Linalool (FEMA# 2635, CAS# 78-70-6) is one of the most widely distributed flavor chemicals in nature. The aroma of the ingredient is strongly floral, resembling lavender, with some hints of citrus.
This intensely monochromatic floral aroma can be a little off-putting when it is exaggerated to the extremes sometimes found in Earl Grey teas. At a lower, more natural concentration, it becomes highly attractive and plays an indispensable role in a short list of floral-accented flavor profiles, notably tea, apricot, peach and blueberry.
In addition, it performs sterling service at moderate levels in an extremely wide range of other flavor profiles. It is this chameleon characteristic that has ensured that for most of the history of the flavor industry up to the present, linalool, although primarily a fragrance raw material, has consistently rated amongst the top 30 most widely used flavor raw materials by volume.