About this resource center

The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) has partnered with Elsevier on the Food and Chemical Toxicology Fragrance Material Safety Assessment Center to provide open access to RIFM’s peer-reviewed Safety Assessments and related papers and research.

RIFM Safety Assessments are written according to the guidelines outlined in the Criteria for the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (the “Criteria Document”) safety evaluation process for fragrance ingredients. The Criteria Document provides guidance on conducting safety assessments and is designed to incorporate the best science to appropriately evaluate fragrance ingredients using the latest testing strategies and methods.

The assessments may be found by using the search feature above. Group Studies and Background Studies that predate the Criteria Document may be found in the Historical Data section below.

rifm logo

For more information on RIFM, visit www.rifm.org.


New Webinar Available on Demand

Getting the Most out of RIFM’s Safety Assessments for Natural Complex Substance (NCS) Fragrance Ingredients
  • Learn how the RIFM Natural Complex Substance (NCS) Criteria Document, published in 2022, builds on the foundation of the 2015 Criteria II Document used for discrete fragrance ingredients.
  • Hear how RIFM employs a multi-step process to evaluate NCS.
  • Explore a series of decision trees that follow a tiered approach for each endpoint.
  • Gain insights into what to look for in RIFM’s first peer-reviewed NCS Safety Assessment publication (for petitgrain Mandarin oil) and how to apply those insights in subsequent safety assessments.

approach to evaluating Natural Complex Substances (NCS)

Learn how RIFM uses a 4-step approach to provide a comprehensive Safety Assessment of NCS used as a fragrance ingredient; featuring a team of RIFM Scientists lead by Anne Marie Api and Danielle Botelho.

The Creme RIFM Aggregate Exposure Model

Learn how Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA2) changed from QRA1 and how we use the Creme RIFM Model in the QRA2. See how the Creme RIFM Aggregate Exposure Model is used to derive Maximum Acceptable Concentrations based on all toxicological endpoints in RIFM Safety Assessments.

Evolution and Innovation in Fragrance Safety Assessment: RIFM at 50

Learn about 50 years of innovation in the safety assessment of raw fragrance matials, the role of RIFM’s Expert Panel, and the latest method of calculating aggregate exposure in consumers.

Assessing the Safety of Fragrance Materials: What are the Criteria?

Join a panel of experts as they detail the latest updates to the criteria used to evaluate the safety of fragrance ingredients.

Criteria Documents

Criteria for the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM) Safety Evaluation Process for Fragrance Ingredients

Api AM, Belsito D, Bruze M, et al

This Criteria Document details recent updates to the RIFM safety assessment process, reflecting advances in approaches in risk assessment and new and classical toxicological methodologies employed by RIFM over the past 10 years.

These changes include incorporating:
  • New scientific information including a framework for choosing structural analogs
  • Consideration of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)
  • Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) for dermal contact sensitization
  • Respiratory route of exposure
  • Aggregate exposure assessment methodology
  • Latest methodology and approaches to risk assessments
  • Latest alternatives to animal testing methodology
  • Environmental risk assessment
The RIFM approach to evaluating Natural Complex Substances (NCS)

Api AM, Belsito D, Botelho D, et al

RIFM has evaluated safety data for fragrance materials for 55 years. The safety assessment of Natural Complex Substances (NCS) is similar to that of discrete fragrance materials; all of the same endpoints are evaluated. A series of decision trees follows a tiered approach for each endpoint using a 4-step process with testing only as a last resort. This process aims to provide a comprehensive Safety Assessment of NCS used as a fragrance ingredient.

  • Using the foundation of the 2015 Criteria II Document, published in 2015, RIFM employs a multi-step process to evaluates NCS.
  • A series of decision trees follows a tiered approach for each endpoint.
  • Learn how RIFM's 4-step process is used to provide a comprehensive Safety Assessment of NCS used as a fragrance ingredient.

Historic Data

Background Studies
The Safety Assessment of Fragrance Materials

Bickers DR, Calow P, Greim HA, et al

Safety evaluation of the large number of diverse chemicals used as fragrance ingredients follows a systematic prioritization of data generation and analysis, consideration of exposure and critical analysis of the quality of the available information.

Criteria for Development of a Database for Safety Evaluation of Fragrance Ingredients

Ford RA, Domeyer B, Easterday O, et al

Over 2000 different ingredients are used in the manufacture of fragrances. The majority of these ingredients have been used for many decades.

Consumer Exposure to Fragrance Ingredients: Providing Estimates for Safety Evaluation

Peter A. Cadby, William R. Troy, Matthias G. H. Vey

To fully apply already published procedures for the safety evaluation of fragrance ingredients, it is necessary to estimate exposure through different routes and leading to different potential endpoints.

About RIFM Safety Assessments

Information for reviewers image description

Introduction to RIFM Safety Assessments

RIFM evaluates available data and sponsors studies for relevant toxicological endpoints for local and systemic human health effects, including genotoxicity, repeated dose and reproductive toxicity, skin sensitization, photoirritation/photoallergenicity, and local respiratory toxicity. RIFM also sponsors testing and academic research on the fate and effects of fragrance materials in water, soil, sediments, and air, working closely with international research organizations to assess the behavior and risk of chemicals in the environment.

RIFM compiles its findings, along with other relevant data, into Safety Assessments for each material currently in use by the fragrance industry. The Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety, an independent, international team of researchers and academics with no ties to the fragrance industry, reviews and must approve all of RIFM’s Safety Assessments before RIFM submits them for peer-reviewed publication. RIFM Safety Assessments are dynamic, “living” documents, and RIFM reevaluates materials on a rolling five-year basis to help ensure safe conditions of use. When a Safety Assessment is updated and published, only the most up-to-date version will be available on this resource center. (Previous versions of the safety assessments will always be available on the Food and Chemical Toxicology site or from Science Direct.) Click here for a list of RIFM safety assessments that have been reviewed with no changes.


Subscribe to Receive Updates

Be the first to know when new Safety Assessment Sheets are available

Please note: If you previously registered but have not received an email in the past few months, please sign up again.