Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Nice smelling compounds (?)

trowaway45258 - 21-9-2019 at 06:43

So i want to collect some nice smelling conpounds, so far i came up with idea on extracting a-pinene and limonene. My qestion is, what other nice smelling conpounds i could syntetise/extract from readely avalible sources?

Tsjerk - 21-9-2019 at 06:49

Esters are classics for synthesized compounds with a nice fragrance. When you want to extract something you can go for anything that you think has a nice smell.

karlosĀ³ - 21-9-2019 at 07:08

Some ketones and aldehydes smell nice as well, just lately was surprised about the nice smell of acetophenone in small dosages for example.
And that can be made via thermal ketonisation from calcium acetate and calcium benzoate, both very accessible chemicals.

Sulaiman - 21-9-2019 at 08:59

hodges - 21-9-2019 at 14:06

Look up the synthesis of methyl salicylate. This is wintergreen oil, has a minty smell. Requires methyl alcohol, aspirin, and sulfuric acid. This is a classic synthesis with high chance for success and an online search shows several sites where the procedure is written up as a lab.

Fery - 22-9-2019 at 12:10

I love pear and pineapple smell. The pear is e.g. n-pentylacetate (i have 1 liter bottle of it). Pineapple e.g. ethylhexanoate, allylvalerate (the second ester is only synthetic, seems not to occur in natural pineapple).
Here you have coconut aroma synthesis:

DraconicAcid - 22-9-2019 at 12:44

Most of the esters that are supposed to smell like specific fruits, to me, all smell like a generic "tutti-frutti" scent. I could tell you that butyl acetate and butyl butanoate smell slightly different, but I'd never be able to tell you which one was pear, apple or apricot. Isoamyl acetate is very clearly banana (or artificial banana flavouring), and methyl anthranilate is definitely grape.

Fery - 23-9-2019 at 03:27

Draconic Acid - the best is to smell them in very low concentrations. Some of them smell even through bottle stopper, such low concentration could be enough for volatile esters. The smell of ester at higher concentration could be different.

phlogiston - 23-9-2019 at 06:44

here is a table illustrating for quit a few esters what they supposedly smell like.
Should be fun to explore experimentally/sensory.

Tsjerk - 23-9-2019 at 08:53

When you are working with butanoates make sure you dry your product properly ;) you will know when you didn't.

Praxichys - 24-9-2019 at 14:39

Benzaldehyde is pretty easy to enjoy the smell of through the oxidation of benzyl alcohol with nitric acid on a test tube scale.

Ubya - 24-9-2019 at 15:20

cinnamaldehyde can be easily extracted from cinnamon bark.
it smells of, you guessed it.... cinnamon

DraconicAcid - 24-9-2019 at 15:53

Quote: Originally posted by Fery  
Draconic Acid - the best is to smell them in very low concentrations. Some of them smell even through bottle stopper, such low concentration could be enough for volatile esters. The smell of ester at higher concentration could be different.

I find that if it's at a low concentration, I can't smell it at all.

ETA: 2-ethoxynaphthalene is nice. One of the students' samples of it got left in the oven at too high of a temperature, sublimed away, and left the lab smelling like lemon drops for days.

[Edited on 24-9-2019 by DraconicAcid]

Fery - 24-9-2019 at 23:44

DraconicAcid - while I was studying university one assistant give us a sample to smell and 1/3 of students did not smell anything and 2/3 did, but I do not remember the substance name. It was a demonstration of genetic variability of smell perception. We have hundreds of smell receptor types and a lot of genes involved.

phlogiston - 25-9-2019 at 02:12

Fery, that is actually very common. I sometimes work professionaly with panels of people trained to smell certain products, and while training and testing such panels there are always a few people that are unable to smell certain smells.

A well known example is the smell of urine of someone that consumed asparagus.

Another well studied example (although with taste, not smell) is the compound 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP), which tastes bitter to people that can taste it, but not all people can (the ratio depends on the population. About 30% of the caucasian North American population has the nontaster fenotype).
Broccoli apparently tastes very different to PROP tasters and nontesters.

[Edited on 25-9-2019 by phlogiston]

Fery - 25-9-2019 at 09:42

phlogiston - we human have about 350 genes encoding smelling receptors and a lot of them contain mutations so there are plenty of combinations - very probably we can't find 2 people with exactly the same smell except monozygotic twins
IIRC the compound which we tried to smell at the university was androstenone (1/3 of population does not smell it at all)
6 % of humans does not smell isovaleric acid
smell and taste recently became less important in human evolution so mutations persisted in these genes (the risk of dying because of altered smell/taste is today almost negligible)
we human sometimes do not realize smell perception but it does cause some processes in brain and body

teodor - 26-9-2019 at 03:38

A lot of compounds are used in perfumes. I think there should be a literature which covers this topic, like catalogue of compounds used in this industry, their smell and other parameters.

karlosĀ³ - 26-9-2019 at 04:55

That limited perception of androstenones reminds me of copulines to which androstenone belongs, definitely more than just nice smelling compounds :o

Dan Vizine - 3-10-2019 at 07:09

Diacetyl smells like hot, buttered popcorn. It's quite pleasant. You can make it by gentle KMnO4 oxidation of either acetoin or 2,3-butanediol.