Masking agent
Insect repellant
CAS Number(s)
EINECS number(s)

Citral is an aliphatic aldehyde found to naturally occur in lemongrass, lemons, and oranges. It is a clear yellow liquid terpene with a strong lemon-like odor and is used as a flavor in perfumery, cologne, and in soaps. It is not endogenous in humans. Citral is the most abundant and important component in all citrus-derived flavoring agents and peels oils.

As a food flavoring additive, the ingredient has "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) status from FDA. Citral is a common cosmetic ingredient, thanks to its odor-masking property. It has a strong antiseptic effect and boosts preservatives' effectiveness in formulation, prolonging the shelf-life of the preparation.

Citral is a good insect repellant that is even used in some pesticides. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cases of sensitization and allergic reactions from this ingredient.

2,6-Octadienal, 3,7-dimethyl-; 3,7-Dimethyl-2,6-octadienal