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fragrances and aromas

Fragrances and aromas

26 October 2022
Fragrances and aromas: the differences

The topic of fragrances and aromas in cosmetics is complex and often much debated since it refers to one’s personal taste. In fact, it is not unusual to see the same cosmetic product promoted or rejected because of its fragrance. Although, in recent years, it happens more and more frequently that a good percentage of people prefer cosmetic formulations without fragrances.

But are fragrances necessary in a cosmetic product?

The answer is: it depends.

The addition of a fragrance to a cosmetic product is necessary when the raw materials used, especially those of natural origin, have an unpleasant smell and risk making the use of the cosmetic itself unpleasant. In other cases, fragrance is essential to evoke pleasant emotions and sensations in the consumer.

After the use of cosmetics that contain fragrances, in some cases and in sensitive individuals, a tingling or burning sensation may occur in the treated area. This can occur because within some essential oils used as fragrances, allergens are contained, i.e., substances capable of manifesting an allergic reaction. For this reason, since 2013 a European Union directive has introduced a requirement to declare on the label whether the fragrance used within a cosmetic formulation contains one or more of the 26 most common allergens within fragrances.

Below is a list of the common allergens:
  • Alpha-isomethyl ionone.
  • Amyl cinnamal.
  • Amylcinnamyl alcohol.
  • Anise alcohol.
  • Benzyl alcohol.
  • Benzyl benzoate.
  • Benzyl cinnamate.
  • Benzyl salicylate.
  • Butylphenyl methylpropional.
  • Cinnamal.
  • Cinnamyl alcohol.
  • Citral.
  • Citronellol.
  • Coumarin.
  • Eugenol.
  • Evernia furfuracea.
  • Evernia prunastri.
  • Farnesol.
  • Geraniol.
  • Hexyl cinnamal.
  • Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde.
  • Hydroxycitronellal.
  • Isoeugenol.
  • Limonene.
  • Linaool.
  • Methyl 2-octynoate.
Fragrances or aromas?

While in face and décolleté formulations the fragrance ingredients in the INCI are named “Parfum,” in the case of lip products these are named “Aroma.” The difference between the two lies not only in the name but also in some technical specifications since aromas, being added in lip products, must be safe in case of ingestion.

Gen-Hyal chose to use fragrances and aromas in its cosmetic formulations only when strictly necessary and in any case to use hypoallergenic fragrances that did not contain the above allergens. Indeed, the goal of Gen-Hyal formulators is to create technologically advanced formulations suitable for the most sensitive skin.

We look for new solutions every day to develop products in line with our philosophy of ESSENTIALITY, and the choice of whether or not to put a pro-smoke in the formulas is dictated purely by the need in some cases to “cover up” the overly persistent odors of certain raw materials.

Gen-Hyal is therefore a safe as well as an effective choice: only hypoallergenic fragrances and aromas in dermatologically tested products for sensitive skin.

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