By Law, the ingredients of all products must be listed on all products. Fragrance "formulas" are considered trade secrets and so the ingredients in fragrances are not required to be listed individually. The word fragrance on any product could mean there are many products used to give it an odor, sometimes hundreds!
Fragrance "Free" or Unscented:
As a consumer, I believe a product labeled as fragrance free or unscented is just that, however, many products may mask odors with other chemicals and hide these within the listed word "fragrance."
FDA Authority over Cosmetics:
FDA is only able to regulate cosmetics after products are released to the marketplace. Neither cosmetic products nor cosmetic ingredients are reviewed or approved by FDA before they are sold to the public.
FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing of their cosmetic products before marketing. If, however, the safety of a cosmetic product has not been substantiated, the product's label must read:
So as a consumer, I know it is my responsibility to read the label of the products I intend to use for myself, or my family, but I wonder how many other consumers really know the truth about fragrance?
U. S. Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Cosmetics Fact Sheet
February 3, 1995