The Artistic Side of Fragrances


Reckitt Benckiser is about to let you in on a little secret: our science labs are as full of art as a painter's studio! Not content with having our products clean, polish, and disinfect, our research and development scientists work with some of the leading fragrance companies in the world to add the finishing touch…the perfect scent. Similar to a world-class chef, these special “scientific artists” blend and mix hundreds of different ingredients together to create a plethora of colourful fragrances — all while being safe for use as directed.

Sounds like a pretty tall order. Can it be done?

Absolutely! We make it the goal of each day to develop and market products that are not only safe to use as directed, but smell fantastic too!

The composition of our fragrances

Just like the flavors of your most favorite foods or beverages, the exact composition of each of our individual fragrances is kept at the utmost level of confidentiality. However, what we can share with you is information about the palette of ingredients that are used to create each fragrance.

The ingredients that go into creating the perfect fragrance are not just any ingredients. They are carefully chosen from a palette of a little over 3,000 materials reviewed and approved by the International Fragrance Association, known as IFRA. An alphabetized list of these fragrance materials can be viewed at the following website:

The ingredients on the list, both natural and synthetic, are listed alphabetically by their chemical name and their Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number.

Within IFRA, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) was formed in 1966 to analyze, evaluate and distribute scientific data, cooperate with official agencies and encourage safety standards for the use of fragrance ingredients. Its vision is to be the international scientific authority for the safe use of fragrance materials.

All scientific findings are evaluated by RIFM's Expert Panel. The Panel is an independent and international group of dermatologists, pathologists, environmental scientists and toxicologists. It advises RIFM on strategic approach, reviews protocols and evaluates all of RIFM's scientific findings. The Panel's evaluations are used by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) to develop standards on fragrance material usage. RIFM's staff scientists reach out to the international fragrance industry through electronic bulletins about progress in environmental testing, respiratory research and skin sensitivity testing, publication of the latest results in peer-reviewed scientific publications and by in-person presentations at professional societies, individual companies, government agencies, industry committee and association meetings.

You can read more about IFRA and RIFM by clicking on the following links: &

As you have come to expect from Reckitt Benckiser, we thrive on exceeding expectations! Reckitt Benckiser works in partnership with some of the leading fragrance companies in the world to develop the perfect fragrances for your products. We ensure that all the fragrances that we use comply with the IFRA and RIFM guidelines mentioned above, plus ensuring compliance with all relevant regional US and Canadian regulatory requirements, for example, TSCA (the Federal US chemical management system), California Proposition 65, DSL and n-DSL (the Canadian chemical management system), Canadian Cosmetic Hotlist, etc. In addition, Reckitt Benckiser has an extensive list of internal requirements that go above and beyond IFRA and regulatory requirements, demonstrating our commitment to you, our consumer.

Reckitt's Additional Guidelines

Our Product Safety Policy sets out our approach. It is applied to all our products through a global product safety program comprising product safety guidelines, standards and procedures. More than 300 people in our worldwide Regulatory, Safety & Environmental (RSE) services and regulatory groups implement the product safety program. It is used daily at our Research & Development (R&D) centers and manufacturing facilities. RSE works across all of our business functions, especially with the R&D and regional Regulatory teams on new products. RSE is responsible for ensuring the safety and regulatory compliance of our products for their intended use and across all of their lifecycle stages. Regulatory teams in individual national businesses work alongside our global RSE and R&D functions to ensure that we correctly understand and comply with all national product regulations.

Our long-standing and regularly reviewed arrangements for product safety include our Global Ingredients Guidelines (GIGs), which specify specific materials to be excluded or only used at certain levels in our products. The GIGs comprise a single point of reference on regulatory requirements, our own internal requirements and specific direction on the use (or non-use) of materials and ingredients.

We have been reviewing ingredients for the past ten years and continue a range of ingredient removal programmes above and beyond regulatory requirements. Our objective is to continually improve the environmental and safety profile of our products, by systematically removing specific ingredients from product formulas and packaging/device component specifications, where alternatives exist.

Reckitt Benckiser is committed to continuous improvement in the development and marketing of products which are safe when used by our consumers. This includes a continual improvement plan for the use of our fragrances and any other raw material. For more details on chemical management and other programs, please refer to our Sustainability Report found in the Our Responsibility page of this website.

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