A. Chisvert, M. López-Nogueroles, A. Salvador

In: Encyclopedia of Analytical Science (Third Edition)



Perfumes consist of a mixture of aromatic chemicals and essential oils. Up until the 19th century they were usually composed of natural aromatic oils but nowadays, most perfumes are synthetic and may contain many fragrance chemicals.

Analytical control of the fragrances in perfumes or perfumed formulations is necessary to assure the quality and the desired smell of the product. Moreover substances that could cause health problems (not only prohibited but also potentially toxic ingredients) must be controlled. It is worth mentioning that some authorized substances that are currently used are classified as potentially allergenic substances, making necessary their analytical determination, especially in the European Union as their maximum concentration is limited.

This article deals with the different types of perfumed products, either perfumes or perfumed formulations containing fragrances, their legislation and safety aspects and the analytical methods for fragrance chemicals determination. Chromatographic techniques are the most used and, mainly gas chromatography using the head-space sampling mode with flame ionization or preferably mass spectrometry detection. Chiral columns have special interest as some fragrances are chiral and the chiral ratio of a mixture usually affect the scent of the formulation. Electronic noses also have an increasingly prominent role in the field of perfume analysis.

Keywords: Analysis, Fragances, Perfumes.

Full reference:
A. Chisvert, M. López-Nogueroles, A. Salvador. Perfumes. In: P. Worsfold, C. Poole, A. Townshend, M. Miró, eds. Encyclopedia of Analytical Science. 3rd ed. Acadmeic Press; 2019. p 158-163. ISBN: 9780081019849