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Alcohol in perfume

Last updated: 3rd December 2005
Question ID: #1177
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3rd December 2005


Assalamu alaykum

Recently i purchased some perfume and listed as the first ingredient is alcohol. It does not specify which alcohol is contained, would it be permissible to use? Also, is ethyl alcohol permitted in perfumes?


Ulamaa ID 03
Answer last updated on:
3rd December 2005
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 03
Location: UK

Assalamu alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Cosmetic alcohols: As a rule, alcohols (as long as they are not sourced from dates or grapes) for external use in the form of medicines or beauty products are permissible. If they are for internal use then the ruling applied is: impermissible unless there is no suitable alternative. So yes, the alcohols mentioned would be permissible for external use.

Ethyl Alcohol: Eminent Mufti Taqi Usmani in his work Takmila Fath al-Mulhim: "And normally the alcohol used in medicines, perfumes, etc is not extracted from grapes and dates, rather it is derived from seeds, honey, chemicals, petrol, etc. (Takmila Fath al-Mulhim Sharh Sahih Muslim, 3/608) " According to our understanding, Ethyl alcohol is permissable for external use when they are not derived from dates and grapes which does not appear to be the case according to the statement from Avon which is an international cosmetics company. "Alcohol is an ingredient commonly used in the cosmetics industry.The alcohol used is Ethyl Alcohol, which is derived from petroleum-based materials or from material grains such as starch or other carbohydrates.Virtually all Avon perfumes, Eua De Toilettes and After-shaves are alcohol based and some cream formulations also include around 5% alcohol....." Avon Cosmetics