The volatile oil is distilled from the dried foliage of perilla. It contains peri I lyl aldehyde, elsholtziaketone, peri I lyl ketone, citral and perillene, in addition to more than 70 other compounds (Ito et al 1999). Peri I lyl aldehyde is used as a sweetener and flavouring agent. One of the aldehyde isomers is 2000-fold sweeter than sugar and 4-8-fold sweeter than saccharin. Per i I lyl alcohol, prepared from peri I lyl aldehyde, is used in fragrances (Misra & Husain 1987). There are different chemotypes of perilla; one genotype lacks peril lyl aldehyde but has peril lyl ketone (Brenner 1993).

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