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Fragrance Allergens

MoCRA: This information is applicable to: All Cosmetic Manufacturers

Under the new MoCRA requirements, you will need to identify any fragrance allergens in the ingredient declaration for any cosmetic product.1 However, it probably won’t go fully into effect until sometime after January, 2026.

What fragrance allergens must be identified?

The list hasn’t been created or published. The FDA has until June 29, 2024 to create the proposed list and another six months (or so) to issue the final list. Then there will some time allowed to get your labels updated before the regulation takes effect (usually a year).

MoCRA says that the FDA should consider any existing international, State and local requirements for allergen disclosures when they are proposing regulations.2 Currently, Canada, Europe, UK, India, New Zealand, and S. Korea have rules that require fragrance allergens to be are disclosed – and most of them use the same list of substances. They require disclosure if the fragrance allergen substance is present at more than 0.01% in rinse off products or 0.001% in leave on products. (See table at the end of this article.)

It’s likely that the US list of fragrance allergens will include al least all (or most of) those same substances. The thresholds are likely to be the same as well.

What should you do now?

The requirement to identify fragrance allergens in your cosmetic ingredient declarations is still several years out. However, we already know what fragrance allergens have been identified by other countries. You can use that list to figure out if they are in your products and at what amounts.

Your fragrance or essential oil provider should be able to provide you with the name(s) and percentage of any fragrance allergen substances in the fragrance/essential oils you purchase.

For essential oils you can also check the Natural Complex Substances list published by International Fragrance Association (IFRA). You’ll have to do some math to figure out the amount of any substances in the essential oil(s). Luckily, you won’t have to figure out the exact amount of the substance in your product, just whether it is more that 0.01% for rinse off products or 0.001% for leave on products.

Internationally Regulated Fragrance Allergens

Fragrance AllergenSourcePlant Sources
Alpha-Isomethyl IononeSyntheticn/a
Amy cinnamalSyntheticn/a
Amyl cinnamyl alcoholSyntheticn/a
Anisyl (Anise) alcoholSynthetic or NaturalHoney, Anise, Tomatoes, Tahiti Vanilla
Benzyl alcoholSynthetic or NaturalPeru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Jasmin, Apricot, Almond, Apple, Asparagus, Banana, Black Currant, Blackberry
Benzyl benzoateSynthetic or NaturalPeru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Jasmin, Ylang-Ylang
Benzyl cinnamateSynthetic or NaturalPeru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Copahu
Benzyl salicylateSynthetic or NaturalPropolis
Butylphenyl methyl propionalSyntheticn/a
CinnamalSynthetic or NaturalCinnamon, Hyacinth , Patchouli, Nutmeg
Cinnamyl alcoholSynthetic or NaturalHyacinth
CitralSynthetic or NaturalLemon, Orange Peel, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Orange, Celeris, Apricot, Blackcurrant, Grape, Kiwi, Mango, Ginger, Melon, Plum, Raspberry, Rose
CitronellolSynthetic or NaturalLemongrass, Ceylon, Apple, Apricot, Cassis, Blackberry, Blueberry, Orange, Passion Fruit, Peach, Rose
CoumarinSynthetic or NaturalWoodruff, Flouves, Sweet clover, Angelique, Berce
EugenolSynthetic or NaturalClove, Allspice, Bay (Myrcia acris), Avens, Ceylon Cinnamon, Laurel, Cistus, Labdanifere, Basil Sassafras, Basil Java, Cassia, Sweet Flag, Carnation, Boldo, Cascarille, Galangal, Bay Leaves, Nutmeg, Pale Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Marjoram, Calamus, Camphor, Lemongrass, Patchouli
FarnesolSynthetic or NaturalRose, Neroli, Ylang-Ylang, Lime, Tolu Balsam
GeraniolSynthetic or NaturalRose oil, Orange, Palmarosa, Verbena, Neroli, Lemongrass, Hyssop, Laurel, Lavender, Mandarine, Melissa, Myrtle, Apple, Apricot, Black Cranberries, Blackcurrant, Blackberry, Coriander, Ginger, Nutmeg, Thyme, Geranium, Rose, Palmarosa, Ylang-Ylang
Hexyl Cinnamal (Cinnamaldehyde)Syntheticn/a
Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde (Hydroxy-methylpentyl-cyclohexenecarbox aldehyde)Syntheticn/a
IsoeugenolSynthetic or NaturalCitronella, Essential Oils of Ceylon, Essential Oils of Ylang-ylang
d-LimoneneSynthetic or NaturalLemon, Dill, Common Juniper, Orange, Verbena, Neroli, Niaouli, Melaleuca, Lemon Balsam, Peppermint, Nutmeg, Myrrh, Angelique, Aspic, Badiane, Bergamot, Mandarin, Bigaradier, Caraway, Celery, Lavender, Lime
LinaloolSynthetic or NaturalLavender, Pine, Laurel, Sour Orange, Marjoram, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Verbena, Myrtle, Neroli, Coriander, Geranium, Lime, Lemon Balsam, Nutmeg, Lemongrass, Basil, Bergamot, Rosewood, Banana, Blackberry, Bean, Blueberry, Apple, Apricot, Artichoke, Thyme, Rose, Palmarosa
Methyl 2-OctynoateSyntheticn/a
Oakmoss ExtractNaturalOak moss extract
Tree moss extractNaturalTree moss extract

1 21 USC 364e(b)
2 Ibid.

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