What is it?
Cananga Oil is a chemical that is extracted from flowers and used in the creation and manufacturing of fragrances, perfume and
flavor concentrates. Some of the plants are lily, carnation, hyacinth, jacinthe and narcissus.
How can I avoid it?
Skin contact with Cananga Oil is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing Cananga Oil
should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the
ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this
ingredient. If there is no information ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a material safety data sheet
(MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.
The avoidance of fragrances and flavoring agents such as Cananga Oil can be difficult, since so many everyday products contain
these substances. One should use only fragrance-free cosmetic and household products. “Unscented” products may contain low
levels of a fragrance to cover up an undesirable odor and also should be avoided. Products labeled as “hypoallergenic” do not assure
that the product is truly free of fragrance.
Since fragrances are complex mixtures of many ingredients, an individual may tolerate one fragrance but not another. A trial-anderror
method of avoiding a fragrance allergen in a product can be performed by applying the product to the forearm in the same
small area twice a day for a week. If no dermatitis develops, the product may likely be used safely.
Since some fragrances are also flavors, foods can, rarely, cause flare-ups of dermatitis in fragrance-sensitive individuals. Particularly
if you have oral or lip allergies as discussed with your health care provider, you should avoid foods prepared with Cananga Oil.
• Perfumes / Colognes / After-shaves / Toilet water
• Skin Care Products / Cosmetics
• Medications, topical, prescription and over the counter such as
- Antiperspirants / Deodorants
- Hair sprays, gels, tonics and lotions
- Soaps / Cleansers
- Shampoos / Conditioners
- Nail Polish / Nail Polish Remover
- Powders / Sprays
• Household products
- Insect bite medication
- Foot And other Powders
- Nasal Decongestants
- Herbal remedies, including Traditional Chinese
- Motion sickness remedies
- Wound Dressings
• Foods, candies, gum, beverages, various, as a flavoring or spice
- Air Fresheners / Aromatherapy / Potpourri
- Cleaning Products / Soaps / Detergents (A preferred household cleaner is dilute white vinegar.)
- Furniture polish
• Oral Care Products as a flavoring
- Cough mixtures
- Toothpaste / Mouthwash
- Throat tablets and lozenges
Other names for Cananga Oil:
• Ylang Ylang oil
• Oil java
• Aleum anonas
• Cananga odorata
Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances:
• Benzyl salicylate