Perfumes and Esters

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Perfumes and Esters

Perfumes can be natural or artifical:

  • Natural - glycerine/plant oils in moisturisers
  • Artificial/synthetic - polyethene glycol in moisturisers

Perfume properties:

  • Unreactive with water
  • Non-corrosive
  • Insoluble in water - so it does not wash off
  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Non-toxic or poisonous
  • Evaporates easily - volatile, allows you to smell it because attractions between particles are weak

Esters are often used as perfumes as they usually smell nice

Esters are common in nature

Fruity smells and flowery smells usually contain natural esters

You can combine esters artificially to create new ones.



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