Methyl Salicylate


CAS No. 119-36-8

Odour (decreasing)Warm, sweet, rooty-fruity medicinal, salicylate, wintergreen, tuberose

Solvent: -none added, but see below for option to have it diluted to 10% for safety reasons.

Main Synonyms:   2-Hydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester;  Methyl 2-hydroxybenzoate; Sweet Birch, synthetic;  Teaberry oil, synthetic; Wintergreen, synthetic.

See below for more description and documentation



Description and usage notes:

This distinctive and powerful smelling oil has many different connotations depending on personal experience.  For many people it is closely associated with the medicated cream Germolene.  It is a key odour-character item in tuberose and can contribute (usually only in traces)  its uniquely pungent character to recreations of that flower scent as well as fruity scents many others.

Here is Arctander on the odour: “Pungent-sweet, fruity-rooty odor with bur- ning sensation at high concentration. As a result of the subconscious reaction in people who are regular users of candy, flavored with Methylsalicylate, or dentifrice etc., the comment “minty” is often used for description of the flavor or odor of this ester. The most reliable judges for odor description are those who are not users of the item as a flavor.

ln fact, the title material is a typical example of an aroma-chemical with widely different end-uses and, consequently, having widely different descriptions of its odor and flavor attached to it.

Since the material was used mainly as an industrial masking odor in Europe (perfuming of gummed paperstrips, labels, glue, etc.), while it was originally (in the shape of natural Wintergreen oil) an American flavor, an American-Indian Tea, a folksmedicine, and later, the most popular chemical flavoring agent for candy and soft drinks through many decades – the ester will obviously have very different odor/flavor descriptions in different countries. In this respect it resembles Sassafras/Safrole very much.” 

On usage he has quite a bit to say too: “Methyl salicylate is used in perfume compositions as a minor ingredient in many types of heavy “exotic” floral fragrance, e. g. Tuberose, Cassie, etc. and in artificial Ylang-Ylang.

Traces may support other types of floral note, and it may form the sweet undertone in Fougere. Logically, the only aromatic chemical of perfumery (fragrance) interest in fern rhizomes (Fougees) would be Methyl salicylate, since the common fern does not contain any other volatile matter of importance. Amyl salicylate is used more widely because it supplies enormous tenacity, power and sweetness without the distinctly “candy-like” (in the U. S.A.) odor of the Methylester.” 

Despite its widespread use as a flavouring, methyl salicylate is poisonous by ingestion so appropriate care must be taken in handling and storing the material.  The lethal dose is, very approximately, 30g for an adult or 10g for a child.  If young children have access to your work area we suggest that you should not buy this material in pure form and even if they don’t please ensure that you store it safely and treat it with respect.  We are happy to supply it pre-diluted to 10% if you prefer: just state your preference in the box at checkout.


Safety Data Sheet


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