Happy Halloween!
October 31, 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 mass100.16 g/mol 
AppearanceColorless oily liquid 
Boiling point156.5 ºC
Water solubility16 g/L (est.)
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Learn more about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.

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