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Aldehydes and Acetals - Part 1

Chemical Structures

By: Michael Zviely, CIC
Posted: July 9, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of P&F magazine.

Aldehydes, one of the key aroma ingredient groups, have a considerable effect in both fragrances and flavors. Some of the first aldehydes to be used as synthetic molecules in a perfume were octanal, nonanal and decanal (see F-1); they were used in the formulation of Chanel No. 5 by Chanel in 1921.** The odor note of these aliphatic linear aldehydes is green-floral and “aldehydic,” usually described as the odor note of long-chain fatty aldehydes, e.g., fatty-sweaty, ironed laundry and sea water.

Aliphatic Aldehydes

Most aliphatic aldehydes occur in nature. Octanal (aldehyde C-8, caprylic aldehyde), nonanal (aldehyde C-9, pelargonic aldehyde) and decanal (aldehyde C-10, capric aldehyde) are found in many citrus oils and represent the saturated aliphatic group.

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