Description and usage notes:
This sharp, fresh and extremely lemony oil is widely used as a natural alternative to citral, which is the majority component at 70% – 90% with Geraniol 7%, Limonene 4%, Linalool 2% also present but little or no Myrcene. This oil is of Indian origin.
According to Arctander: “Lemongrass Oil is steam distilled from the fresh or partly dried leaves of the … grass; occasionalIy, it is water-and-steam distilled. [It] is a yellow or amber-colored, somewhat viscous liquid with a very strong, fresh-grassy lemon-type, herbaceous or tea-like odor.”
He goes on to describe its cultivation “In many tropical regions, the production of lemongrass oil is a by-product of the cattle raising: cattle feed being scarce, the exhaust grass from the distillation offers a good nutritive when added to molasses residues, etc. from sugar cane, etc. This also logically explains why the settlers continue to plant lemongrass in spite of the fact that it exhausts the soil to a considerable degree. The plant takes out nourishment, but it is fed back to the cattle who will return the yield in nature’s great circulation of organic matter”.
In perfumes it is mainly used as a more natural alternative to citral with added grassy and earthy notes.