Mandarin Sicily Essential Oil (Citrus reticulata Blanco)

Mandarin Sicily Essential Oil
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Botanical name  Citrus reticulata Blanco

Botanical synonym  Citrus nobilis Andrews

Family  Rutaceae

Source  Fruit peel

Origin   Italy

Processing Method   Cold Pressed

Color/Consistency   A thin, yellow orange to dark orange liquid.

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma   A top note with a light aroma, Mandarin has an intense, fresh scent characteristic of sweet oranges.

Blends With   Lime, Orange, Lemon, grapefruit, Nutmeg, Bay, and Clove Bud.

Product Abstract

Mandarin essential oil (Citrus reticulata) has a delicious aroma that brings a feeling of joy and happiness to any occasion, and is appreciated equally by young and old alike. Mandarin is actually the collective name given to a class of oranges that possess thin, loose peel and a flavour much sweeter than that of the orange. This large group of citrus fruits are all characterised by brightly coloured peel and pulp, segments that separate easily and a rind that is easy to peel.


After the fall of the Northern Song (959–1126) and during the reign of the Jin (1115–1234) and Yuan (Mongol) dynasties in northern China, a common speech developed based on the dialects of the North China Plain around the capital, a language referred to as Old Mandarin. New genres of vernacular literature were based on this language, including verse, drama and story forms, such as the qu and sanqu poetry.

Native to southern China, its name comes from its being a traditional gift to Chinese mandarins. It was brought to Europe in 1805, and arrived in North America forty years later.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

The essential oil is extracted by cold compression of the fresh peels of these fruits and contains alpha-thujone, alpha pinene, beta pinene, camphene, citral, citronellal, gamma terpinolene, geranial, geraniol, limonene, linalool, methyl anthranilate, myrcene, nerol, sabinene, and terpineol. Mandarins have a special place in Chinese culture as they were given as gifts to the Mandarins

Common Usage

  • Prevents Infections
  • Relieves Spasms
  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Removes Toxins
  • Improves Digestion
  • Hepatic
  • Nervous Relaxant
  • Promotes Cell Growth
  • Acts as Tonic
  • Cures Stomach Disorders


This oil has phototoxic properties and exposure to the sun must be avoided after application to the skin. Due to their presence, please consult a physician prior to using this oil.

Key constituents

(þ)-Limonene 65.3–74.2%

g-Terpinene 16.4–22.7%

a-Pinene 2.0–2.7%

b-Pinene 1.4–2.1%

b-Myrcene 1.5–1.8%

p-Cymene 0.1–1.4%

a-Thujene 0.7–1.0%

Terpinolene 0.7–1.0%

Non-volatile compounds

Bergamottin 0–0.001%

Bergapten 0–0.0003%

Safety summary
Hazards: Skin sensitization if oxidized.
Cautions: Old or oxidized oils should be avoided.

Our safety advice
Because of its (þ)-limonene content we recommend that oxidation of mandarin oil is minimized by storage in a dark, airtight container in a refrigerator. The addition of an antioxidant to preparations containing it is also recommended.

Regulatory guidelines
Has GRAS status. In Europe, essential oils containing furanocoumarins must be used so that the total level of bergapten will not exceed: (a) 15 ppm in finished cosmetic products intended for application to skin areas likely to be exposed to sunshine, excluding rinse-off products; or (b) 1 ppm in sun protection and in bronzing products. In the presence of other phototoxic ingredients, the sum of their concentrations shall not exceed 100%. IFRA recommends that essential oils rich in limonene should only be used when the level of peroxides is kept to the lowest practical level, for instance by adding antioxidants at the time of production (IFRA 2009).

Organ-specific effects
Adverse skin reactions  Undiluted mandarin oil produced slight edema and erythema in rabbits; two of three samples of mandarin oil were irritating to mice and pigs. Tested at 8% on 25 volunteers mandarin oil was neither irritating nor sensitizing. Three different samples of mandarin oil were non-phototoxic. Autoxidation products of (þ)-limonene can cause skin sensitization.

Reproductive toxicity: The low developmental toxicity of (þ)- limonene in rabbits and mice suggests that mandarin oil is not hazardous in pregnancy.

Systemic effects
Acute toxicity  Mandarin oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg. (þ)-Limonene displays anticarcinogenic activity.

Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  No information was found for mandarin oil but it contains no known carcinogens. (þ)-Limonene displays anticarcinogenic activity.

The furanocoumarin content of mandarin fruit oil is not sufficient to cause a phototoxic reaction, but it may contribute to the total psoralen content of a mixture.

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