I wonder how my students smell tonight?
I didn't even touch the stuff.
The thiamine catalyzed benzoin condensation is the consummate "pour and roar" (props to Frank Gibson for the phrase) reaction. You do it in a test tube, after all. It has color changes, it has crystals.
If you are impatient- heat it up.
If you are a slacker- just put a stopper on the tube and wait a week for the crystals.
... and it has that smell.
It's the funky smell of teaching labs.
It's not just the benzaldehyde- which really does smell like almond extract. And benzoin doesn't really have a "smell".
You only notice it on your clothes about an hour after lab is over.
What is that smell??? Is is spoiled thiamine?
Nitration of methyl benzoate: No smell.
Friedel crafts on ferrocene: No smell
Ok- cyclopentadiene cracking- There's a smell. Talk about funk.