Flavors, essential oils and perfumes play a key role in appealing cosmetic consumers as commonly known by marketing experts. “Olfactory memory” is an unconscious mechanism that influences learning process and is able to stimulate other senses. Until Second Industrial Revolution (1870) perfumes were only obtained from essential oils or natural extracts (from animal or vegetal origin), but the organic chemistry opened the way to new cheaper and more accessible synthetic molecules rather than natural perfumes. Nowadays, perfume companies utilize synthetic molecules and nature‑identical fragrances (endowed with a defined flavor) that make them easy to blend with essential oils to design more sophisticated fragrances.
Perfume factories usually holds expensive patents for their own blends so that they are allowed to indicate them in the list of ingredient (INCI) with the term “Fragrance / Parfum” without any legal obligation to specify chemical composition. While this position protects intellectual properties of perfume factories, it definitely allows to omit in ingredients list some regulated or banned substances (i.e. some preservatives, dyes and sunscreens) in spite of consumer safety. In order to primarily protect consumers, the European Parliament Directive 2003/15/CE identifies 26 fragrance allergens (found mainly in perfumes) that have to be indicated in mandatory way on label when they are beyond of a certain concentration. Moreover, the adoption of the European Regulation (CE) n.1223/2009 implicate – for cosmetic products and perfumes – the mandatory drafting of the Product Information File (PIF) with punctual information on toxicological data of each ingredient, substituting the outdated technical dossier.
The importance to operate serious qualitative control on fragrances stimulated many fragrance producers to test their products – for quality assurance and certification – in order to get all information for PIF drafting. Our analysts in BeC laboratories can perform a variety of tests to fulfill technical data:
- Qualitative and quantitative analyses of essential oils and other volatile mixtures by gaschromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS)
- Qualitative and quantitative GC-MS analyses of allergens (Directive 2003/15/CE)
- UV-VIS spectrophotometric analysis of color
- Refractive index determination
- Stability study to PAO (period after opening) evaluation
- Accelerated aging with GC-MS qualitative and quantitative analysis
With this service, BeC makes available a more than thirty-year expertise in essential oil with the final aim to guarantee consumer safety and contribute to protect global health.