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2,6-dimethyl-2,7-octadiene-6-ol, a terpene alcohol:
(CH3)2CCHCH2CH2C(CH3) (OH) CHCH2
A colorless liquid with a lavender odor. Boiling point, 198°-200°C; density, 0.862–0.865 g/cm3 at 20°C. Linalool exists in two optically active (+) and (-) forms, as well as the (±) form (a racemic mixture). It is readily converted into geraniol upon action of organic acids and into a mixture of terpineols in the presence of sulfuric acid. Linalool oxidizes to form citral.
Linalool is part of many essential oils (for example, coriandrol) in free form and as esters of acetic acid (linalyl acetate) and butyric acid; the rectification process is used to extract linalool from essential oils. Linalool may also be synthesized from acetylene and isoprene, as well as from α-pinene. Linalool and linalyl acetate are widely used as odoriferous substances in perfume and cosmetics manufacture.