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INCI: Cymbopogon winterianus
CAS: 8000-29-1
EINECS:  294-954-7
Flavouring according to EC regulation 1334/2008

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Cymbopogon winterianus (Poacee)

Origin: Java

Originally from Sri Lanka (where it's now cultivated in the southern part of the island) citronella is a robust, rhizomous, herbaceous plant that grows to a height of two metres. It has a tufted crown and blueish-green, ribbon-shaped leaves. Citronella grows in tropical zones around the world.
The whole plant gives off a seductive citrus fragrance.


The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the fresh or partially dried bush. It is a yellowish liquid with a fresh and potent citrus-lemon fragrance that goes well with the essential oils of Bergamot, Citron, Geranium, Lemon, Orange and Pine.

(according to
popular herbalist tradition)

Citronella leaves have medicinal properties and are used around the world for treating intestinal fevers and digestive ailments.

The essential oil of citronella is non-toxic and non-irritant, and of proven efficiency in the treatment of oily skins. However, it should be applied in moderation as it may cause dermatitis in some people. It's advisable, therefore, to dissolve it in almond or sesame oil before application.
Citronella oil is best known for its insect repellent properties. For generations before the invention of DDT, the most efficient preventive remedy against mosquito attack was an ointment made from citronella oil mixed with the essential oils of geranium and/or citron. The best way to use citronella as a mosquito repellent is with a diffuser.

Citronella essential oil is not only used in formulations designed to repel moths, ants, fleas etc. but also as an industrial perfume: it's the starting point for the isolation of geraniol and natural citronellal.

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