Skin Bliss

Demystifying Skincare

Fragrance allergen exposure

We are exposed to fragrance allergens every day.

  • Fragrance allergen exposure

    Fragrance allergen exposure


There are various modes of exposure to fragrances. This includes perfumes and eau de toilette, aftershaves and deodorants where it is used for their scent. But also products where the scent is an added feature. For example, other cosmetic categories (for example wipes), topical pharmaceuticals, household products, and products encountered in the occupational setting.

The general public is predominantly exposed to fragrance substances via perfumes or perfumed cosmetic products. But also via their presence in and use of detergents, fabric softeners, and other household products. In the latter product types, fragrances may be used to provide the consumer with a fresh smell or to mask unpleasant odors from raw materials. Fragrance substances are also used in aromatherapy and may be present in herbal products. A fragrance formula (‘perfume’) may contain up to several hundreds of different ingredients. Special fragrance databases list more than 2587 fragrance ingredients used for perfuming.

Different routes of exposure are reflected by the areas of the body that are affected. Deodorants are for example associated with axillary dermatitis. However, while sensitization and initial allergic reaction may follow a distinct pattern in the affected area, less specific exposures, for example via hand creams or cleaning lotions may later be sufficient to cause allergic contact dermatitis.