Yes, it may sound like some kind of exotic Hawaiian cocktail, but Linalool is actually the active chemical component found in lavender and around 200 other species of plants. Linalool is found mainly in the plant families of Lamiaceae (mints and other scented herbs), Lauraceae (such as laurels, cinnamon and rosewood) and Rutaceae (citrus fruits), but also in birch trees and other plants, from tropical to boreal (subarctic) climate zones. It has also been found in some fungi. But the one thing that all of these plants have in common, is their fantastic aromas.
As a result of this, Linalool is used as a scent in 60–80% of perfumed hygiene products and cleaning agents including soaps, detergents, shampoos, and lotions. It is commonly listed under ingredients for these products as beta linalool, linalyl alcohol, linaloyl oxide, p-linalool, allo-ocimenol, and 2,6-dimethyl-2,7-octadien-6-ol and can be mixed into product components that are not listed as well.
Linalool is also used in a number of insect repellent products (just as you can use a drop of our pure lavender essential oil). As Linalool is generally non-toxic to humans and animals, it is a very useful alternative to toxic insecticides. Insecticides that primarily consist of Linalool can be placed anywhere on a property without the fear of hurting animals. It can also sometimes be listed as an ingredient in some mosquito repellents. However, Linalool’s efficiency as a mosquito repellent has not been tested on all mosquito strains. Therefore we would recommend exercising caution when considering the use of mosquito repellents that list Linalool as the active ingredient due to the absence of data on the efficacy of Linalool as a specific mosquito repellent.
The use of Linalool containing essential oils (such as our lovely lavender essential oil) in aromatherapy has been researched to show that they can lower stress. This has been shown in experiments where lab rats are placed in stressful conditions. After inhaling the Linalool scents, the rats’ stress levels and immune responses lowered to near normal in comparison to control rats.
So now you know, the reason lavender does what it does is mainly down to the wonderful effects of linalool. Not quite as pretty though!