This paper presents a recycle amplification optical biosensor to monitor phenol in hydrophobic organic solvents. Tyrosinase was first immobilised by entrapping it in a copolymer membrane of poly(vinyl alcohol)-hydroxyethyl carboxymethylcellulose doped with octadecylsilica particles. The biosensor was then constructed by co-mixing small particles of the immobilised tyrosinase with the adduct of L-ascorbic acid-poly(vinyl alcohol) (AsA-PVA) in conjunction with an optical oxygen transducer. The biosensor was characterised by its amplifying response to phenol, stable biocatalytic activity of entrapped-tyrosinase, free of interference from o-quinone polymerisation, and large water buffer capacity in hydrophobic organic solvents. The working range of the biosensor to phenol was 0.08-40 mmol dm(-3) in the flow mode. The response times (95%) of the biosensor were 4-7 min for phenol. The operational lifetime was more than 40 assays and the shelf lifetime of the biosensor was longer than 3 months. The biosensor has been successfully applied to quantify the phenol contents in some commercial ointment samples.