Citronellal (not to be confused with citronellol), which is also known as rhodinal or 3,7-dimethyloct-6-en-1-al (C10H18O) is the main component in the mixture of terpenoid chemical compounds that give citronella oil its distinctive lemon scent.
Citronellal is a major isolate in distilled oils from the plants lemongrass, lemon-scented gum, and lemon-scented tea tree. The (–)-(S)-enantiomer of citronellal makes up to 80% of the leaf oil from kaffir lime leaves and is the compound responsible for its characteristic aroma. It has insect repellent properties, and research shows high repellent effectiveness against mosquitoes.
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