The fragrance terpene geraniol forms sensitizing compounds via autoxidation and skin metabolism. Geranial and neral, the two isomers of citral, are the major haptens formed in both of these activation pathways. To investigate whether testing with oxidized geraniol detects more cases of contact allergy than testing with pure geraniol. The pattern of reactions to pure and oxidized geraniol, and metabolites/autoxidation products, was studied to investigate the importance of autoxidation or cutaneous metabolism in contact allergy to geraniol. Pure and oxidized geraniol were tested at 2.0% petrolatum in 2227 and 2179 consecutive patients, respectively. In parallel, geranial, neral and citral were tested in 2152, 1626 and 1055 consecutive patients, respectively. Pure and oxidized geraniol gave positive patch test reactions in 0.13% and 0.55% of the patients, respectively. Eight of 11 patients with positive patch test reactions to oxidized geraniol also reacted to citral or its components. Relevance for the positive patch test reactions in relation to the patients' dermatitis was found in 11 of 14 cases. Testing with oxidized geraniol could detect more cases of contact allergy to geraniol. The reaction pattern of the 14 cases presented indicates that both autoxidation and metabolism could be important in sensitization to geraniol.