Allergens In Perfumes Gas Chromatographymass Spectrometry

S. C. Rastogi, National Environmental

Research Institute, Rokilde, Denmark

Copyright © 2000 Academic Press

Perfumes (fragrance substances) are used in the formulation of consumer products to provide pleasure to the user and/or to mask malodours of some other ingredients in the products. Perfumes are also used in aromatherapy. A typical perfume may be composed of 10-300 substances selected from a battery of over 3000 synthetic and natural fragrance materials. It has been shown that approximately 2% of the general population is allergic to perfumes. Furthermore, perfumes have also been shown to be one of the major cause of allergic contact dermatitis from the use of cosmetics and toiletries. Besides cosmetics, the use of many other consumer products such as perfumed laundry detergents and dishwashers have also been implicated as the cause of perfume allergy in contact eczema patients.

Perfume allergy in contact eczema patients is diagnosed by patch-testing with a fragrance mix containing 1% each of geraniol, eugenol, isoeugenol, cinnamic alcohol, cinnamic aldehyde, a-amylcin-namic aldehyde, hydroxycitronellal and an extract from oakmoss - oakmoss absolute. However, only 50-80% of perfume allergy cases are diagnosed by this test. For the management of allergy, it is important to identify the fragrance allergen responsible for contact eczema in a patient, as this makes it possible for the patient to avoid the use of products containing the sensitizing allergen(s). To establish the identity of the fragrance substance responsible for perfume allergy in a contact eczema patient, it is recommended that the product(s) used by a patient should be analysed for the contents of fragrance allergens followed by patch-testing the patient with the relevant fragrance allergens present in the product.

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is frequently used for the analysis of fragrance substances in essential oils. This approach is used for the identification and semiquantitative determination of the fragrance substances of interest in essential oils. In 1995, GC-MS was used for the identification and quantification of 10 selected fragrance substances including the seven chemically defined substances of fragrance mix in perfumes, eau de toilette, deodorants, creams, lotions, shampoos and other perfumed consumer products which may contain both natural as well as synthetic fragrance materials. The method was later modified slightly so that quantitative analysis of many more fragrance substances in perfumes or in perfumed products could be performed. This method, described in the present article, has been applied to the analysis of perfumes in various consumer products. To demonstrate the potential of the method for perfume analysis, example of analysis of fragrance substances in a deodorant and in an eau de toilette are presented here. Sample preparation methods for the GC analysis of fragrances in various types of consumer products is also described. The quantitative data on fragrance substances in various consumer products are reported in the publications described in the Further Reading section.

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