Molecule of the Week


November 25, 2013

Isoeugenol is an essential oil that was originally isolated from the Asian tree ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata). It exists in trans and cis isomeric forms; the more common trans isomer is shown here. Its first reported preparation was the isomerization of eugenol by two German research groups in 1891. The acetate ester of isoeugenol can be used to prepare vanillin.

Isoeugenol is a flavor component of the nutmeg in the pumpkin pie you’ll eat on Thanksgiving. Its isomer eugenol is a flavor component of clove. For an excellent and almost correct explanation of the difference between the two, go to

More about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.

Rendering of the Molecule of the Week: Isoeugenol