What Is It?

Citronellol is a colorless oily liquid with a floral smell suggestive of rose. In cosmetics and personal care products, Citronellol is used in the formulation of aftershave lotions, bath products, bubble baths, cleansing products, hair care products, lipsticks, moisturizers, perfumes and colognes and skin care products.

Why Is It Used?

Citronellol functions as a fragrance ingredient.

Scientific Facts

Citronellol occurs naturally in some plants, including roses and Pelargonium geraniums.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Citronellol as a flavoring agent for direct addition to food. The safety of Citronellol 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 Citronellol 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 Citronellol:…

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) established an Acceptable Daily Intake of up to 0.5 mg/kg body weight Citronellol when used as a flavoring agent.

Link to the JECFA safety evaluation of Citronellol:

More information about the safety of fragrances.

More Scientific Information

Citronellol, is a mixture of two isomers, both of which occur in nature. Citronellol is used in perfumes and insect repellents, and as a mite attractant.


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 Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory