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If I can still smell the benzoin condensation reaction on my clothes...

Question asked by Lisa Nagy on Feb 13, 2012

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.

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