The Scented Salamander features an interview with Stephen Weller, Director of Communications for IFRA. You can read the whole thing here and do some headdesking. Marie-Helene Wagner asked the million dollar question:
Could you explain to us why IFRA and the perfume industry have set their preferences on perfume reformulation rather than warning labels as in the food industry? If we take inspiration from the pharmaceutical industry, why not deliver perfumes with allergenic ingredients in a controlled manner, again with warnings and perhaps even prescriptions? Fragrances are routinely sold in pharmacies. One would just need a step-up of this circuit of distribution.Here's the bottom line of the answer:
This is one approach to help inform the consumer to make a choice. However, not all consumers read labels or indeed understand the information on the label. Therefore, IFRA Standards are needed to help reduce the incidents of sensitisation to certain materials. Experience shows that labelling alone does not have the desired effect.
I don't know about you, but reading this makes me incredibly angry. I need a stiff drink. Maybe absinthe laced with oakmoss.