Contributed by Jeff Dorsett, MSHS and Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS


A monoterpene alcohol, as the name implies, citronellol is found in citronella oil, but it is also the primary constituent in Rose and Geranium essential oils. Depending on where the oils are sourced, citronellol comprises up to 55 percent of the composition of Rose and 35 percent of Geranium essential oils, and their distinct floral aromas and beneficial properties are greatly attributed to it. Citronellol has been researched for its skin and hair health supporting properties, for its ability to repel insects, and for its ability to support cellular health.

Rose and Geranium essential oils are popular oils for use in skin and hair care, and for good reason: experimental research suggests that citronellol can keep a scalp looking healthy and clean when applied topically.1 For a healthy, vibrant glow, add a few drops of Geranium to your shampoo or conditioner. Similarly, research has shown that citronellol can also provide similar benefits to your skin.2,3 To help balance moisture levels and reduce the appearance of minor imperfections, try adding a few drops of Rose oil to your lotion.

Citronella is primarily known for its ability to repel insects and experimental research suggests that it is its concentration of citronellol that makes it effective at keeping insects at bay.4 Likewise, this ability also can be found in Geranium oil. To keep insects out of the house, try diffusing Geranium by doors and windows. It can also be applied topically before going for a hike or gardening.

Experimental research suggests that when taken internally, citronellol may help to support healthy cellular function.*5-7 To experience the cellular health supporting benefits of citronellol, add a drop or two of Geranium essential oil to a glass of water or tea each morning.

Although known primarily for its high concentration in citronella oil and its ability to repel insects, research has shown that citronellol has a number of other health-benefitting properties. Don’t forget to include Geranium and Rose in your daily essential oil regimes to improve skin and hair health, to naturally repel insects, and to support cellular health.


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