Phenoxyethanol is a viscous, oily, liquid preservative with a faint rose-like scent. It has been extensively studied by the United States FDA and the Consumer Federation of America-backed Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel on two occasions, including most recently in 2007. Consensus scientific data assessments have confirmed its safety as a cosmetic ingredient; the European Union Cosmetics Directive concurs with this safety assessment. Phenoxyethanol prevents or suppresses microbial growth and thus protects cosmetics and skin care products from spoilage. It is also used in fragrances.