The methyl ester of benzoic acid, also known as oil of Niobe, occurs in ylang-ylang oil and probably also in the oils of cloves and of tuberose. It is a colorless, optically inactive liquid, of a strong but pleasant odor.

B. p. 199,2° (746,4 mm.); d0o1,1026,1) d 15o/15o1,0942.2)

In the laboratory of Schimmel & Co. the following constants have been observed: d15o 1,0935 to 1,0955; nD20o 1,517 to 1,418; sol. in 4 vol. of 60 p. c. and in 1,5 vol. of 70 p. c. alcohol.

Characteristic for methyl benzoate is its crystalline derivative with phosphoric acid.3) The benzoates of the homologous alcohols do not possess this property.