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The (+)‐cis‐ and (+)‐trans‐Olibanic Acids: Key Odorants of Frankincense


Frankincense (olibanum) is one of the oldest aromatic materials used by humans, but the key molecular constituents contributing to its characteristic odor remained unknown. Reported herein is the discovery that (1S,2S)‐(+)‐trans‐ and (1S,2R)‐(+)‐cis‐2‐octylcyclopropyl‐1‐carboxylic acids are highly potent and substantive odorants occurring in ppm amounts in all of the frankincense samples analyzed, even those showing radically different volatile compositions. These cyclopropyl‐derived acids provide the very characteristic old churchlike endnote of the frankincense odor.

Jahrtausende alte Düfte: (1S,2R)‐(+)‐cis‐ und (1S,2S)‐(+)‐trans‐2‐Octylcyclopropyl‐1‐carbonsäure wurden als weitere Bestandteile des Weihrauchharzes identifiziert – einer der ältesten bekannten aromatischen Substanzen. Beide Moleküle sind starke Duftstoffe, die entscheidend zum charakteristischen Weihrauchgeruch beitragen.

Authors:   Céline Cerutti‐Delasalle, Mohamed Mehiri, Cecilia Cagliero, Patrizia Rubiolo, Carlo Bicchi, Uwe J. Meierhenrich, Nicolas Baldovini
Journal:   Angewandte Chemie
Year:   2016
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/ange.201605242
Publication date:   28-Sep-2016
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