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• Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aromatic compounds,

fixatives and solvents used to give a pleasant scent.

• Perfumes are supposed to release a continuous pleasant fragrance that will

provide a long lasting feeling of freshness.


Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes.

• These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation

process of the perfume.

The three notes are:

a.Top notes

b.Middle notes

c.Base notes

Each of these levels, however, has its own primary purpose.


a) Top notes:

• They are generally the lightest of all notes and recognized immediately

after application.

• Top notes consist of small, light molecules with high volatility that

evaporate quickly.

• Common fragrances of top notes include citrus (lemon, orange zest), light

fruits (grape, berries) and herbs (lavender).

b) Middle Notes:

• The middle notes, or the heart notes, make an appearance once the top

notes evaporate.

• The middle note compounds form the “heart” or main body of a


• Act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which

become more pleasant with time.

• Common fragrances of middle notes includes rose, lemon, lavender,

nutmeg and jasmine.

c)Base notes:

• Base notes or bottom or dry notes appear while middle notes are fading.

• The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume.

• Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume.

• Common fragrances of base notes include sandalwood, vanilla, amber and musk.


Perfumes are classified into five major groups on the basis of concentration of

fragrance and duration of lasting

1.Perfumes are most potent and expensive form with 20-40% of fragrance oil.

Apply sparingly as its concentration means more intensity on skin and last for 9-


2.Eau de parfum (EDP)– 18-25% of fragrance oil. The rest is alcohol , water and

it lasts for 6 to 9 hours.

3.Eau de toilette(EDT) – lighter fragrance with 8 to 15% fragrance oil and last

for 4 to 6 hours.

4.Eau de cologne(EDC) – 5 to 15% fragrance oil and last for 2 to 4 hours.

5.Mist –increasingly popular nowadays as all over body spray with 3 to 7% of

fragrance oil and lasts for 1 to 2 hour. Can be applied lavishly. storing them in the

fridge increases its cooling effect.

6.Splash and after shave – 1 to 3% of fragrance oil and last 1 hours.


Single Floral : perfumes that have a dominant scent of just one flower.

Floral Bouquet : perfumes whose scent is a combination of several flowers.

Oriental or Amber : these have sweet and slightly animalic scents.

Woody : made of agarwood, sandalwood, cedarwood, and vetiver which give

of woody scents.

Leather : scents that are reminiscent of leather but made of scents of honey,

tobacco, wood and woodtar.

Chypre : Scents of oakmoss, and labdanum.

Fern(Fougère ):Has base of lavender, coumarin and oakmoss and is

predominantly men’s perfume.

• Perfumes can further be classified into following classes:

1. Bright floral: Fragrance from one or several flowers.

e.g. Estee Beautiful

2. Green: Fragrance from cut grass or leaf.

e.g. Calvin Klein’s Eternity

3. Aquatic/oceanic: A clean smell reminiscent of ocean.

e.g. Davidoff Cool Water

4.Citrus: Has freshening effect.

5. Fruity: Aromas of fruits other than citrus. (black currant), mango,

passion fruit

6. Gourmand: Scent with edible or desert like qualities (vanilla)



• Annex III of EU Cosmetic Regulation 1223/2009 currently lists 26


• Mostly found in fragrances and essential oils that, if present at certain

levels or higher, must be listed as part of the product’s ingredient listing.

• All of which must be listed in the ingredients list on the label or packaging

of a product if they are present in concentrations greater than 0.001% in

leave-on products and 0.01% in rinse-off products.

• The listing of these 26 allergens was intended to alert customers of their

presence so they can avoid using the product if they are allergic to those



• A recent epidemiologic survey in the UK revealed that 23% of women and 13.8% of

men experience some sort of adverse reaction to a personal care product over the

course of a year.

• Although most of these reactions may be due to sensory irritation, various studies

reveal that up to 10% of dermatologic patients who are patch tested are allergic to

cosmetic products or their constituent ingredients.

• Causative products include deodorants and perfumes, skin care products, hair care

products, and nail cosmetics.

• Allergic contact dermatitis mainly results from fragrance chemicals and


• The preservative methyldibromo glutaronitrile has also been recognized

as an increasingly important sensitizer in Europe, which has led to the

recent recommendation that it should be prohibited from ‘leave-on’

products until information on ‘safe’ consumer levels becomes available.

• Other emerging allergens include UV filters, tosylamide/formaldehyde

resin, and nail acrylates.

• It has been estimated that 1–3% of the population will be allergic to a

cosmetic or cosmetic ingredient. In one survey, 700 of 30 000 US

consumers reacted to a cosmetic product in 1 year.[13] In another US study

713 of 13 216 patients with contact dermatitis had cosmetic dermatitis. This

represented 0.3% of the total number of dermatology patients or 5.4% of all

patients with contact dermatitis.

• However, the true incidence of adverse reactions to cosmetics is likely to be

underestimated since most reactions are often mild and transient, and

consumers simply change products. In order to address this issue some

countries now have systems of ‘cosmetovigilance’.


Most cosmetics are delivered from ‘multi-use’ packaging and come into

repeated contact with the environment and human skin. This, along with their

composition, makes them an extremely good culture medium. As a result,

numerous different preservative systems have been devised and most contain

low-molecular weight compounds, which makes them potential sensitizers.

This is borne out by studies that identify these ingredients as common

cosmetic allergens.

• Studies from several years pointed out that the most frequently used

preservatives in cosmetics are the parabens, imidazolidinyl urea,

quaternium-15 (Q-15), formaldehyde, and isothiazolinones.

• Currently, methyldibromo glutaronitrile urea, diazolidinyl (MDBGN)

appears to be an increasingly recognized and important sensitizer in

several countries. A 10-year analysis of the frequency of sensitivity to

common preservatives, collected in 16 centers in 11 countries, has shown

stable but persistently high levels of sensitivity to formaldehyde and

methylisothiazolinone/methylchloroisothiazolinone (MI/MCI).



• Parabens are one of the most frequently used preservatives in cosmetics.

In one European study parabens were found in 99% of leave-on products

and 77% of rinse-off products.

• In view of common usage, these compounds appear to be weak cosmetic

at the usual concentrations of 0.1–0.3%. However, they have a greater

sensitization potential when used in therapeutic products, especially on

damaged skin. This is referred to as the ‘paraben paradox’.




• Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives include imidazolidinyl urea,
diazolidinyl urea, Q-15, dimethyloldimethyl dantoin and, under extreme
pH changes, 2-bromo-2-ni-tropropane-1,3-diol (bronopol).

• All of these have inherent antibacterial and antifungal properties but also
have a releasing action by virtue of an easily detachable formaldehyde

• Although the concentration of free formaldehyde that released will be
extremely low, it might induce sensitization repeatedly applied to damaged
skin and may provoke an allergic contact dermatitis in those already
sensitized to it. With the decline in use of formaldehyde as a preservative,
there has been a concomitant increase in the prevalence of sensitivity to
these formaldehyde releasers.

• Q-15 is hexametylene tetramine chloroallyl chloride