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The Chemistry and Creative Legacy of Methyl Jasmonate and Hedione

By: Christian Chapuis, Firmenich SA
Posted: November 30, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of P&F magazine.

Dedicated to Drs. Edouard Demole and Valentin Rautenstrauch, on the occasion of their 80th and 75th birthdays, respectively.

Edouard Demole discovered methyl jasmonate in 1957, accomplished a synthesis of Hedione (from hedone, meaning agreeable and pleasant) in 1958, synthesized methyl jasmonate in 1959, placed both materials under intellectual protection in 1960, and published these discoveries in 1962. This simple timeline belies a more complex history of chemistry and creation; on the occasion of Hedione’s 50th anniversary, we shall trace this landmark material’s hectic history and legacy.

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