The Hong Kong Consumer Council, having detected more than ten types of fragrance allergens in 23 perfumes they tested, has urged consumers to read product labels carefully to reduce the risks of allergic skin reactions.

The council tested 55 different perfumes priced between HK$48 and HK$1,755 (US$6 and US$224), according to a press release issued on Monday.

As fragrance is the main component of perfumes, the test was conducted by referencing the EU’s Cosmetics Regulation to examine if those tested contained any of the 26 regulated fragrance allergens.

Test results revealed that all perfumes tested contained four to 15 types of fragrance allergens, and that 23 contained ten or more allergens.

One eau de parfum, priced at HK$1,350, contained 15 types of fragrance allergens.

The most expensive perfume tested, priced at HK$1,775, returned the highest concentration of fragrance allergens, at 5.35%.

The Council reminds consumers that if they are allergic to fragrances, they should pay attention to the total concentration of fragrance allergens and be aware of the skin sensitization potency of the allergens and their oxidized compounds.

As each fragrance is comprised of a combination of chemicals, some people may show temporary redness, itchiness or skin irritation after exposure, and a few may develop skin rashes or swelling.

The watchdog advised that when choosing and using perfumes, consumers should first try a sample. If any allergic reaction or discomfort is experienced, it is advised that you stop using it immediately.

In addition, it advised that eczema patients, pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant, women who are breastfeeding, or people with infants or babies at home, should not use perfume.