Unpacking the Fragrance Industry: understanding the safety evaluation process



The fragrance industry believes that consumers should be confident that the products they buy are safe.  Consumers today are aware of potential health and environmental issues and wish to make informed purchase choices. Therefore, the industry is committed to addressing consumers' interests through a continuous health and environmental safety review of fragrance ingredients. The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) is the organization missioned to provide the scientific basis for meeting that commitment.

The full details of the RIFM safety evaluation process are publicly available in published form entitled Criteria for the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM) safety evaluation process for fragrance ingredients.1 Established in 1966, RIFM has a long track record of scientifically sound safety assessment and methodology research. In recent years, RIFM has intensified efforts to conduct full safety assessments on the ingredients used in the fragrance industry. Summaries of the assessments are made available through a peer-reviewed scientific publication. More detailed summaries are made available to RIFM members in order to help them with their own internal safety assessments.

RIFM is a leading institution in advancing the methodologies used in ingredient safety assessments. These methodologies, including the RIFM-Creme Aggregate Exposure Model, the Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), the 2-Box Air Exposure Model, and the RIFM Environmental Framework, have met with very positive responses from regulators and other experts. These methodologies are all published.

For more than 40 years, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has supported the fragrance industry commitment through published Safety Standards based on RIFM’s findings. RIFM and IFRA continuously advise and engage with fragrance companies, their customers, and regulators in an open, science-based dialogue that supports innovations in product safety and fosters improved transparency.

1All of RIFM’s research is published and easily accessed in the public domain, on its website at or its Online Open Source Fragrance Material Safety Assessment Center at