Chemistry Flash – linalyl acetate

Today I would like to introduce you to new blog feature called Chemistry Flash. From now on, once in a while, I will be publishing short posts talking about a specific fragrance molecule which can or can not be used in perfumery. Each post will be a little lesson which I hope you’ll find interesting.

This new series of short articles I would like to begin with this creature shown to the left. It’s known as linalyl acetate and it’s an acatate ester of linalool. It means it can be obtained in reaction between acetic acid and linalool, the latter being an alcohol. It’s chemical formulae is C12H20O2. It’s one of the most popular chemical substances used in perfumery. Linalyl acetate possesses a citrus-like aroma and is the main ingredient of lavender essential oil and bergamot essential oil which are known for anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. In perfumery both natural and synthetic forms of this compound are being used.

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36 thoughts on “Chemistry Flash – linalyl acetate

  1. Jordan River says:

    Brilliant idea. According to Simon Cotton, every molecule tells a story. I look forward to your ones Lucas.

  2. laniersmith says:

    Oh…Perfume 101 I love it.

  3. Tatiana says:

    Yeah! Chemistry! Looking forward to more of these entries.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    I like these short takes on substances we find ourselves in frequent contact with but were not aware! On the lavender essential oil, I frequently see lavender used in ingredients for stuff to calm the mind in preparation for sleep…would that be the same lavender?

    • lucasai says:

      Great, then you should like another pieces from the series when they appear in future.
      Yes, lavender essential oil has calming properties in aromatherapy, so whenever you see a lavender oil for room diffusers or aromatherapy chimneys it’ll probably be the same lavender though I’m 90% sure lavender oil for aromatherapy is a lab-made one. The natural is mostly reserved for perfumery and high-end savonnery.

  5. eswift83 says:

    What a wonderful idea for a series! It’s been a while since I took organic chemistry, but I love the tie! I look forward to reading more!

  6. Thanks for the chemistry lesson Lucas. Is it just me, or does the molecule drawing/model look like someone jumping into a swimming pool that someone is already in? LOL

  7. Madeleine says:

    Brilliant idea lucasai!

    I’ve always been wanting to read more about the science behind perfumes and you’ve nailed it. Very well explained and easy to understand. I look forward to more!

    Madeleine 🙂

  8. poodle says:

    Great idea! I look forward to more of these too.

  9. Ferris says:

    Very interesting article!

  10. Undina says:

    Hey, you’re slacking! So, when you’re writing about perfumes most of us have smelled already or will smell at some point, you can write a whole page. And here, talking about something probably none of your readers has ever come across, you are giving us a tiny paragraph?! 😉

    Have you smelled it yourself? How strong is the smell? What perfume does it remind you of? (I understand that information where it’s used might not be available). I can probably come up with more questions but I think you’ve got the idea 🙂

    • lucasai says:

      Aaaaaargh, don’t shout at me, I feel guilty now. Alright, alright, I’ll write a little bit more for the next molecules.
      We once had some linalyl acetate in the lab. The smell was quite pungent and citrus, at first I thought it smelled like lime rind. It didn’t remind me of any specified perfume. Remember linalyl acetate is just one compound, not a whole composition.

      • Undina says:

        I wasn’t shouting, I was expressing surprise 😉

        I understand that it’s just an element but even when you read in perfumes,let’s say, “lemon” or “rose” it doesn’t tell you exactly how it will smell in each specific instance – that’s why comparison to a known perfume might be helpful.

  11. sweetgrass79 says:

    I’m excited about this series, Lucas. I recently read “The Secret of Scent” by Luca Turin, which was really fascinating for the exploration of molecular structures and of why molecules smell the way they do. It makes me wish I had taken more chemistry in school. 🙂 I look forward to future posts.

  12. Naheed says:

    That’s so good. Chemistry has always been my favourite subject and am realling forward to reading more. Thank you, Lucasai!

  13. Naheed says:

    am really looking forward to reading more*

  14. TF says:

    As a chemistry student at university myself, I always find these articles of yours very interesting! As a cosmetic chemistry student could you recommend me some sites or book so I could learn more about this subject?

  15. Scent Bound says:

    Great idea, Lucas. Please keep them coming.

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