Hexen-3-al (Do I smell vodka and wheatgrass?)

Yesterday, I covered the intense odorant found in popcorn. Today's molecule is another intense odorant, cis-hexen-3-al.


This molecule has an odor threshold in the high ppt-low ppb neighborhood. It's responsible for the smell of cut grass. Take a look at the Molecule of the Month entry for more information on hexenal odorants.


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So which compound is responsible for the smell of newly cut grass : cis-3-hexenol (see entry from wavefunction) or cis-3-hexanal? I would think it will be the aldehyde but I would like someone to confirm it. Thanks

By Archie Gibb (not verified) on 11 Oct 2011 #permalink

You shouldn't be smelling vodka with that. The last I looked, the federal definition of vodka was "100% grain neutral spirits diluted to proof with distilled water."

I have a sample of cis-3-hexenol on my desk for about a year and a half now, and it still smells almost exactly the same. Freshly cut grass.