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Natural Products

Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: A scent-ual sketch

by Manny I. Fox Morone
January 18, 2023


A watercolor painting of five sprigs of lavender with the line structure for linalyl acetate sticking out of their tips. The painting sits next to a watercolor brush and a small adorned dish.
Credit: n.p.ainting/Nadine Peez

The online art shop n.p.ainting released this chemistry-themed watercolor last year, which will surely please many a natural products chemist. What might not be obvious to most viewers is that Nadine Peez, the artist behind n.p.ainting, is a PhD chemist who often features molecules in her work. This piece features linalyl acetate, the fragrance industry’s go-to molecule for the scent of lavender and one of the many fragrant molecules produced by the plant. Peez shows both enantiomers in this work, although the R enantiomer (shown on the right) is present at a higher concentration in the plant and contributes more strongly to its scent. n.p.ainting released a series of these molecular watercolors that highlight the chemical details of other everyday plants and foods, which can be admired on n.p.ainting’s Instagram and Etsy shop.

Credit: n.p.ainting/Nadine Peez

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