Dynascone: The Ultimate Captive

In 1972, one of the early technical syntheses of α-damascone gave a final product that, even after fraction distillation, was often refused by quality control, This problem initiated an in-depth analytical investigation in order to locate and to identify the chemical structures of the responsible trace impurities, and thus to provide the synthetic chemist with a clue on how the process could be improved.

An integral part of this analysis involved careful olfactive monitoring by gas chromatography-sniffing techniques and eventually revealed the presence of a trace constituent whose extremely powerful odor was reminiscent of galbanum.

In 1973, isolation and structure elucidation by NMR and MS showed this substance to be the hitherto unknown unsaturated ketone 2, having the same molecular formula as α-damascone but possessing a different molecular structure; this ketone has been named α-Dynascone.

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