Further important sensitizers in patients sensitive to fragrances

Contact Dermatitis. 2002 Aug;47(2):78-85.


The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of responses to selected fragrance materials in consecutive patients patch tested in 6 dermatological centres in Europe. 1855 patients were evaluated with the 8% fragrance mix (FM) and 14 other frequently used well-defined fragrance chemicals (series I). Each patient was classified regarding a history of adverse reactions to fragrances: certain, probable, questionable, none. Reactions to FM occurred in 11.3% of the subjects. The 6 substances with the highest reactivity following FM were Lyral (2.7%), citral (1.1%), farnesol P (0.5%), citronellol (0.4%), hexyl cinnamic aldehyde (0.3%), and coumarin (0.3%). 41 (2.2%) of the patients reacted only to materials of series I and not to FM. 6.6% of 1855 patients gave a history of adverse reactions to fragrances which was classified as certain. This group reacted to FM only in 41.1%, to series I and FM in 12.0% and to series I only in 7.2%. 74.3% of the 39 patients reacting to both FM and 1 of the materials of series I had any type of positive fragrance history, which was significantly higher in comparison to those with isolated reactions to series I (53.6% of 41), p = 0.04. The study identified further sensitizers relevant for patch testing of patients with contact dermatitis, of which Lyral is the most important single chemical.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / pharmacology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Incidence
  • International Cooperation
  • Male
  • Patch Tests / methods*
  • Perfume / adverse effects*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Irritancy Tests


  • Allergens
  • Perfume