Description and usage notes:
Dihydroeugenol is somewhat fresher-sweeter smelling than eugenol and more floral. Frequently used as a replacer or supplement to that oil where IFRA or other restrictions mean not enough can be used to get the desired effect (see the description for eugenol for where Arctander recommends using ‘large amounts’). Often used to supplement clove bud oil, where restrictions prevent larger quantities being used.
Arctander describes it as “Warm-spicy, sweet and slightly floral-balsamic odor, reminiscent of Eugenol, but milder and sweeter than this.
Discolors less in soap than Eugenol, but only when measured weight /weight – not considering equal odor strength (it takes more DHE than Eugenol to produce a certain amount of spicy odor).
Occasionally used in perfumery as a substitute for Eugenol when Eugenol seems to produce a problem with possible discoloration.
However, since DHE is manufactured from Eugenol and weaker than Eugenol, it is not very economical in use.”
Arctander was of course writing prior to the IFRA restrictions which have increased the usage of this material significantly. It is also interesting to compare the odour description from Firmenich: “Odor: A drier, fresher and less sweet edible odor than Eugenol. It is very diffusive and recalls the freshness of bay leaf and pimento leaf oils. Use: It gives fresher and more floral perfumery effects compared with Eugenol and has more top note impact. Goes very well in masculine notes, fougere, chypre and orientals.”
See also the following for alternatives in this odour type:
- Eugenyl acetate is longer lasting than eugenol but otherwise quite similar
- Methyl isoeugenol is similar to isoeugenol but not as persistent
- Methyl diantilis is also similar to isoeugenol, just as long-lasting but a little sweeter and less woody.