News from CRIS: Fragrances - Overview

August 10, 2021

What is a fragrance? 

Fragrances are substances possessing strong-smelling organic compounds that have characteristic, pleasant odors. Manufacturers use them in many products as a perfume. 
Sometimes a fragrance ingredient can be a flavor ingredient because flavors and fragrances use similar chemical messengers in our body. While the same scent or plant may be used in a product, flavors may be processed differently for purity and will be labeled and are regulated differently than a fragrance (1).


Where do we encounter fragrances?

We find fragrances in the majority of cosmetics, toiletries, household, laundry, air fresheners, candles, and incense products we use frequently. 
They are part of the products in our everyday life unless we actively avoid fragranced products (1,2). 

How are fragrances created?   

Much like flavors, manufacturers derive fragrances from natural and synthetic methods. 
Natural compounds are derived from natural sources (often plants) by physical or biotechnological procedures to harness the ingredients. 
Synthetic fragrance ingredients can either be nature-identical or artificial. Natural-identical synthetic fragrances are made from synthetically derived ingredients to have the same chemical composition as a fragrance found in nature. Artificial fragrances are made from synthetic ingredients and have a scent and/or chemical composition not known to be found in nature (1). 


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