How much Fragrance is in your product?

As I was revamping my "fragrance roller" product page and looking up the IFRA standards for some newer scents, it occurred to me that this may be a topic that most are unfamiliar with!

I have always called them "fragrance" rollers to cover all of my bases, but what is a "perfume?" The official name of the item is determined by the percentage of fragrance element in the product. That might sound easy enough, but the truth is that there is not a lot of standardization around these numbers. The most common description is as follows:

Parfum (perfume) has a concentration of 20-40% fragrance elements. 
Eau de Parfum (EDP) has a concentration of 15-20% fragrance elements.
Eau de Toilette (EDT) has a concentration of 5-15% fragrance elements.
Eau de Cologne (EDC) has a concentration of 2-5% fragrance elements.

Why not just make all scents as the strongest perfumes? MOST fragrance oils are not actually skin-safe at that concentration.

Reputable fragrance oil distributors always include the IFRA Certificate (also called IFRA 48 or IFRA 49) right there on the product page. Opening that document usually shows a list of categories along with the maximum concentration for that category. For our purposes, here are the category descriptions for some of my products:


Category 4 applies to perfumes. Category 5a applies to body butters. Category 9 applies to bar soap. Now that we know what category to look at, let's take a look at the IFRA information for Bramble Berry's "Rose Gold" fragrance oil:

This tells me that the maximum fragrance oil % I can use in any kind of perfume is only 17.2%. This technically makes it an Eau de Parfum as opposed to a perfume! The maximum amount for a body butter would be 4.4% and 9.5% for a soap.

These numbers vary wildly across fragrance oil. Blended oils need to account for the numbers of all fragrance oils used. 

The Flaming Candle's "Fruit Loop Type" fragrance oil is much lower.


 Candlescience's "Orange Blossom" is much higher!


So what does it mean when something is named a "perfume oil?" To be honest, you might never know. It could genuinely be a fragrance blend with oils all greater than 20% in Category 4. It could be that the maker goes by a lower number (15-30%) to consider it a perfume. It could be a 20-30% fragrance element concentration with no regard of the IFRA recommendation (which is not always harmful- it depends on the person and the fragrance elements).   

Is it necessary to use the maximum amount of fragrance for each product? NOOOOOO. More is not always stronger, longer lasting, and/or better smelling. Personally, I like to find that exact percentage that allows the scents to bloom while avoiding any "chemical" undertone. It's different for each fragrance and it's something I can only rely on my own nose for!

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative! <3 


IFRA Code of Practice & Standards; 49th Amendment

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