More news on ingredient restrictions

Here is an article today on the Reuters site about even tighter ingredient restrictions being discussed in the EU. It is quite depressing. This won’t have immediate impact on small indies in the USA (as long as they don’t want to sell in the EU), but I wonder where all this is going for the industry. Honestly, the long-term outlook for the industry is just not looking good to me. People are so afraid of lawsuits and skin reactions that zero risk is becoming the rule of the day, and the only way to accomplish zero risk is zero fragrance. I am amazed that we have so many new indies entering the market given the current trends in regulation and anti-fragrance sentiment. It does not seem like a good time to invest in a new venture in fragrance, yet we have a flood of new brands. It is not making sense to me.

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  1. I wish perfume could simply be sold with a warning, perhaps a posted sign at the sales counter and on perfume websites, “For all you litigious smellies, here’s the deal: Perfume may contain ingredients that are potential allergens for some people. In extremely rare instances, rashes, hives, coughing, sneezing, and/or headaches and other symptoms may occur with the use of this product. If you have any of these symptoms, we are very sorry. You should discontinue use and contact your doctor. Duh.” And then the EU could let the industry, and the consumer, go forth into scent bliss without ingredients restrictions! Bring on the oak moss!!

  2. Outrageous. People have been using these ingredients for how many centuries? How many deaths have there been from the use of perfume? Governments should be regulating truly harmful substances that are poisoning the water and air and really killing people and animals around the world.

    1. Yes, there are so many other things to focus on that are doing true harm to people, animals, plant life, and the planet. Priorities seem to get out of place.

  3. I keep harping on the fact that our mothers and their friends wore oakmoss and who knows what else in their perfumes and were never harmed by it. I have been wearing vintage Opium for years and have not yet died of eugenol. Warning labels, sure, but educated choice needs to be allowed.

    1. Eugenol is in many natural oils (to name just a few, basil, bay, cinnamon, clove, carnation, champaca, cistus, coffee, black currant, ginger, jasmine, lavender, nutmeg, osmanthus, ylang, rose). If they ban all eugenol, that means all natural oils would have to have the eugenol extracted from them before they could be used, or else none of these natural oils could be used. That would be tragic to perfumery. The whole thing makes me very sad.

      1. Sad indeed. I had no idea that eugenol was in so many oils. If only this much effort and legislation were being put into keeping chemicals and pharmaceuticals out of drinking water.

  4. Just another indicator of how out of whack & unreasonable our world seems to be getting … are other Arts being attacked w/regulations? Some have age restrictions applied, but are they totally banned?

    1. I can’t think of anything similar, but maybe someone will come along with something. Listening to loud music can damage your ears but they still sell headsets and speakers and allow loud concerts, leaving it up to individuals to use common sense.

  5. I am especially annoyed because it seems highly unlikely that ubiquitous synthetic ingredients like Iso-E-super are safer than some of the “suspicious” compounds, but the synthetics are protected by huge corporate interests with equally huge legal and lobbying budgets, while the older stuff has no such financial protection. I am not in any way opposed to synthetics, I’m simply observing that I don’t think perfumes with a big dose of iso-E-super are in any respect “safer” than perfumes with oakmoss.

    1. Agree. The synthetics are less apt to cause allergic reactions since they are simple molecules rather than complex mixes of aroma chemicals like natural oils, but we’ve run into problems with the older synthetic musks not being biodegradable and now use newer biodegradable musks instead. I would not be surprised if we discover other negative aspects about some of the synthetics and need to come up with new ones just like with the musk example.

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