Research Institute for Fragrance Materials


The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials was formed in 1966 by the industry to carry out research on ingredients used in fragrances. The RIFM is an international organization whose purpose is to assure the safety of perfumery materials. It is a non-profit organization. It has evaluated over 1,300 fragrance materials since its inception.
The Board of Directors is elected at an annual meeting. It is composed of chief executive officers from member companies. The research portion of the Institute is separate from the administrative part. The president serves on both the administrative and the research branches. A Scientific Advisory Board composed of perfumers, researchers, and chemists from the fragrance industry advises the president. The evaluation of safety are made by an independent panel of experts that is composed of toxicologists, pharmacologists, and dermatologists from outside the fragrance industry.
The RIFM tests only raw perfumery materials. These materials are selected by the Scientific Advisory Board whose members are from the fragrance industry. The materials are selected on the following criteria:
1. They must be representative of materials actually in use in the industry.
2. They must confirm to standards of the industry
3. They must be submitted with name and identification number, no supplier can be indicated.
4. They must be accompanied by gas-chormatographic or other means of a "thumb-print" identification.
The parameters of screening are allergy and phototoxic testing; general toxicity by both oral and dermal routes and other procedures recommended by the independent panel from outside the fragrance industry.
In dermal testing for irritant and allergy testing the concentration of the materials is at ten times the maximum use level. Acute oral and dermal toxicity levels are used to determine the general toxicity of the materials. When indicated phototoxicity testing is also done.
The results of the screening of these materials are submitted to the International Fragrance Association. The IFRA then evaluates the data and formulates guidelines for safe use of the materials.
Information is available from the RIFM. The Cross Reference List is available that lists the fragrance materials tested. Monographs are also published in various issues of Food and Chemical Toxicology.Monographs of these substances are also available in a binder from the RIFM..
Contact Information
Research Institute for Fragrance Materials
Two University Plaza
Suite 406
Hackensack, New Jersy 07601


Safety Testing of Fragrances: Problems and Implications
Opydyke D. L.; Clinical Toxicology 10(1), pp 61-77 (1977)

Nitro musks in fragrance products: an update of FDA findings.
(includes related article on self-regulation by the fragrance industry)
Cosmetics and Toiletries June 1996; (v111 n6) Start Page: p73(4) ISSN: 0361-4387; Wisneski, Harris S., Havery, Donald C.


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