Pelargonium graveolens is a species in the Pelargonium genus, which is indigenous to various parts of southern Africa, and in particular South Africa. It is often called geranium as it falls within the plant family Geraniaceae, although more correctly, it is referred to as Pelargonium. This specific species has great importance in the perfume industry. It is cultivated on a large scale and its foliage is distilled for its scent. P. graveolens cultivars have a wide variety of smells, including rose, citrus, mint, coconut and nutmeg, as well as various fruits. However, the most commercially important varieties are those that have rose scents.
Common names include or rose geranium , old fashion rose geranium, and rose-scent geranium. Pelargonium gravelons is also known by taxonomic synonyms "Geranium terebinthinaceum Cav." and Pelargonium terebinthinaceum (Cav.) Desf." "Rose geranium" is sometimes used to refer to "Pelargonium incrassatum (Andrews) Sims" or its synonym "Pelargonium roseum (Andrews) DC." Commercial vendors often list the source of geranium or rose geranium essential oil as Palargonium graveolens roseum.