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Eugenol is a naturally occuring scent chemical found in clove oil; also manufactured synthetically. Has been associated with allergies and contact dermatitis.

Function(s): Denaturant; Fragrance Ingredient; MASKING; Tonic

Other names: 1-Allyl-4-Hydroxy-3-Methoxybenzene; 1-Hydroxy-2-Methoxy-4-Allylbenzene; 2-Hydroxy-5-Allylanisole; 2-Methoxy-4- (2-Propenyl) - Phenol; 2-Methoxy-4- (2-Propenyl) Phenol; Allylguaiacol; Caryophyllic Acid; Eugenic Acid; Phenol, 2-Methoxy-4- (2-Propenyl) -; Phenol, 2Methoxy4 (2Propenyl) ; 1,3,4-Eugenol

Source:  EWG

Source: EWG

Overall hazard:
Cancer concerns:
Developmental & reproductive toxicity: ○○○○○○○○○○○○ 
Allergies & immunotoxicity:
Use restrictions:


Natural or synthetic?


What Is It?

Eugenol is a clear to pale yellow liquid that has a spicy clove-like aroma. Eugenol, a naturally occurring substance found in many plants, is used to make fragrances and flavors. In cosmetics and personal care products, Eugenol is used in the formulation of aftershave lotions, bath products, bubble baths, fragrances, hair care products, moisturizers, shampoos and skin care products.

Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?

Eugenol functions as a fragrance ingredient and as a denaturant.

Safety Information: 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes clove and its derivatives, including Eugenol, on its list of substances affirmed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as direct food substances. The safety of Eugenol has been evaluated by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials Expert Panel (REXPAN). Based on this evaluation, an International Fragrance Association (IFRA) Standard has been established. The IFRA Standard restricts the use of Eugenol in fragrances because of potential sensitization.

Link to the IFRA Standards:

The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) defers review of individual fragrance ingredients to the IFRA program unless the ingredient has significant uses other than as a fragrance. In this case, the ingredient may be assessed by both the CIR Expert Panel and REXPAN.

More safety Information: 

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Eugenol:

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) established an Acceptable Daily Intake for Eugenol of up to 2.5 mg/kg body weight when used as a flavoring agent.

Link to the JECFA safety evaluation of Eugenol:

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of Eugenol and determined that it is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use as a flavoring agent. In Europe, Eugenol is included on the list of "allergenic" substances. The European Cosmetics Regulation requires manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to indicate the presence of certain "allergenic" substances in the list of ingredients if they are present above certain levels in the product (see Annex III). The presence of Eugenol must be indicated in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds: 0.001% in leave-on the skin products 0.01% in products that are rinsed off the skin.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:

More information about the safety of fragrances.


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