It is important to understand the IFRA certificate and how to find the relevant information. It may be intimidating, especially if it is all new to you. This post explains what IFRA (pronounced if-rah) is, and how to use the certificate as a maker of home and personal fragrance products.
IFRA is the International Fragrance Association, a global representative body of the fragrance industry. It represents the collective interests of the industry while promoting the safe use of fragrances. The IFRA standards are based on safety assessments by the panel of experts of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). We request IFRA Standards Conformity Certificates for each of our TruScent fragrance oils because each one has its unique properties.
Every fragrance is different in its chemical composition, and each one has different usage levels for different applications. Why does this matter & why do the levels vary? Imagine the difference between spilling lemon juice on your hand and accidentally spritzing some into your eye. The lemon juice is easily rinsed off your hand with water, with no further reminders of the incident. Lemon juice in your eye, however, is a different story.
IFRA certificates for our TruScent Fragrances are found in the “Attached Documents” tab of each fragrance, along with the MSDS. You may print it out for your records or simply refer to it.
The first piece of information is knowing how you intend to use this fragrance. The acceptable uses are categorized by the type of use – and the manner it would interact with organisms, living tissues, or surfaces it contacts. This category structure is usually consistent for IFRA’s – they do continue to make adjustments as more testing is mandated. Be sure you are in the proper category. When we look at the Christmas Tree IFRA, to find limits suitable for bath soap, you would refer to category 9 on those IFRA documents. There is an identified “Level of Use (%)” associated with each catergory. This is the maximum use, not the recommended use.
Candles (for which most of our TruScent oils are destined) are in category 12. You can see here, that for this fragrance – Christmas Tree, the maximum % usage is 100% for Candles. Of course, we obviously would not recommend that usage; for most of our TruScent oils, we would not recommend more than 9%, as that is usually the fragrance load for most of our waxes.
The Level of Use (%)” is not the recommended level of use, but the maximum level acceptable under the restrictions of the certificate for that fragrance. Most levels will be significantly lower, depending on the industry recommendations and the crafter’s preference.