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The Perkin Reaction and Related Reactions

  1. John R. Johnson

Published Online: 15 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/0471264180.or001.08

Organic Reactions

Organic Reactions

How to Cite

Johnson, J. R. 2011. The Perkin Reaction and Related Reactions. Organic Reactions. 1:8:210–265.

Author Information

  1. Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2011

Chemistry Terms

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In 1868, W. H. Perkin described a synthesis of coumarin by heating the sodium salt of salicyaldehyde with acetic acid. Further study led to a new discovery for preparing cinnamic acid and its analogs by means of a synthesis of very general application, which became know as the Perkin reaction. In the course of study of unsaturated acids, Fittig made several important contributions to the mechanism of the Perkin reaction. Many studies have been made regarding this reaction and are described. The Perkin reaction may be regarded essential as the condensation of a carbonyl component A and an acid and dihydride-salt combination B. The discussion here is a survey of the types of carbonyl components and acid anhydride salt combinations that can be used and of the yields obtained under favorable conditions.


  • Perkin reaction;
  • carbonyl compounds;
  • cinnamic acids;
  • unsaturated acids;
  • benzaldehyde;
  • acid components;
  • laboratory procedures;
  • cinnamic acid derivatives;
  • experimental conditions