Crystalline organic compound of the isoprenoid family. It has a strong, minty, cooling odour and taste. It is obtained from the oil of the Japanese mint or made synthetically and is used in cigarettes, cosmetics, chest rubs, cough drops, toothpastes, and flavourings. Of its two optical isomers (see optical activity; isomerism), only l-menthol has the desirable cooling effect.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on menthol, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up menthol? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More