Fragrance Synthetic and Natural

No known benefits

Parfum/Fragrance at a glance

  • Also known as fragrance
  • Unknown composition of parfum leaves consumers in the dark
  • Numerous fragrance components are proven to irritate skin
  • Ongoing use of fragranced products can harm skin’s long-term healthy appearance

Parfum/Fragrance description

Parfum is another name for fragrance. According to the United States Personal Care Product Council, “The term Parfum shall be used for ingredient labeling in the European Union (EU) instead of listing the individual components of the fragrance under the 6th Amendment to the EU Cosmetics Directive. The INCI name permitted for labeling in the U.S. that corresponds to this EU labeling name is Fragrance.” Due to the exact ingredients in a fragrance/parfum not needing to be listed in all cases, it’s impossible for consumers to know what they’re putting on their skin. What research has shown over the years is that fragrance, even when labeled “parfum” poses a strong risk of irritating skin—and this cumulative irritation can occur beneath the skin without showing obvious signs on the surface. This is why we recommend everyone avoid the use of fragranced personal care products; it’s simply what is best for the long-term healthy appearance of your skin.

Parfum/Fragrance references

  • Cosmetics, March 2022, pages 1–13
  • Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410-1,419
  • Aging, March 2012, pages 166-175
  • Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77-80
  • Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821-832
  • International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement pages 1-43
  • Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446-475
  • Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, issue 4, pages 191-202

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.