The Role of Chemistry in History

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The Family of Esters

April 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments ·

History of Perfumes/ Perfume Ingredients/ The Family of Esters/ Formula of Benzyl Acetate/ Properties of Benzyl Acetate/ Uses of Benzyl Acetate/ Benzyl Acetate in Perfumes



They are products of the “esterification” reaction occurring between alcohols and acids. Water is separated as a second product. The reverse reaction is called “hydrolysis.”


Esters have small molecular weight and very nice odor. They are responsible for the pleasant odor of jasmine, roses, etc. and for the odors of apples, bananas, strawberries, etc. The higher the molecular weight, the weaker the odors they carry are.
Unsaturated esters have stronger odor than the saturated ones.

Esters are used in the fragrance and flavoring industries. They also have implication as fixatives and carrier solvents.

1800s -1st fragrances which imitated naturally occurring esters were synthesized in a laboratory.


Tags: Perfume (Esters)