One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A fragrant natural oil used as an insect repellent and in perfume and soap manufacture.
- ‘You can illuminate your garden with a selection of wooden or metal lanterns, colour-changing lily pad lights or bright, citronella bucket candles.’
- ‘Herbal flea collars containing essential oils such as pennyroyal, eucalyptus and citronella can also prevent fleas and ticks from landing on your pet.’
- ‘This product consists of clay pellets impregnated with a blend of citronella oils which cats detest.’
- ‘She has suggested citronella candles to combat stress.’
- ‘Most use citronella oil as a primary bug deterrent, but some contain long lists of ‘essential’ ingredients.’
- ‘The night air is acrid with the scent of hundreds of citronella candles.’
- ‘Essential oils from allspice, basil, cedar, cinnamon, citronella, garlic, geranium, lavender, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, rosemary, and thyme have been reported to have repellent properties.’
- ‘I snuck out of my family's rented cottage one hot August night and wandered until I happened upon a scene lit by flickering tiki torches and glowing citronella sticks.’
- ‘Substances that cats find aversive include citronella, perfumes, solid air fresheners, citrus, aloe, and eucalyptus oil.’
- ‘A string hammock, citronella candles, a hiking staff, bug spray and face net, sunscreen, sunglasses and bathing suit reminded them of the warm climate she was used to, and suddenly they felt colder for it.’
- ‘It has combined pure vegetable wax with citronella (an essential oil) and hemp seed oil to create a toxic-free summer evening.’
- ‘While some products utilize natural repellents such as lemongrass or citronella, they don't protect you for long.’
- ‘First thing you are going to need are mosquito coils or citronella candles to keep away the winged blood-suckers.’
- ‘And even though I wasn't there to buy things for the new house, but to purchase things to get out of this one, I tucked a small, bright orange citronella candle into the cart.’
- ‘When I go outside and smell more burning leaves than citronella candles, it can only mean fall is here, and that winter and spring aren't too far behind.’
- ‘Jam laced with derris, camphor, citronella or pepper also makes an effective bait.’
- ‘Many essential oils including citronella, lavender, and peppermint act as a natural repellent against insects.’
- ‘New machines designed to release sprays based on citronella oil or geraniol, another plant-derived repellent with a sweet, rosy odor, also are available.’
- ‘Repellent candles or lamps, that burn citronella oil, are readily available from hardware stores and some supermarkets.’
- ‘Fill the bionic bug's head with citronella lamp oil, light the wick, and watch all attackers turn and flee for their lives.’
2The southern Asian grass from which the citronella oil is obtained.
- ‘Some herbs that repel fleas include: juniper, pennyroyal, citronella, eucalyptus, cedar and Canadian fleabane.’
- ‘The citronella, or mosquito plant, is a scented geranium related to the common garden geranium.’
- ‘And today candles made with oil from citronella grass help keep the bugs away from backyard barbecues.’
- ‘The research station has succeeded in making 400 lemon grass germ plasm collections, 21 pamarosa collections, 8 vetiver collections and 18 citronella collections.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from citron + the diminutive suffix -ella.
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