Think smell doesn’t matter? Think again.
Today is Anosmia Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness about the loss of the ability to smell.
Not everyone fully appreciates what the sense of smell affords us. But those who have lost olfactory sensation – a more familiar, if typically temporary, occurrence since the advent of COVID-19 – know too well. Smell alerts us to potential dangers, such as gas leaks or smoke from fires. In addition, scent helps make eating pleasurable, influences attraction, and encourages us to maintain healthful hygiene habits.
Did you know? It doesn’t take much fragrance for our noses to detect it. Humans can smell odors in low quantities – as low as parts per billion in some cases. The human ability to detect smell is why our exposure to fragrance ingredients in products that use them is relatively low.
The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) helps ensure everyone can safely enjoy their favorite fragranced products through its longstanding Safety Assessment and Research Programs. RIFM scientists have assessed the safety of fragrance ingredients using real-world habits and practices data and following the most current, internationally accepted guidelines since the organization’s founding in 1966.
RIFM collaborates with well-regarded scientific experts worldwide to help maintain objectivity and the highest scientific standards for its Safety Assessment and Research programs. The Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety, an independent, international team of researchers and academics without ties to the fragrance industry, reviews and must approve all of RIFM’s work before RIFM submits it for peer-reviewed publication in a reputable scientific journal.
Since 2014, using an updated set of criteria, the Expert Panel has approved RIFM Safety Assessments for more than 1,800 individual ingredients covering over 85% of the volume used by the fragrance industry. RIFM expects to complete and publish safety assessments covering all ~2,200 discrete fragrance ingredients in 2024 and all ~900 NCS materials by the end of 2027.
All of RIFM’s published, peer-reviewed work—current and historical—is available for free at fragrancematerialsafetyresource.elsevier.com.