Linalool has been identified as an important fragrance allergen that must be package-labeled in European cosmetics and personal care, and is in fact one of the 26 fragrance ingredients with mandated labeling in the European Community. Does evidence-based methodology support this contention? Linalool has otherwise been cited as a moderately frequent cause of allergic contact dermatitis.
This article reviews the published data on the allergenicity of linalool (3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol; CAS No. 78-70-6; EINECS 201-134-4) (Figure 1) relating to its relative potency as a skin sensitizer. A semiquantitative evaluation of the different reports cited below has been made in accordance with the system outlined in Maibach et al., which is based on the procedures proposed by Benezra et al.2 and describes the scoring system used for assigning the degree of confidence in data reported.