Is linalool toxic to humans?

Perfumes and fragrances are an integral part of our daily lives, enhancing our personal fragrance and creating a pleasant atmosphere. These scented products often contain a variety of ingredients, including linalool, a naturally occurring compound found in many plants. However, concerns have been raised about the potential toxicity of linalool to human health. In this article, we will review the scientific evidence to understand the safety of linalool and its impact on human well-being.

Understanding Linalool

Linalool is a terpene alcohol found in a variety of plants, including lavender, mint, and citrus fruits. It has a delicate floral scent that makes it a popular ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics, and household products. Linalool is known for its antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a valuable compound in traditional medicine and aromatherapy.
In assessing the safety of linalool, extensive research has been conducted to understand its potential adverse effects on human health. The results indicate that linalool is generally safe for use in fragrance products when used according to industry standards and guidelines. However, it is important to consider dosage, concentration and individual sensitivities to ensure its safe use.

Linalool and skin sensitization

One of the primary concerns associated with linalool is its potential to cause skin sensitization or allergic reactions. Skin sensitization occurs when the immune system reacts to a specific substance after repeated exposure, resulting in symptoms such as redness, itching and inflammation. Although linalool has been identified as a potential allergen, the incidence of allergic reactions is relatively low.
Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the sensitizing potential of linalool. In a patch test study involving a large group of individuals, linalool was found to cause sensitization in a small percentage of participants. However, it is important to note that sensitization is highly individualized and the majority of people can tolerate linalool without adverse reactions. In addition, regulatory agencies and organizations such as the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) have established concentration limits for linalool in cosmetic products, ensuring its safe use.

Inhalation exposure and respiratory effects

Another aspect of concern is the potential respiratory effects of linalool, especially when inhaled at high concentrations. Inhalation exposure to linalool can occur through the use of perfumes, air fresheners and other scented products. However, the available scientific evidence suggests that linalool does not pose a significant risk to respiratory health in typical exposure scenarios.
Studies investigating the inhalation toxicity of linalool have shown that it has a low potential to cause respiratory irritation or sensitization. The concentrations of linalool typically found in fragrance products are well below levels that could cause adverse respiratory effects. However, individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions or increased sensitivities should exercise caution and minimize prolonged exposure to high concentrations of linalool or other fragrance ingredients.

Regulatory and safety information

Regulatory bodies play a critical role in ensuring the safety of fragrance ingredients, including linalool. Organizations such as IFRA, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have established guidelines and regulations to control the use of linalool in consumer products.

Manufacturers must comply with these regulations and follow good manufacturing practices to ensure the safe use of linalool and other fragrance ingredients. In addition, product labeling provides information about the presence of linalool and allows consumers to make informed choices based on their individual sensitivities or preferences.


Linalool is a widely used fragrance ingredient that contributes to the pleasant aroma of many fragranced products. Based on available scientific evidence and regulatory oversight, linalool is considered safe for use in cosmetic and fragrance applications when used within recommended concentrations. While it may cause skin sensitization in a small percentage of individuals, most people can tolerate linalool without adverse effects. However, as with any cosmetic or fragrance ingredient, it is advisable to be aware of personal sensitivities and to use products according to recommended guidelines.

As always, if you have specific concerns or sensitivities, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for personalized advice.


Is linalool toxic to humans?

No, linalool is not considered toxic to humans when used in normal amounts. It is a naturally occurring compound found in many plants and is commonly used as a fragrance ingredient in cosmetics, personal care products, and household items.

Can linalool cause skin irritation?

In some individuals, linalool can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Sensitivity to linalool varies from person to person, and some individuals may develop contact dermatitis or other skin irritations when exposed to high concentrations of linalool. It is recommended to perform a patch test before using products containing linalool extensively.

Is linalool safe to inhale?

Linalool is generally considered safe to inhale in small amounts. It is a common component of essential oils and is often used in aromatherapy practices. However, inhaling very high concentrations of linalool vapor can cause respiratory irritation and may trigger asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Are there any health benefits associated with linalool?

Linalool has been studied for its potential health benefits. It is known for its pleasant aroma and has been shown to have calming and relaxing effects. Some research suggests that linalool may have anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), and anti-anxiety properties. However, further studies are needed to fully understand its effects on human health.

Can linalool interact with medications?

There is limited information available regarding the potential interactions between linalool and medications. However, it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you are taking any medications and have concerns about using products containing linalool, especially if you have a known sensitivity or allergy to the compound.