Rose odor

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2-Phenylethanol (2PE) or 2-Phenylethyl alcohol (PEA) is a major constituent of rose oil. It is supposed to be an innately attractive odorant to rodents.


2-Phenylethanol (2PE), 2-Phenylethyl alcohol (PEA)


C6H5CH2CH2OH, MW 122.16, Density 1.0202, Solubility: EtOH, or 16 ml/ L water PMID 7241352 ; PubChem CID 24887136, CAS 60-12-8 , Wikipedia entry


Sigma-Aldrich Item #77861 250 ml $48.50


Notes on use of 2PE in rodent tests

As of April 2013, I suggest using 1.25 ul of neat 2PE or 200 uL of 0.1% 2PE.

Galliot 2012 PMID 22248569 notes that over 30 ul TMT stimulates trigeminal pathways as potential irritant.

1.25 ul of odorants (PEA, TMT or toluene) were deposited on four filter paper strips fixed to the top of the wall and arranged according to the four vir- tual quadrants, in order to allow a homogenous diffusion of odors.

5 ul of the three different odorants were placed on each of the four arms of the maze by rubbing with soaked filter paper.


Matsukawa 2011 PMID 21266167

We used TMT (Phero tech, Delta, BC, CANADA) as the predator odor, and rose oil (rose; ChromaDex, Irvine, CA, USA) was used for odor stimulation with and without TMT. Mice were placed singly in small cages without any floor chips. Following habituation for 5–10 min, a small piece (a quadrant of What- man no. 2 filter paper, which is 9 cm in diameter) of filter paper (Whatman Japan, Tokyo, Japan) was put in the cage, and 0.2 ml of odor solution was dropped on it. Different groups of animals were exposed to either filtered DDW for no-odor control (n = 12), 1.2 mM TMT alone (n = 18), 0.1% v/v rose alone (n = 18), or a combination of TMT and rose (n=18).

Rodent Responses to 2PE or rose odor

Note: make a table of these experiments with concentration, Rx, measures, and results.Italic text

Literature not included:

2PE is widely used in human olfactory tests; those papers are not referenced here.

There is also some literature on rose odor as a calming aromatherapy odor (mostly Japanese work). Only the rodent specific work is listed here.


Murakami T, Matsukawa M, Katsuyama N, Imada M, Aizawa S, Sato T. Stress-related activities induced by predator odor may become indistinguishable by hinokitiol odor. Neuroreport. 2012 Dec 19;23(18):1071-6. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32835b373b. PMID 23128452.


Galliot E, Laurent L, Hacquemand R, Pourié G, Millot JL. Fear-like behavioral responses in mice in different odorant environments: Trigeminal versus olfactory mediation under low doses. Behav Processes. 2012 Jun;90(2):161-6. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 14. PMID 22248569.


Umezu T. Evaluation of the effects of plant-derived essential oils on central nervous system function using discrete shuttle-type conditioned avoidance response in mice. Phytother Res. 2012 Jun;26(6):884-91. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3665. Epub 2011 Nov 15. PMID 22086772.


Matsukawa M, Imada M, Murakami T, Aizawa S, Sato T. Rose odor can innately counteract predator odor. Brain Res. 2011 Mar 24;1381:117-23. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.01.053. Epub 2011 Jan 23. PMID 21266167.


Tsang HW, Ho TY. A systematic review on the anxiolytic effects of aromatherapy on rodents under experimentally induced anxiety models. Rev Neurosci. 2010;21(2):141-52. Review. PMID 20614803.


Bradley BF, Starkey NJ, Brown SL, Lea RW. The effects of prolonged rose odor inhalation in two animal models of anxiety. Physiol Behav. 2007 Dec 5;92(5):931-8. Epub 2007 Jul 4. PMID 17689573.


de Almeida RN, Motta SC, de Brito Faturi C, Catallani B, Leite JR. Anxiolytic-like effects of rose oil inhalation on the elevated plus-maze test in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Feb;77(2):361-4. PMID 14751465.


Umezu T, Ito H, Nagano K, Yamakoshi M, Oouchi H, Sakaniwa M, Morita M. Anticonflict effects of rose oil and identification of its active constituents. Life Sci. 2002 Nov 22;72(1):91-102. PMID 12409148.


Umezu T. Behavioral effects of plant-derived essential oils in the geller type conflict test in mice. Jpn J Pharmacol. 2000 Jun;83(2):150-3. PMID 10928328.


Umezu T. Anticonflict effects of plant-derived essential oils. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Sep;64(1):35-40. PMID 10494995.


Price S. Specific anosmia to geraniol in mice. Neurosci Lett. 1977 Jan;4(1):49-50. PMID 19604919.


Physicochemical properties of 2PE

Politano VT, Diener RM, Christian MS, Hawkins DR, Ritacco G, Api AM. The pharmacokinetics of phenylethyl alcohol (PEA): safety evaluation comparisons in rats, rabbits, and humans. Int J Toxicol. 2013 Jan-Feb;32(1):39-47. doi: 10.1177/1091581812471688. PMID 23385160.


Philpott CM, Goodenough PC, Wolstenholme CR, Murty GE. Which solvent for olfactory testing? Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2004 Dec;29(6):667-71. PubMed PMID 15533156.


Tsukatani T, Miwa T, Furukawa M, Costanzo RM. Detection thresholds for phenyl ethyl alcohol using serial dilutions in different solvents. Chem Senses. 2003 Jan;28(1):25-32. PMID 12502521.