Benzyl Cinnamate

What Is It?

Benzyl Cinnamate is a white to pale yellow solid or crystal substance that has a sweet balsamic odor. Benzyl Cinnamate is used as a fragrance ingredient in a wide variety of cosmetics and personal care products, including aftershaves, perfumes and colognes, skin care and hair care products.

Why Is It Used?

Benzyl Cinnamate is used to impart an odor to cosmetics and personal care products.

Scientific Facts

Benzyl Cinnamate occurs naturally in a various species of balsam such as Peru balsam, copaiba balsam and tolu balsam. Benzyl Cinnamate used as a fragrance ingredient is usually produced synthetically.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Benzyl Cinnamate as a flavoring agent for direct addition to food. The safety of Benzyl Cinnamate has been evaluated by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials Expert Panel (REXPAN). Based on this evaluation, an International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Standard has been established. The IFRA Standard restricts the use of Benzyl Cinnamate in fragrances because of potential sensitization.

Link to the IFRA Standards:

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) defers review of individual fragrance ingredients to the IFRA program unless the ingredient has significant uses other than as a fragrance. In this case, the ingredient may be assessed by both the CIR Expert Panel and REXPAN.

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Benzyl Cinnamate:…

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded that Benzyl Cinnamate does not present a safety concern at current levels of intake when used as a flavoring agent.

Link to the JECFA safety evaluation of Benzyl Cinnamate:

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of Benzyl Cinnamate and determined that it is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use as a flavoring substance. In Europe, Benzyl Cinnamate is included on the list of “allergenic” substances. The European Cosmetics Directive requires manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to indicate the presence of certain “allergenic” substances in the list of ingredients if they are present above certain levels in the product (see Annex III). The presence of Benzyl Cinnamate must be indicated in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds: 0.001% in leave-on the skin products 0.01% in products that are rinsed off the skin.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:

More information about the safety of fragrances.

More Scientific Information

Benzyl Cinnamate is the ester of benzyl alcohol and cinnamic acid. It is used as a fragrance ingredient. Benzyl Cinnamate is also used as a flavor additive in foods.


Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging:

Food Contact Substances:

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):

Link to the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials:

Search the FDA Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory