The reason why they are taking the time to do that is because they have been criticized for outlawing perfume ingredients outright - see our IFRA Interview - instead of using a commonsensical preventative, informational system which would allow consumers to choose a product that suit them or not. A list of perfume ingredients would enable consumers to know what they are going to apply onto their skins or inhale, just like it is routinely done in the food industry where, for instance, trace amounts of peanuts are mentioned instead of peanuts or nuts being forcibly reduced or banned from the market in blanket measures although peanuts allergies are well-documented and are known to be life-threatening in some cases...
IFRANA's main argument, which is not exactly convincing, is that perfumers are artists and their perfumes are works of art and need to be protected (by them), especially as there exists a legislative void on perfume copyrights and trademarks. Where their argumentation is filled with contradiction and downright weak is that it is precisely due to their action that some perfumes as works of art have been discontinued or disfigured.
Moreover, professionals from the fragrance industry who are the ones most interested in uncovering the secrets of their competition, have the means to decipher a formula by using gas chromatography. One of the only ways to protect a formula is to have access to unique qualities of raw materials and of course by relying on the use of subtle techniques that can't be completely reproduced.The latter would not appear in a perfume-ingredient list.
IFRANA is trying to resolve the contradiction that they are exacting where allergens are concerned yet close their eyes - and those of the consumers - by allowing the generic, opaque term of "fragrance" to appear on packaging to cover all of those unmentionable fragrance ingredients.
“Making Scents: No Secrets” uses animation to discuss the importance of protecting fragrance formulas.
As you know, if you look at the back of your favorite products, you’ll see “fragrance” listed on the label. That fragrance, whether it is in soap, luxury perfume or your favorite shampoo, is a unique creation crafted by a perfumer. The palette of available ingredients used to create the fragrance is public; but the individual formulas of specific fragrances are not. An effort is underway to require the entire recipe or formula of individual fragrances to be included on the label. Common legal protections like patents and trademarks, used for other great inventions, are not practical for the makers of scents. And disclosing exactly how a specific fragrance is made opens the product up to copycats and eliminates formula safety controls."
Via press release