From Plant Scents to Perfumes
Plant scents from flowers, fruits, leaves or tree barks are composed of complex mixtures of volatile organic compounds. People have used these fragrant mixtures since ancient times, to produce lotions, oils and perfumes. While contemporary perfumes and other scented products consist to a large extent of synthetic materials, the inspiration for their components came mostly from natural compounds. In this presentation well look at the compositions of some familiar plant scents, including their functions, and at typical structures of some of the compounds that compose them. From plant scents well continue on to fragrances that people today use in their daily lives, as part of shampoos, soaps - or expensive perfumes. This will include a look at synthetic compounds and mixtures that are used nowadays.
Margareta (Greti) Séquin has a Ph. D. in organic chemistry from the University of Basel in Switzerland, did postdoctoral work at Princeton University and at the Technical University of Munich, and has taught organic chemistry at Dominican University and at San Francisco State University for more than thirty years. She has been giving many presentations on plant chemistry topics at botanical gardens and science centers. As an active member of the ACS California Section she participates in public events with hands-on activities on plant chemistry for general audiences. Because of her great interest in plants she has been a long-time docent at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley, CA. Margareta is the author of the books The Chemistry of Plants and The Chemistry of Plants and Insects, published by RSC, Cambridge, UK.
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