Citronella oil is extracted from Cymbopogon nardus (also known as Andropogon nardus) and is of the Graminae (Poaceae) family. This aromatic perennial grows about 1meter (3 feet) high. Citronella oil is an essential oil containing citronellal, geraniol and hydroxy citronella and other high value perfumery bases obtained on steam distillation of citronella grass. Oil of citronella is a biopesticide (biochemical) with a non-toxic mode of action. It is registered as an insect repellent/feeding depressant and as an animal repellent. Oil of citronella is the volatile oil obtained from the steam distillation. ? Characteristics of Citronella Oil Citronella oil is a colorless or light yellow liquid with a characteristic woody, grassy or lemony odour. It is flammable and if the vapors are inhaled, this could cause an initial stimulation followed by depression of the central nervous system. Citronella oil may be harmful if ingested in quantity and may irritate the skin and eye. However, it is not believed to be hazardous to humans, including children and those with sensitive skin, if used according to label instructions. Citronella oil has been widely used since the 1950s without any adverse effects which may cause concern. Uses & Applications It has great benefit in clearing the mind, refreshing rooms and for softening skin, while combating oily skin and sweaty feet: Citronella oil's most useful quality is that of it being an insect repellent. It is best used in a spray, a diffuser or on a cotton ball amongst linen. It is also useful in ridding cats and dogs of fleas. Furthermore, citronella oil helps to clear the mind and has a general toning and tonic effect on the body. It is helpful with colds, flu and minor infections and also has deodorizing qualities. The oil is used for perfuming soaps, detergents, cosmetics and agarbattis. The oil is also used to isolate citronellol, geraniol. These are in turn converted into citronellal, hydroxy citronellal, synthetic menthol and esters of geraniol and citronellol. These compounds are used for making high grade blended perfumes. Market Survey Citronella oil prices have remained stalled at their historic low for more than a year. Although pricing usually improves during the spring because of the need for candles and insect repellent, demand has remained flat, and brokers report very little activity for the essential oil. The economics working behind essential oils has three components. First, the cultivation of herbs and plants used to extract essential oils; second, the actual process of extraction of the oils; and, third, the marketing and actual sale of these oils. Presently the major producers are China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Argentina, Taiwan, Srilanka, Brazil, Madagascar and India. Demand is generated from home market as well as export market. The source of demand is from end use industries which are primarily personal care products, food products, pharmaceuticals. The demand for essential oil by fragrance industry is 60%, flavour industry 20% and pharmaceutical industry 20%. The demand and market of citronella oil has been increasing day by day all over the world because of the important properties that it possesses.