Dec. 20, 2021
Cinnamyl alcohol or styron is an organic compound that is found in esterified form in storax, Balsam of Peru, and cinnamon leaves. It forms a white crystalline solid when pure, or a yellow oil when even slightly impure. It can be produced by the hydrolysis of storax.
Cinnamyl alcohol has a distinctive odor described as "sweet, balsam, hyacinth, spicy, green, powdery, cinnamic" and is used in perfumery and as a deodorant. Cinnamyl alcohol is naturally occurrent only in small amounts, so its industrial demand is usually fulfilled by chemical synthesis starting from cinnamaldehyde.
The compound is a solid at room temperature, forming colorless crystals that melt upon gentle heating. As is typical of most higher-molecular weight alcohols, it is sparingly soluble in water at room temperature but highly soluble in most common organic solvents.
Cinnamyl Alcohol is used as important component in fruit flavor, deodorizer, perfume fixative, and organic synthesis, also can be used as a food spice. It's also an important API, mainly used as intermediates for cardiovascular medicine synthesis.
Perfumes are ubiquitous in our environment. They are used to provide a pleasant scent and have been used extensively for centuries. According to the NACDG, perfumes were identified as the second most common allergen with a rate of 11.9% 7.
With the introduction of fragrance mixtures in the 1970s, detection of fragrance allergies became easier. Prior to this, perfume allergies were mainly identified by the Peruvian balsam test. The current Fragrance Blend I contains eight different fragrance components.
Fragrance Blend I is the most useful tool for detecting fragrance allergies. However, the composition of fragrance-containing products is constantly changing. Therefore, the detection rate of fragrance allergy can be increased by adding additional allergens, such as those in flavor mixture II. It is estimated that approximately 25% of patients with flavor allergies would be missed if Flavour Blend II were not used.
Flavors can be used in product formulations to provide a pleasant smell. However, they can also be used to mask unpleasant odors - a so-called masking scent. This usually occurs in products that are labeled as "odorless". Patients who have been identified as allergic to fragrances must be instructed to read all labels and to avoid any products that list fragrances, are labeled 'unflavoured', or have a distinct odor.
They should be instructed to look for 'fragrance-free' products. Unfortunately, several fragrance ingredients have other uses, i.e. they act as preservatives or emollients. These covert fragrances, such as Peruvian balsam, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, myrrh alcohol, can be used in a product and the product can still be labeled as fragrance-free, as long as the potentially allergenic ingredient has been identified as being used for purposes other than fragrance.
Clearly, this poses a serious problem for perfume-allergic individuals who are trying to avoid perfumes. Unless patients are educated in some of these practices, label reading may not always be sufficient. Full disclosure on the label of all ingredients, regardless of intended function, would be helpful, but this is not yet part of industry practice in the United States; by contrast, in Europe perfumes must be included in the product label. For individuals allergic to perfumes, repeated open application testing can be very helpful in screening for allergies to new or old products.