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, we’ll 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, we’ll continue on to fragrances and products that people today use in their daily lives, such as shampoos, soaps, or expensive perfumes.
Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden
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