Allergic Contact Dermatitis to Fragrances

Dermatol Clin. 2020 Jul;38(3):371-377. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2020.02.009. Epub 2020 May 4.


Allergic contact dermatitis to fragrance is common. The prevalence of fragrance allergy in the general population is between 0.7% and 2.6%. In patch-test populations, the positive reaction rate to fragrances ranges from 5% to 11%. The most common fragrance screeners in most baseline series include fragrance mix 1, fragrance mix 2, and Balsam of Peru. The addition of hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, hydroperoxides of limonene, and hydroperoxides of linalool to screening series can further aid in the diagnosis of fragrance allergy. In the proper clinical setting, supplemental patch testing with an additional fragrance or essential oil series should be considered.

Keywords: Allergic contact dermatitis; Botanicals; Essential oils; Fragrance; Perfume.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Balsams / adverse effects
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Facial Dermatoses / etiology
  • Female
  • Hand Dermatoses / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odorants*
  • Patch Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Perfume / adverse effects*


  • Allergens
  • Balsams
  • Cosmetics
  • Perfume
  • Peruvian balsam