The key difference between lanolin and linalool is that lanolin is produced by animal species, whereas linalool is produced by plant species.
Lanolin is a type of wax that is secreted by wool-bearing animals, while linalool is a type of organic compound that can be found in many flower and spice plants. Although the terms lanolin and linalool are closely similar in pronunciation, they are two different compounds found in completely different sources. They have distinctive applications as well.
What is Lanolin?
Lanolin is a type of wax that is secreted by wool-bearing animals. It is also known as wool yolk or wool wax. This substance is secreted from the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. Usually, the lanolin we use comes from domestic sheep breeds that are raised for wool. Some sources refer to lanolin as wool fat, but it lacks glycerol esters, which is an essential component in fat. Instead of glycerol esters, lanolin contains sterol esters. In sheep, this substance is responsible for the water-proofing nature of their wool. Some breeds of sheep can produce a high amount of lanolin than others.
When considering the role of lanolin in sheep, it protects wool and skin from climate and environment, and it is important in skin hygiene. Due to the same reason, humans also use this substance for the protection, treatment and beautification of human skin.
When considering the chemical buildup of lanolin, it predominately contains long-chain waxy esters, lanolin alcohols, lanolin acids, and lanolin hydrocarbons. Moreover, the hydrolysis of lanolin gives lanolin alcohols and lanolin acids. Furthermore, lanolin is a rich source of cholesterol, and it is a powerful water-in-oil emulsifier. Therefore, this substance is very important in cosmetic production.
In addition to its use in the cosmetic industry, there are several other applications of lanolin such as lubricant production, rust-preventing coats, shoe polish, and in the production of many other commercial products.
What is Linalool?
Linalool is a type of organic compound that can be found in many flowers and spice plants. This term describes two enantiomers of naturally occurring terpene alcohols. We can find this substance in plant species such as the family Lamiaceae, Lubraceae, Rutaceae, etc.
The chemical formula of linalool is C10H18O. The molar mass of this compound is 154 g/mol. Due to the presence of a stereogenic centre at the third carbon (C3) of linalool molecule, it has two stereoisomers. These two are named as licareol and coriandrol. We can find both these forms in nature. E.g. coriandrol is present as a major component in coriander.
The major applications of linalool include using it as a scent (about 80% of linalool is used as a scent), production of soap, detergent, shampoo and lotions. These applications are due to the pleasant fragrance of linalool. It is also an important chemical intermediate; e.g. vitamin E production. In addition, we can use it as a mosquito-repellent substance as well.
What is the Difference Between Lanolin and Linalool?
The key difference between lanolin and linalool is that lanolin is produced by animal species, whereas linalool is produced by plant species. Lanolin is mainly useful in the cosmetic industry due to its hygienic properties and water-proofing ability. Linalool is mainly used as an odorant for different productions, including soap, detergent, scent, etc. due to its strong, pleasant smell.
Below infographic summarizes the difference between lanolin and linalool.
Summary – Lanolin vs Linalool
Lanolin and linalool are two different organic compounds. The key difference between lanolin and linalool is that lanolin is produced by animal species, whereas linalool is produced by plant species.
1. “Linalool.” Science Direct, Available here.