cis-3-Hexen-1-ol

Happy Halloween!
October 30, 2017
You can’t escape me when you’re carving your pumpkin.
What molecule am I?
Image of cis-3-Hexen-1-ol

cis-3-Hexen-1-ol is a natural product that is present in the leaves of most plants. It exudes the strong aroma of freshly cut grass and leaves, which accounts for its trivial name, “leaf oil”. Its odor can be the downfall of the plants that produce it because the compound attracts predatory insects.

Because cis-3-hexen-1-ol is found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (including carnation, grape, kiwi, corn, tomato, and tea), it is a valuable resource for imparting fruit and vegetable aromas to foods and for use in perfumes. But the compound is less expensive to manufacture than to extract from natural sources. The annual output of commercial cis-3-hexen-1-ol is ≈30 t.

So what is the Halloween connection? cis-3-Hexen-1-ol is the major aroma component of freshly cut pumpkins. Think about it as you start to carve your jack-o’-lantern this season. Happy Halloween!

cis-3-Hexen-1-ol fast facts

CAS Reg. No. 928-96-1
Molar mass 100.16 g/mol 
Formula C6H12O
Appearance Colorless oily liquid 
Boiling point 156.5 ºC
Water solubility 16 g/L (est.)
Chemical Abstract Service - a division of ACS

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

Molecule of the Week needs your suggestions!

If your favorite molecule is not in our archive, please send an email to motw@acs.org. The molecule can be notable for its current or historical importance or for any quirky reason. Thank you!

Stay Ahead of the Chemistry Curve

Learn how ACS can help you stay ahead in the world of chemistry.