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Safety/Testing of Fragrances

Contact Author Donald L. Opdyke, PhD
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Fragrance materials have been a part of the skin’s environment since before recorded history. The materials themselves change somewhat with the times, but many of the currently employed fragrance materials date from the third millenium B.C. and Biblical references abound.

Fragrances are ubiquitous. From the baby products to the embalming fluids and cosmetics used at death, humans are exposed to fragrance materials. In addition to cosmetics, fragrances are found in household and garden sprays, room fresheners, floor waxes and furniture polishes, insect repellents, bathroom cleansers, scouring powders, oven cleaners, shoe polish, incense, sachets, pomanders, and tobacco.

When one considers the long history of the use of fragrances, their broad distribution, and our length of exposure to them, one is impressed with the very few examples of injury to humans that can be attributed to these materials. The only problems reported have been occasional rashes on the skin and even more specifically, light-induced rashes.

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