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Keywords:

  • Fragrances;
  • Natural products;
  • Spiro compounds;
  • Structure–activity relation­ships
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover picture illustrates, in a small comic strip, the difficulties of designing vetiver odorants from scratch. While vetiver oil is indispensible in perfumery, no synthetic vetiver odorant is yet available on the perfumer's palette. An empirical rule linked the olfactory properties of khusimone, the odorous principle of vetiver oil, to the distance between its α-branched carbonyl osmophore and the bulky gem-dimethyl moiety. Thus, 7,8-seco-khusimone was envisaged as a synthetic target, allegedly easier to synthesize than the natural lead. But life is not safe from frustration even if you reach your synthetic target, and the vetiver rule proved to be wrong as is further discussed in the article by P. Kraft and N. Denizot on p. 49 ff.