member of a class of naturally occurring organic substances called terpenes. Citronella oil is obtained from the leaves of the oil grasses Cymbopogon nardus and C. winterianus. The oil has a wide range of uses, from medicines to perfumes for soaps. Two derivatives of citronella oil include the alcohol citronellol and the aldehyde citronellal.
Learn more about citronella oil with a free trial on Britannica.com.