Abstract The potential for citral, a widely used fragrance and flavour material, to elicit human sensitization reactions or induce hypersensitivity was evaluated by analysing patch-test data. The human sensitization test data presented in this report are from tests conducted on citral, fragrance blends containing citral as one of many ingredients, and a variety of consumer products containing citral. Citral could not be identified as being responsible for any elicited or induced reaction in the 12,758 patch tests with consumer products or fragrance blends containing citral. Citral was applied alone in solvent in 256 tests. At concentrations of 1·0% or greater induced hypersensitivity was observed. Induction of sensitization to citral appears to be dose related, since no sensitizations to citral occurred at citral concentrations of 0·5% or lower. No elicitation of a pre-existing sensitization attributable to citral was observed in any of the patch tests reported. These results provide valuable information regarding the safety of the use of citral in consumer products.