View our Guide to Common Terpenes
α and γ Terpinene
Odor: Bracing woody scent with lemony-citrus notes. Medicinal, slightly camphoraceous
Taste: Flavors of pine and lemon-lime with spicy juicy-berry nuance
Therapeutic Benefits: Terpinene is a major active component of tea tree oil. The activity of terpinene is responsible for the anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil and the antibacterial properties of coriander and fennel essen_al oils
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Terpinene has been isolated from cardamom and marjoram oils, and from other natural sources. It occurs in celery, coriander, fennel, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange and mandarin oil, nutmeg, black pepper, and Scotch Spearmint
Odor: Floral with a touch of spiciness, similar to that of bergamot oil (citrusy) and French lavender. Linalool is used as a scent in 60%-80% of perfumed hygiene products and cleaning agents, such as soap shampoo and lotions.
Taste: Citrus, floral and fruity.
Therapeutic Benefits: Linalool has been shown to reduce stress levels in laboratory rats as well as inhibit activity in as many as 200 genes associated with increased stress hormones.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Over 200 species of plants produce linalool, including hops, a key ingredient in many beers, and basil, a common culinary herb.
Odor: A subtle sweet floral aroma that is used in many fragrances.
Taste: A slightly floral flavor.
Therapeutic Benefits: Known to have anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties with the enantiomer α-bisabolol recently shown to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in models of leukemia. It is a common ingredient in many products such as moisturizing creams, antiperspirants, lotions and sunscreens and has been used for hundreds of years due to its perceived skin healing properties.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Bisabolol is the main constituent of the essential oil from chamomile, a common component of herbal tea.
Odor: Strong smell of oranges and fresh citrus. Limonene’s name is taken from the lemon, which contains considerable amounts of limonene.
Taste: Fresh citrus taste. Used in food manufacturing and some medications to mask the bitter taste of alkaloids.
Therapeutic Benefits: Anti-stress and has sedative properties. Known to be an anti-carcinogenic. Consumption of D-limonene in supplemental form or freshly squeezed and pulp-containing lemonade has been shown to reduce formation of some tumor growths and alleviate fat buildup in the liver induced by diet.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Commonly found in the rinds of citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemon, limes and oranges.
Odor: Robust aroma. Woody, earthy and herbal characteristics.
Taste: Woody organic flavor. Humulene is responsible for the earthy and spicy flavors found in noble hops.
Therapeutic Benefits: Analgesic (relieves pain), anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative (stops cancer cell growth), and appetite suppressant.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Basil, clove, some evergreen trees, ginseng, hops, and sage.
Odor: A pleasant odor but unstable in air. Has been described as grape, woody, vegetable, peach, sweet, vanilla and wine-like as well as woody, balsamic and peppery. Pungent at high concentrations.
Taste: Fruity clove-like taste, sometimes described as earthlike or metallic.
Therapeutic Benefits: Myrcene has plethora of therapeutic effects such as analgesic (pain relief), antibacterial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-insomnia, anti-mutagenic (stops cell mutations), antipsychotic (tranquilizing effects), and antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasms).
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Found in many plants, such as basil, hops, lemon grass, mangoes, rosemary and thyme which contains up to 40% by weight of Myrcene. Up to 70% of the essential oil of hops may be myrcene.
Odor: Characteristic odor of pine like Pine-Sol.
Taste: Piney, turpentine-like taste.
Therapeutic Benefits: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antioxidant. Has been shown to aid in memory retention.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Many species of coniferous trees, notably the pine, rosemary, and distillates of conifers (turpentine).
Odor: Sweet pine odor. Can also be described as smoky or woody. Pleasant aroma.
Taste: Somewhat sweet citrus flavor.
Therapeutic Benefits: Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-insomnia, anti-proliferative (inhibits cancer cell growth) and antioxidant.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Apple, cumin, ginger, pepper, and lilac.
Odor: Woody, green piney like smell. Resinous aroma.
Taste: Piney, turpentine-like taste.
Therapeutic Benefits: Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antioxidant.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Cumin, hops, cluster pine, rosemary.
Odor: Fruity, citrus, woody, spicy.
Taste: Warm moss-like, slightly minty, earthy flavor.
Therapeutic Benefits: Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antioxidant, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective.
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Present in the essential oils of many plants, such as rosemary, hops, and black pepper.
Odor: Woody sawdust smell. Somewhat grassy and light
Taste: Very mild and indistinct
Therapeutic Benefits: Some studies show anti-depressant activity in the central nervous system. Is also anti-fungal and an analgesic. Repels some insects and parasites
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Present in small amounts in a very large number of natural substances particularly the bark of Annona squamosa, clove oil, guava leaf, and cinnamon
Trans and Cis-Nerolidol
Odor: Mild and delicate, but long lasting scent of fresh bark with sweet floral notes
Taste: Fruity, floral, and slightly woody with a nuance of melon. A natural flavoring used in citrus, fruit, and berry compositions
Therapeutic Benefits: Used as safe and natural pesticide and insect repellent. Currently being tested as a skin penetration enhancer for transdermal delivery of some drugs. In addition to topical applications Nerolidol is studied for its sedative, anti-tumor, and antioxidant properties
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Found in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, orange blossom, tea tree, and lemongrass
Odor: Medium strength scent that is predominantly minty with medicinal and menthol notes
Taste: Fresh, crisp, and cool sensa_on. Minty, herbaceous, and bittersweet flavor
Therapeutic Benefits: Studied for its an_-convulsant and bioprotec _ve effects. Studies with mice have shown protec_on against seizures and reduced mortality for animals suffering from convulsions. Iso-pulegol has also been shown to protect against the forma_on of gastrointes_nal ulcers
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Found in lemongrass, mul_ple variants of eucalyptus, mint, citronella, and lemon verbena
Odor: Scent that can be unpleasant at higher concentra_ons, but exhibits fresh citrus and woodsy spice in lower concentra_ons
Taste: Aged wood and lemon. Spice nuances of
Therapeutic Benefits: Shown to be an effec_ve analgesic painkiller and also displays an_-inflammatory proper_es useful in reduc_on if swelling associated with injury and inflammatory diseases
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Widespread in nature as a component of many essen_al oils including coriander, thyme, and eucalyptus. Also found in cypress, cinnamon, star anise, and nutmeg
Odor: Rose-like scent oFen used in perfumes, presents citrus and citronella nuances
Taste: Sweet and floral. Flavor of rose water with fruity peach-like notes. Responsible for the floral notes in beer imparted by hops
Therapeutic Benefits: Geraniol is an effec_ve plant based mosquito repellant and is known to have an_-microbial proper_es. It is also an an_-oxidant and is currently under study for abili_es to inhibit cell growth in cancerous tumors
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Geraniol is the primary component of rose, palmarosa, and citronella oils. It is also found in geranium, lemon,
bergamot, and many other essen_al oils. It is a major scent component in aged tobacco
Odor: Fresh camphor-like smell
Taste: Pleasant spicy, cooling taste. Used as a flavoring in various food products including baked goods, candies, meat products, and beverages
Therapeutic Benefits: Eucalyptol has been found to control airway mucus overproduc_on and to reduce headache and runny nose associated with the common cold. It is a common ingredient in cough suppressants. Topical applica_on has been shown to reduce pain and inflamma_on
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Composes up to 90% of the essen_al oil for some species of eucalyptus. Also found in camphor laurel, bay leaves, tea tree, sweet basil, wormwood, rosemary, and sage
Odor: Pungent camphoraceous odor with green minty and green spicy notes. Herbal and woody, reminiscent of pine needles
Taste: Cooling and minty with citrus and spicy green nuance
Therapeutic Benefits: Camphene is being studied for its ability to reduce blood concentra_ons of cholesterol and triglycerides. It has also been shown to prevent the development of fa y liver and insulin resistance in mice
Naturally Occurring in Nature: A minor cons_tuent in many essen_al oils including cypress, camphor, citronella, neroli, ginger, parsley, fennel, lavender and valerian
Odor: Floral sweetness, warm and herbaceous. Notes of citrus and tropical fruit
Taste: Green woody flavor with floral and vegetable nuances
Therapeutic Benefits: Ocimene possesses an_fungal proper_es. These are protec_ve to the plants that produce ocimene and also show promise in controlling cryptococcosis and dermatophytosis—both condi_ons associated with fungal overgrowth on the skin
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Found in a variety of herbs and fruits including hop oil,
kumquat, mango, mint, basil, parsley, and pepper
Odor: Soft, mild rose-like scent similar to tea rose or violet
Taste: Sweet flavor sugges_ve of currant with a faint and las_ng note of rose water
Therapeutic Benefits: An an_-inflammatory known to reduce
the body’s response to irrita_on and injury
Naturally Occurring in Nature: Found in several plants, but especially high concentra_ons exist in the oils of guaiacum and cypress pine