What is the ruling on using perfumes which contain some alcohol?
Praise be to Allaah.
The basic principle is that the perfumes which are common among people are permissible, except in cases where they are known to contain something which would prevent their use, such as their containing intoxicants, or where a large quantity of the perfume would cause intoxication, or it contains something impure (najaasah), etc. But in principle the perfumes which are common among people are permissible, such as ‘ood, amber and musk, etc.
If a person knows that there is a perfume which contains something that would prevent its use, such as intoxicants or impure materials (najaasah), then he should not use it. That includes colognes, because we know from the testimony of the doctors that they are not free from intoxicants. They contain a large amount of alcohol which is an intoxicant. So we should not use them unless we find kinds which are free of such materials. There are enough kinds of permissible perfumes to leave us with no need for these, praise be to Allaah. The same applies to all kinds of drinks or foods which contain intoxicants – we should not use them. The guideline is that whatever intoxicates in large quantities is haraam in small quantities. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whatever intoxicates in large quantities is haraam in small quantities.” And Allaah is the source of strength.