© 2000 Rainer Glaser. All rights reserved.
The University of Missouri at Columbia
Chemistry 212 - Organic Chemistry II - WS00

Pointers on Web Destinations

Friends & Students!

On occasion, I will be pointing out a few WWW links to you. Many of these links, and many more, can be found in the "Web Destinations" section of the course web site.

All of the common amines have unpleasent smells. For example, the amine formed by having three methyl groups attached to the nitrogen, (CH3)3N, is called trimethyl amine and is the compound responsible for the smell of dead fish. Two other compounds named putracine (1,4-butanediamine) and cadaverine (1,5-pentanediamine) are responsible for the smell of rotting flesh.

Interestingly, some of these bad smelling amines show up where one might least expect them. It turns out that not all flowers smell like roses! Some flowers smell like "a rotting carcass." Take a look at the unusual and quite interesting site on Stinking Flowers. (Two words I never thought to combine in my life.)

What makes a molecule smell? Fascinating question. Take a look at Dave Bradley's article "Blowing the theory of how we smell" published in the web publication "Elemental Discoveries" to get an idea about current hypotheses.

As always, enjoy, RG.

How to find the article "Blowing the theory of how we smell": Go to the web site of "Elemental Discoveries" and search for "smell".