Upon distillation of fresh mignonette flowers from Reseda odorata, L. (family Resedaceae), a yield of but 0,002 p.c. of oil is obtained. Noteworthy is the decided formation of hydrogen sulphide observable during the distillation2).
In order to obtain it in a more suitable form, it is distilled with geraniol (1 kg. geraniol to 500 kg. of fresh blossoms). The product thus obtained enters commerce as Reseda-Geraniol, literally mignonette-geraniol4).
A product with a better odor is obtained by extraction of the fresh blossoms with a volatile solvent5) such as petroleum ether. All of the extracts prepared from fresh flowers1) are characterized by a naturalness of the aroma. However, in addition to the volatile oil which alone is the bearer of the perfume, they contain appreciable amounts of odorless substances, some of which are difficultly soluble in alcohol (plant wax, resin, paraffin, &c). These odorless substances can be removed in part by treatment of the extract with alcohol, more completely by distillation with water-vapor. Because of the small amount of volatile oil present, a relatively large porportion remains dissolved in the aqueous distillate from which it can be shaken out with ether after the addition of salt thereto. The pure volatile oil obtained after the recovery of the ether contains the perfume of the flowers in the most concentrated form.
1) Arch, der Pharm. 250 (1912), 217.
2) Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1891, 51.
3) Ibidem October 1893, 44.
4) Ibidem October 1894, 67. 5) Comp. vol. I, p. 248.
In this manner 0,003 p.c. of a mignonette flower oil were obtained-). It was of a yellow color, possessed an intense mignonette odor, congealed in the cold, did not fluoresce, and revealed the following constants: d15o0,961; aD17o+ 31°20'; A. V. 16; E.V. 85.
With alcoholic potassa the odor of ammonia bases was produced. The presence of aldehydes was likewise observed.