Perfume - Cologne - Aftershave

perfume, cologne and aftershave


Perfume/Cologne/Aftershave: In addition to essential oils and fragrances, perfumes, colognes and aftershaves contain ethyl alcohol (the same type of alcohol found in beer/wine/spirits). The concentration of alcohol varies depending on the product but can be higher than some alcoholic beverages.


Is it toxic? Toxic effects are due to ethyl alcohol causing a person to become intoxicated. Children are most susceptible.


Health Effects:

Eyes: May cause stinging/irritation but serious damage to the eye is not expected.

Skin: May cause irritation/drying effect.

Ingestion: Small ingestions can cause irritation to the mouth and throat. More than a taste can result in vomiting and low blood sugar especially in children.


What to do:
Eyes: Rinse eyes with lukewarm water with one of the following methods:

  • Pour a gentle stream of water from a jug or clean teapot over the eye from the inside corner by the nose, across the eye, flowing out towards the ear.
  • Submerge eye in a container (bowl, sink) of lukewarm water. Have patient open and close eye.
  • Eye may be irrigated in the shower if this can be accomplished without delay.
  • Young children may be wrapped like a mummy in a towel with arms at side and held over sink or tub or laid on counter during flushing.

Skin: Wash skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.
Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting as this increases the risk of getting it into the lungs. Rinse out mouth and drink a few sips of water or milk. Contact the Poison Control Centre.

How can I prevent exposure?
Keep out of reach of children.


Need more information: Call the Poison Control Centre.


© 2010 BC Drug and Poison Information Centre