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Chemistry and the Sense of Smell

ISBN: 978-0-470-55130-1
480 pages
April 2014
Chemistry and the Sense of Smell (0470551305) cover image

A comprehensive overview of fragrance chemistry

Fragrance materials are universal, from personal care products to household cleaners, laundry products, and more. Although many of the scents themselves are synthesized in a lab, the actual mechanism of odour has long baffled chemists who attempt to model it for research. In Chemistry and the Sense of Smell, industry chemist Charles S. Sell explores the chemistry and biology surrounding the human detection and processing of odour, providing a comprehensive, single-volume guide to the totality of fragrance chemistry.

The correlation between molecular structure and odour is much more complex than initially thought, and the intricacies of the mechanism by which the brain interprets scent signals leaves much to be discovered. This book provides a solid foundation of fragrance chemistry and highlights the relationship between research and industry with topics such as:

  • The analysis and characterization of odour
  • The role scent plays in our lives
  • The design and manufacture of new fragrance ingredients
  • The relationship between molecular structure and odour
  • The mechanism of olfaction
  • Intellectual challenges and the future of the field

Complete with illustrations that clarify difficult concepts and the structures of the molecules under discussion, Chemistry and the Sense of Smell is an all-inclusive guide to the science of scent. For professionals in the fragrance industry or related fields, this book is one resource that should not be overlooked.

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Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Why Do We Have a Sense of Smell? 4

2 The Mechanism of Olfaction 32

3 Analysis and Characterisation of Odour 188

4 The Sense of Smell in Our Lives 209

5 The Scents of Nature 237

6 Manufacture of Fragrance Ingredients 296

7 The Design of New Fragrance Ingredients 357

8 The Relationship Between Molecular Structure and Odour 388

9 Intellectual Challenges in Fragrance Chemistry and the Future 420

Glossary 428

Index 437

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CHARLES S. SELL, PHD, has recently retired from Givaudan after thirty-six years in the fragrance industry. His work has covered all aspects of synthetic organic chemistry as applied to the fragrance industry, from discovery of novel materials through process R&D to improvement of established chemical manufacturing processes. His interest in the design of novel fragrance ingredients, coupled with a long-standing interest in the chemistry of living organisms, led to a deepened investigation into olfaction.

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