Fragranced and fragrance-free skincare has been in the news again and this debate continues to rumble on. The misconceptions and myths just keep coming. It’s a topic that has sparked a fair amount of discussion and controversy.

With countless products on the market promising delightful scents and a luxurious experience, it’s important to know if these fragrances could potentially be harmful to your skin and overall health. We take a look at the reality and debunk those myths, whilst also looking at some of the benefits of fragranced skincare in masking unpleasant product smells and the well-being and mood-enhancing benefits.

So firstly, what is the difference between Fragranced Skincare, Fragrance-Free Skincare and Unscented?

skincare fragrances

Before we address any concerns, let’s take a moment to understand what fragranced skincare actually means. Fragranced skincare refers to products that contain added scents, either through natural or synthetic ingredients. These scents are designed to enhance the sensory experience of using the product, providing a pleasant aroma that can uplift your mood and make the skincare routine feel more indulgent.

Fragrance has become an integral part of the beauty industry, with many people enjoying the sensorial experience it brings. From delicate floral notes to refreshing citrus scents, fragrances have the power to transport us to a world of sensory bliss. However, as with many aspects of skincare, there are differing opinions on the potential risks associated with fragrances.

What is Fragrance-free Skincare?

Fragrance-free skincare products are those that do not contain any added synthetic or natural fragrances. These products are specifically formulated for individuals who have sensitive skin and are prone to allergies or irritation caused by fragrance. It is important to note that not all fragrances in skincare products are harmful or irritating.

What is Unscented Skincare?

Unscented skin care products, as the name suggests, are those that do not have any added fragrance to them. However, they may still contain ingredients that have a natural scent. Unscented products do not have a scent, yet they may contain fragrance chemicals that mask or neutralise the odors of other ingredients.

What is Fragranced Skincare?

This one may seem obvious. It contains a fragrance that has been created specifically for use in skincare. This fragrance will have been created to comply with IFRA rules around allergens regulations regarding skincare and allergen content, in addition to going through the same dermatological testing as other skincare products.

Scent in Skincare: Debunking the Doubts

Let’s address the concerns head-on. Are fragranced skincare products actually harmful?

The answer is not as black and white as it may seem. While some individuals may experience skin irritations or sensitivities from certain fragrance ingredients, scientific evidence suggests that properly formulated fragranced skincare products are generally safe for the majority of consumers.

Studies have indicated that fragrance allergies are relatively rare, affecting only a small percentage of the population. Additionally, regulatory bodies such as the FDA and the European Union have established guidelines and restrictions on fragrance ingredients, ensuring that products on the market meet safety standards. These regulations help mitigate potential risks and ensure that harmful ingredients are kept at bay.

Collections - Delicate allergen-free

Allergen-Free Skincare Fragrances

A selection of six scents suitable for skincare.
Click here to request samples.

Scent in Skincare: Fragrance-free Skincare vs Unfragranced Skincare

At Carvansons we regularly get requests for fresh and delicate scents, however, they don’t come without their challenges. When incorporating any fragrances into personal care and beauty products, there is a possibility it can affect some skin conditions. Many natural essential oils and a range of synthetic materials contain allergens or have dosage constraints which limits what fragrances we can create and what products the fragrance can be used in.

However, we have great expertise in creating hypoallergenic or allergen-free fragrances and we have successfully achieved this for numerous clients. For more information about allergens and how we deliver perfumes that adhere to allergen guidelines, click here.

Changes for Skincare Scents

FIF - new fragrance allergensThe world of skincare is constantly in a state of transformation and trends in this industry can change rapidly. Scented products linked to Aromatherapy have become hugely popular of late, with companies highlighting the benefit of fragrance in skincare routines. helping to influence mood, stress levels and overall well-being.

Today, the skincare market continues to flourish with an array of fragrance-free options for those with sensitive skin. Simultaneously, aromatherapy-infused products have carved their niche, appealing to a growing number of consumers seeking multi-sensory experiences that cater to their emotional needs.

The balance between fragrance-free and aromatherapy-based products allows individuals to choose skincare that aligns with their unique preferences, sensitivities, and overall well-being.

Potential Risks and Allergic Reactions

While fragrance allergies are not widespread, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and the possibility of allergic reactions. Some individuals may experience skin sensitivities, redness, itching, or even dermatitis when exposed to certain fragrance ingredients. This is often more common in those with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema.

For more information about these regulations check this blog about fragrance allergens.

Regulatory Measures and Labelling

Fragrance manufacturers are required to declare any known allergens on product labels. This allows consumers to make informed decisions based on their personal needs and sensitivities.

fragrance-free skincare

Want to try out our latest skincare scents?

Click here to read the article or request samples of our latest creations.

What are the best fragrances for skincare?

Skincare scents usually fall into various fragrance categories and directions depending on the product. Skincare for facial products tends to be botanical, light and floral scents, Whereas body lotions tend to favour fruitier, richer florals and more vibrant fragrance directions. As always, fragrance is personal and we are able to adapt any potential scent for skincare here at Carvansons.

Our Top Skincare Scent Inspirations


Cucumber has long been associated with skincare products for its fresh and light appeal and as cucumber is a heavily water-based product it naturally lends itself to skincare formulations.


Contrary to popular belief, Aloe doesn’t have much of a natural smell to it. Aloe has been linked to skincare and other such products due to its anti-inflammatory, skin protection and healing properties. The scent of aloe is green watery and refreshing scent.


Rose petals have always been a popular scent for skincare. Rose has a variety of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, and its oil is known to be fantastic for helping to soothe dry skin. However, the use of this as a scent in skincare has much more to do with the fact that rose fragrance has a more delicate and powdery scent than other flowers.


This is the new kid on the block. Superfoods have become big in our diet and have now made their way into other products. Harnessing the power of plants has become a driving force for consumers and is resonating well with younger generations, who are concerned about sustainability. Green and botanical inspired fragrances like nettle, green tea, rosemary and sage have also become popular.

Trending Skincare Fragrance Directions

As mentioned earlier skincare Trends are constantly fluctuating, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the brand new scent directions we think you will be seeing soon.

  • Rosehip
  • Superfoods (Acai / Goji / Jojoba/ Avocado/ Pomegranate)
  • Manuka Honey
  • Algae / Kelp / Aquatic
  • Rose water
  • Matcha / Green Tea
  • Vitamins C & E (Citrus & Avocado / Olive / Carrot)
  • Antioxidant (Cocoa) (Blueberry)
  • Papaya
  • Greens (Kale / Spinach / Wheatgrass / Bamboo / Olive / Hemp)
  • Seeds ( Flaxseed )
  • General Florals ( Acacia / Linden / Cornflower / Lotus / Peony)

Scent in Skincare

In the end, skincare should be a balance of science, personal preference and self-care. While fragranced skincare products can certainly enhance your skincare experience and provide a delightful indulgence, it’s also important to prioritise your skin’s health and well-being.

Properly formulated fragranced skincare products, adhering to regulatory guidelines, are safe for the majority of individuals.

Looking for the Perfect Scent for your Skincare Product?

Our experienced and knowledgeable team are happy to advise on all manner of fragranced products. Click here to request samples of our latest fragrances.

About Carvansons

Carvansons is a world-leading creator and compounder of bulk fragrance oil used globally in the cosmetic, personal care, household and industrial manufacturing sectors. As a global fragrance manufacturer, we create high-quality fragrance oil compounds, aromas and perfumes with a worldwide presence.

We work with many different companies throughout the world, which include both big brand names and smaller, niche industries. Whether your product is highly functional or beautifully indulgent, we can find a fragrance that suits. We create fragrances that benefit and complement your product, brand and target audience. Contact us now.

*Please note:  The perfumes and products mentioned within this article are purely examples of products that contain particular fragrance notes. As a result, the products mentioned in this article are for reference only. We do not receive any commission for affiliated links/advertising.