Labeling

(Updated 07/23/2012)

Labeling a fragrance in compliance with U.S., Canadian, and E.U. regulations is not particularly difficult but finding the information you need can be challenging.

Labeling a fragrance in the U.S. is simple and U.S. regulations tend to be slow to change. Thus you are not confronted with frequent updates.

E.U. regulations are a pain to round up but are, essentially, practical and compliance is not difficult.

The problem with the E.U. is the lack of simple guidance coupled with frequent updates, most of which will not affect your labeling. However, updates to the E.U.'s list of ingredients which must be listed on your label does change regularly.

Canadian regulation of perfume labeling is somewhat exceptional in that the information is easy to find and the documentation easy to understand. Canada seems to be aware that while the regulations are for every manufacturer, some manufacturers may be home businesses and the documentation of regulations seems to give consideration of this possibility.

U.S.

Read the "Summary" first. It may tell you everything you need. I think perhaps the political nature of U.S. regulations (like the E.U.) makes it difficult for agencies to create a simple and complete manual that would be useful to small businesses and hobbiests. From a practical point of view, if you do your best to follow the Summary, unless you are making large sales and rub someone the wrong way, it is not likely you will run into troubles with the regulatory agencies.

U.S. Resources

Canada

With a few clicks of your mouse on the references below you can be very well informed on the requirements for marketing a fragrance in Canada. There are some additional steps you must take beyond U.S. regulations but in most cases they will not be burdensome. Perfume is classified as a cosmetic.

Canadian Resources

EU

Start by reading Cosmetic Ingredient Labelling in the European Union. Then be sure to check the Annex III list of listable ingredients, which is updated regularly.

EU Resources