Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating General IFRA requirements

  • IFRA requirements

    Posted by pbs on June 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Does anyone have experience with the few existing softwares that enable to use essential oils and essential oils combinations in cosmetic products? Objectives: make sure that my formulations are compliant with end application (skin, hair, leave on, rinse off) and generate safety data sheets (distribution USA only).  Thank you.

    gordof replied 12 months ago 8 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • johnb

    June 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    There is a lot more to fragrances than essential oils - as you will see if you check the IFRA web site http://www.ifraorg.org/

    Fragrance and fragrance formulation is a highly specialised business not to be undertaken lightly by the tyro. The very fact that you have posed this query shows that you have a very long and steep learning curve ahead.

  • pbs

    June 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you for your (very direct) comment on my query… an answer on software would have been more useful since you have much experience.  And for my particular project I confirm that I will only use essential oils, absolutes and simple or compounded natural isolates.  

  • Bobzchemist

    June 7, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    That software, if it even exists, would be specialized specifically for the fragrance industry. I’d be very surprised if anyone here has used anything like it. Software that specialized probably costs $5-10,000 or more.

    I think that using a fragrance house to custom-design fragrances for you would be a much wiser use for that money.

  • johnb

    June 8, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Few, if any, modern perfumes are composed entirely of natural materials. Many perfumes are 100% synthetic.

    The notes and fragrance nuances accepted and expected in a perfume nowadays are simply not obtainable from natural sources.

    Perfume creation, as I intimated above, is highly complicated, involves a knowledge of thousands of perfumery raw materials and their interaction with one another. Perfumers have a number of years of training and even then, the acquired knowledge requires flair together with an artistic and creative talent to be able to formulate anything that could be properly called a perfume, rather than merely a hotch-potch mixture of aroma chemicals (with or without natural components).

    Experienced perfumers are aware of how their raw materials palette behaves in the presence of other materials, including product bases and how their creations might be modified to suit any potential problems with stability and compatibility within different product types and, if they do not have this knowledge, there is normally a technical backup team to carry out any work necessary to establish suitable modifications.

    Because of this, the prospect of a computer generated perfume remains in the realms of science fiction many, many years in the future.

    Regarding IFRA. Together with RIFM, these organisations are primarily concerned with the safety of perfume materials rather than any creative aspects. Neither will be of much direct use to you in the early stages, provided that you take heed of any restrictions they impose.

  • goldie

    June 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    thank you so much john b
    as someone who deals with perfumes and notes on daily bases i have to say what u wrote is a key basic knowledge to someone who starts in this field <3

  • NoHypeCosmetics

    June 10, 2017 at 4:19 am

    JohnB you give me any perfume and i can dupe it using EO and Fo it is not hodge podge. I made Modern Muse within 4 hrs! Of course to use the solvents you need a federal license IF you intend to sell. The computer inquiry yes this is a direct business because its serious business. No there isnt a program in our scope.

    • RKB

      May 30, 2023 at 1:51 pm

      Perfume isn’t even fully developed within 4 fours. It will change over the coming days and weeks before its fragrance is fully developed. It’s literally impossible to know if a “dupe” was successful in 4 hours.

  • johnb

    June 10, 2017 at 6:17 am

    JohnB you give me any perfume and i can dupe it using EO and Fo it is not hodge podge.

    No, you cannot.

  • mikethair

    June 10, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Getting back to the question…. “make sure that my formulations are compliant with end application”…… @pbs is your main concern remaining within the prescribed allergen limits with any recipe you come up with?

  • gordof

    May 31, 2023 at 3:01 am

    Dear pbs

    I am not a Perfumer so my tip is more on the practical side of incorporating different essential oils into a formulation. Normally, in Europe, for a safety assessment of your product, you need to provide an Epicutan Test to show that the product dose not harass the skin. All other parts can be cleared with the IFRA certificate from your supplier of the essential oil. In that, you find the maximum Use concentration of this specific Essential oil in the product category you are targeting. it will be looked at for each essential oil separately.

    If you want to be absolutely sure that your Essential oils are not harmful in any way and the combination of them is ok in the wished concentration of your finished product you have the possibility to go to a Perfume producing company and tell them what you want to have and they will give you a blend of the Essential oils which then has a separate IFRA certificate with maximum use concentration depending on the application.

    The Perfume Companys have programs to calculate the maximum amounts of use depending on the Raw materials they are using. This is not an easy process especially with essential oils because as they are created of natural ingredients the scents can be various with ingredients. Rose oil from Africa will have different scent oils inside than one from America depending on the soil it grows on the water it gets the mineralization etc. For example, we had once a rosemary oil from Bulgary that could be used up to 15 % in Body applications. The Rosmarin oil from the same supplier from Spain could only be used up to 0.6 % in the same application.

    so these kinds of programs exist but need to be fed with the right information from the analyses of the Raw material supplier and I don’t think they are available for non-Perfum Companys or let’s say they are too expensive.

    so, in my opinion, the best way to be sure is either to look at each IFRA certificate for each essential oil you want to use or get a blend with its own IFRA certificate from a perfume Production company.

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by  gordof.

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