Limonene is an aromatic material that gives an orangey note to perfumes and flavours.

Where do we get it?

Flowers and fruits have distinctive aromas and tastes, whether pleasant, disgusting, strong or faint. This is due to a subtle cocktail of chemical compounds that each plant produces to attract or repel animals. Since the 19th century, these molecules have been isolated from plants or reproduced in labs to widen the possibilities in perfume creation.

Lush purchases D-limonene through a UK distributor. It’s a by-product of orange oil folding - a redistillation process that creates an oil concentrate. The procedure removes fractions of fragrant volatile oils, like limonene. These can be set aside and used on their own, as a perfume or flavour material.

What are the benefits of limonene?

  • Has an uplifting and sweet, citrus scent and taste. 
  • Is said to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

Safety and regulations

EU cosmetics regulations, alongside other global bodies, have identified 26 materials commonly found in fragrances that are more likely to cause allergic reactions in the form of skin irritation. These substances are referred to as allergens and have restrictions in place to ensure their safe use in cosmetics. They must also appear on product labels when they occur above a certain limit. While this only affects a small minority, it is still important to draw attention to their presence in products so that the customers who may be more sensitive to these materials can make informed decisions.

These substances can occur naturally in essential oils, absolutes and resinoids or are sometimes added to support our fragrance formulas. To help customers better understand what's in their Lush products, we've colour-coded our ingredients on the labels. When natural, allergens can be found in green text preceded by an asterisk (e.g. *Limonene). When they are added to a formula in a synthetic form, they are listed in black, without an asterisk.

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