What Is It?

Isoeugenol is a pale yellow liquid with a spicy, carnation-like odor. In cosmetics and personal care products, Isoeugenol is used in the formulation of perfumes, shaving products, and skin care products.

Why Is It Used?

Isoeugenol functions as a fragrance ingredient and as a flavoring agent.

Scientific Facts

Isoeugenol occurs naturally in some plants, such as cloves and cinnamon.

Safety Information

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

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

Link to the JECFA safety evaluation of Isoeugenol:

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of Isoeugenol and determined that it was Generally Recognized as Safe for use as a flavoring substance. In Europe, Isoeugenol 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 Isoeugenol 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

Isoeugenol is a substituted phenol that occurs naturally in Ylang-Ylang, clove, cinnamon, tuberose, jonquil, nutmeg and sandalwood.


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):

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory