May perfumes and colognes be used on Pesach if they have chametz? What if you have no idea if they do and have no way to find out? Must you abstain from using them?
The general custom is to abstain from colognes and perfumes on Pesach, because of the concern that the alcohol is derived from chametz. Some write it is prohibited to use such perfumes, because the alcohol is not ‘spoiled’ by the added scent. However, many write that where there is no reasonable alternative, it is permitted to use the alcohol, because the perfume is unedible (even for a dog).
The alcohol of some perfumes is synthetic, but others still derive the alcohol from chametz.
Kitzur Hilchos Pesach (Chesner) prohibits the use of perfume, but many are lenient (for instance, see Or Torah, Vol. 25, citing from Rav Ovadyah Yosef; Be’Ohalah Shel Torah, Vol. 2, no. 63; the latter sources also discusses the question of whether the application of the perfume is considered sicha, which might be considered like drinking. After a discussion of the subject, he is lenient, where a reasonable alternative cannot be found.)