The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of reactivity to a series of commonly fragrances in dermatological patients. A total of 48 fragrances (FF) were chosen, based on the publication of Fenn in 1989 in which the lop 25 constituents of 3 types (1. perfumes, 2. household products, 3. soaps) of 400 commercial products on the US market had been determined. In a pilot study on a total of 1069 patients in 11 centres, the appropriate test concentration and vehicle were examined. For most fragrances, 1% and 5% were chosen, and petrolatum proved to be the best vehicle in comparison to isopropyl myristate and diethyl phthalate. In the main study, a set of 5 to 10 fragrances at 2 concentrations was patch tested in each centre on a minimum of 100 consecutive patients seen in the patch test clinic. These patients were also patch tested to a standard series with the 8% fragrance mix (FM) and its 8 constituents. In patients with a positive reaction to any of the 48 FF, a careful history with regard to past or present reactions to perfumed products was taken. A total of 1323 patients were tested in 11 centres. The 8% FM was positive in 89 patients (8.3% of 1072 patients). Allergic reactions to the constituents were most frequent to oak moss (24), isoeugenol (20), eugenol (13), cinnamic aldehyde (10) and geraniol (8). Reactions read as allergic on day 3/4 were observed only 10 × to 7 materials of the new series (Iso L: Super® (2), Lyral® (3), Cyclacet® (1), DMBCA (1), Vertofix® (1), citronellol (1) and amyl salicylate (1)). The remaining 41 fragrances were negative. 28 irritant or doubtful reactions on day 3/4 were observed to a total of 19 FF materials (more than 1 reaction: 5% citronellol (2), 1%amyl salicylate (2), 1%isononyl acetate (3), 0.1% musk xylol (2). 1%citral (2), and 1% ionone beta (2)). Clinical relevance of positive reactions to any of the FF series was not proved in a single case. This included the 4 reactions in patients who were negative to the 8% FM. In conclusion, the top 25 fragrances commonly found in various products caused few reactions in dermatological patients and these few appeared to be clinically irrelevant, with the possible exeption of Lyral®. However, this data should be interpreted in the light of the relatively small number of patients tested (only 100 in most centres).