The Origin of Citronella Oil

You know it helps cure fungal infections. You know it repels mosquitos. But do you know where citronella oil comes from? Come and find out!


All essential oils are extracted from the leaves and stems of plants and citronella oil is no different. However, citronella oil is actually split into two chemotypes of the Cymbopogon genus plant family:


Ceylon type

Plant(s) Obtained From: Cymbopogon nardus (Rendle), which is a native product of Sri Lanka. Ceylon citronella oil has a citrus-like, warm, and woody scent with a pale / dark yellow color.

Countries of Origin: Sri Lanka

Main Composition: Geraniol (18–20%), limonene (9–11%), methyl isoeugenol (7–11%), citronellol (6–8%), citronellal (5–15%).


Java type

Plant(s) Obtained From: Cymbopogon winterianus (Jowitt), which is believed to have originated from Cymbopogon nardus. It has a fresh and lemon-like scent, but is darker in color. The name comes from a Mr. Winter, who raised it as a separate species in the 19th century and later introduced it in Indonesia. From there, it later was made commercially available and was also known as Javanese citronella.

Countries of Origin: Indonesia, Sri Lanka

Main Composition: Citronellal (32-45%), geraniol (11-13%), geranyl acetate (3-8%), limonene (1-4%).


Uses of Citronella Oil

No matter which type, citronella oil has found many uses, but it's especially great and effective as an insect repellent, as well as in soap / wax candles / incense due to its antiseptic and deodorizing features. But between the two (java and ceylon), java citronella oil is considered the one with the higher quality. See below for even more ways to use citronella oil:

Citronella Oil Production

Currently, the world production of citronella oil is approximately 4,000 tons, with the main producers being China and Indonesia and producing around 40 percent of the world's supply. Citronella oil is also being produced, at a much smaller amount, in Taiwan, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, and South Africa.

As the demand grows for citronella oil, the market has been flooded with those including synthetic chemicals. However, natural citronella oil and its derivatives are preferred by the perfume industry, according to FOODNET, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural research in Eastern and Central Africa.

Looking for a 100% pure and chemical-free choice for java citronella essential oil? Try the Citronella Essential Oil by Anjou, 2 fl. Oz / 60 ml - 100% Pure, Natural (Therapeutic Grade, Aromatherapy, DIY, Mosquito Repellent, Sunburn Soothing).


Established in 2016, Anjou’s exclusive collection of skincare products and essential oils are all made using preservative-free ingredients from around the world in order to empower users to live more naturally and confidently with 100% natural ingredients.

Pure and Organic: Anjou works closely with specialists around the world to find the perfect location and environment, making sure Anjou products are made from the best stuff on Earth.

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