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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 17 (2012) pp 001-005
DOI 10.1007/s00897122405a

The Scent of Jasmine: Collection, Structures, and Analysis of Odorants

Albrecht Mannschreck

Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Regensburg, Universitätsstrasse 31, D-93040 Regensburg, Germany,
Received July 5, 2011. Accepted September 19, 2011.

Published: 4 February 2012

Abstract. The scent of jasmine is chosen to motivate curiosity about the molecular structures of odoriferous constituents and about the techniques used for their collection and analysis. The structures and odors of benzyl acetate, linalool, jasmone, methyl jasmonate, jasmine d-lactone, and indole, compounds important for the jasmine smell, are presented. The following techniques are characterized: extractions by organic solvents or supercritical carbon dioxide, vacuum cryogenic headspace trapping, and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Application of these methods to Jasminum grandiflorum L. gave the following results: The linalool extracted from the blossoms essentially consisted of the (S) enantiomer, the corresponding jasmine d-lactone was the (R) enantiomer. The methyl jasmonate emitted by the blossoms essentially consisted of the (1R,2S) stereoisomer. The facts used for the present article are selected from literature, including recent references. This contribution can serve as a basis for a lesson or as a source of examples for other teaching activities.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry

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