When Mycobacterium lepraemurium is grown on the 1% Ogawa yolk medium, it produces a specific odor. This odor was not observed in other easily cultivable acid-fast bacilli. Therefore, identification of the components responsible for the specific odor produced by M. lepraemurium was attempted. The odor components were extracted for overnight with sterilized and distilled water from the Ogawa yolk medium on which M. lepraemurium had been cultivated for two months. The odor components in the extract was adsorbed on refined charcoal. After washing with distilled water for three times, the charcoal was dried. Then the odor components were eluted from the charcoal with ethanol and the eluate was condensed under nitrogen gas flow at 40 degrees C. The condensate was analyzed by Gas-Chromatography-Mass-Spectrum (GC-MS). Phenylethanol and phenylacetic acid were identified as major odor components. A mixture of authentic phenylacetic acid, its methyl and ethyl esters, smelled similar to the odor of cultivated medium of M. lepraemurium. Thus, phenylacetic acid was identified as the key odor component produced by M. lepraemurium. When initial isolation culture of M. lepraemurium from murine leproma was cultivated on the Ogawa yolk medium by adding phenylacetic acid, growth inhibition was brought by the compound.