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ingredients and transparency

What is the IFRA Transparency List?

The IFRA Transparency List is an ordered register of all fragrance ingredients used in consumer goods by the industry’s customers worldwide.


It represents a snapshot of all the ingredients used in active formulas at the time of publication. This includes those used in very small quantities or only in certain countries or regions.


What types of ingredients are on the List?

There are two main types of ingredient on the List.

Fragrance ingredients are basic substances used for odour or malodour coverage. These ingredients may also be combined as fragrance compounds.

Functional ingredients are substances that are not used to provide odour or malodour coverage, but which are essential for the functionality or durability of a fragrance ingredient or compound – such as an antioxidant, preservative, diluent, solvent or colour.


How is the List compiled?

The IFRA Transparency List is based on reporting provided by IFRA Members in the ‘Volume of Use Survey’, which is compiled every four years.

In line with our anti-trust obligations, the Survey is anonymous and confidential. As well as helping us to develop the IFRA Transparency List, the data provided by the Survey is used for the industry’s safety assessment program.


Why does the current List have more ingredients than its predecessors?

The number of ingredients on this List is greater than in previous years largely due to the introduction of a new, more refined nomenclature system for natural products. These products can have various geographical origins, be extracted via different processes, and come from different parts of the plant.

We therefore employ a system that provides greater detail and transparency than the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number system.


Are new ingredients automatically assessed for safety?

The most recent Volume of Use Survey, which took place in 2015/2016, is the last under which reported ingredients are automatically fed into the Safety Assessment Program run by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM).

From now on, any ingredient not previously reported will need to be added to the RIFM database. RIFM will assess only those ingredients for which it receives samples and exposure information.

In all cases, the manufacturing company must demonstrate the safety of a product it places on the market, either via a RIFM safety assessment or a company safety assessment.

Download the Transparency list