system is a model of scientific evaluation of product and ingredient safety. The protocols for safety evaluation of ingredients are comprehensive, the testing is rigorous, the reviewers are independent, and the results are implemented regularly in a format of all-industry directives. You can read more about RIFM under Fragrance Science.

Based on the scientific research and findings as established by RIFM, IFRA then sets Standards for the safe use of fragrance materials. The standards are an integral part of the IFRA Code of Practice, a comprehensive document that supports IFRA’s commitment to provide products that are safe for use by the consumer and safe for the environment. The IFRA Standards have been adopted into law in several international jurisdictions including the European Union and Brazil. You can review the most recent issue of the IFRA Standards by clicking here.

Chemical Management

The fragrance industry is committed to risk-based chemical management programs that ensure chemicals are safe for their intended use while concurrently encouraging innovation and driving the global economy. Fragrance ingredients are subject to various forms of chemicals management frameworks, both mandated through legislation as well as voluntary initiatives introduced via the supply chain.In the United States, the chemicals management framework includes both federal and state level legislation and regulations. The primary federal chemical control law in the U.S. is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). While TSCA authorizes the EPA to identify and, in certain instances, take action on potentially dangerous chemicals in commerce, there is wide agreement that the law needs updating to keep pace with scientific advancements. IFRA North America is actively supporting such an effort, in a collaborative, bi-partisan manner.

In addition, some states legislatures and value chain partners have also become active in chemicals management issues which have direct impact on the fragrance industry.

IFRA North America will continue to advocate for risk-based approaches to chemicals management policy while educating lawmakers and others within the value chain about the industry’s safety and compliance program.

Consumer Communication

Transparency is a key consideration as consumers become increasingly interested in the composition of the products they purchase and use in their daily lives. IFRA North America and its members recognize and appreciate this desire and have taken a number of steps in providing meaningful information to consumers about the fragrance ingredients used in scented products.Protection of intellectual property is critical to the success of industries highly invested in Research & Development (R&D). Legal protections such as confidential business information (CBI), trade secrets, and patents confer economic benefit to the creator. For multiple reasons, patents are not a viable measure of protection for fragrance blends. Instead, fragrance houses rely on CBI and trade secret status to preserve their technical innovations.

The fragrance industry is committed to finding mechanisms that enable consumers to make informed choices about the products they purchase while preserving the artistry and craft of the fragrance industry. Regular publication of an in-use inventory of fragrance ingredients is available on the web at www.ifraorg.org. This inventory or “perfumers palette” facilitates public awareness and discussion regarding materials used in scented products.

IFRA North America recognizes that customer transparency is a complicated issue that may not lend itself to a one-size-fits-all solution. Fragrance formulations differ vastly in their complexity, functionality, and application. Additionally, consumer products vary so widely that it is possible that the consumer product companies may need to determine what constitutes “meaningful disclosure” based on the customers they serve.

Sustainability

The fragrance industry’s creativity is built on a sound understanding of human behavior and attitudes. It shares an appreciation of the benefits to human development and progress that science and technology can create.In common purpose with its customers and consumers, the industry seeks to be at the forefront of what is environmentally sound, socially acceptable and economically viable and to act as an inspiration to others to follow its lead through partnership and dialogue.

Members of the International Fragrance Association, North America are integrating sustainability measures across multiple facets of the industry – from innovation to sourcing to manufacturing. Developing new ingredients using techniques found in biotechnology and green chemistry help improve the quality of our products while reducing our environmental footprint.

Committed to ethical sourcing, the fragrance industry has always emphasized the preservation of the supply of raw materials. Many fragrance houses have external partnerships and internal programs to ensure suppliers are meeting their sustainability standards for continuity of supply and responsible stewardship of natural resources. In addition, reducing the environmental impact in operations and manufacturing continues to be an area in which the fragrance industry makes strides. Several major fragrance houses have moved towards utilizing renewable energy to support manufacturing and operations including installing solar panels to supplement the powering of facilities. These areas underpin the broader industry’s commitment to sustainability.

In addition to efforts addressing energy and water conservation, emission and waste reduction and education and community relations projects, the fragrance industry continues to invest in improving the sustainability of its harvest of raw materials, it’s processing of essential oils and its manufacture of fragrance blends.

Real people and real communities all over the world have contributed to making the world’s most desired scents and most popular products. Please get to know them and their stories by following this link: http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/sustainability.