Complex multicomponent samples are encountered in all areas of chemistry, such as the analysis of hazardous waste, the charactetization of petroleum feed stocks and processes, the identification of naturally occurring flavors and fragrances, to name a few. Because of the complex nature of perfumes, it is often very difficult to identify and quantitate important compounds in them. The analysis of minor components, for example, is usually hampered by severe chromatographic overlap.
A new analytical approach is Multispectral Ananysis (MSA), which uses gas chromatography/atomic emission detector (GC/AED) to screen for the elements present, gas chromatography/infrared spectrophotometry (GC/IRD) to screen for functional groups, and combined gas chromatography/infrared spectrophotometry/mass spectrometry (GC/IRD/ MSD) to identify the components.
This article reports on the use of MSA to characterize the components in a commercially available perfume. The same approach is applicable to any complex essential oil, synthetic blend, or final product. The analytical scheme for component identification can be summarized as follows: