F
Farnesol Used in perfumery to emphasise floral perfumes, such as lilac; occurs naturally in the seeds of ambrette, star anise, rose, neroli, cassia and linden flowers, among others. In addition to being used for fragrance, it is a natural preservative.

Fragrance (Parfum) Fragrances are complex blends and – unlike any other cosmetics – it’s not required that every single ingredient be listed on the label. Why? Because of the extreme commercial sensitivity of fragrance blends (if Chanel No. 5 listed everything on the label, for instance, it would be ‘knocked off’ in no time.) Under cosmetics labelling laws, although fragrances are exempt from this full listing, certain ingredients must now be declared – including Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene etc. – because they are known sensitisers. That way, anyone who knows they are allergic to a specific ingredient can avoid the product. In general, most natural cosmetics of the kind we assessed for The Green Beauty Bible will be fragranced with essential oils, as these offer an excellent ‘palette’ for perfumers to work with. Problem is, there’s no way to tell from the label if that’s totally the case…