How can one recognize an aromatic compound?

1 Answer
May 13, 2014

The term 'aromatic' has nothing to do with smell. It means a compound containing one or more benzene rings. The corresponding term 'aliphatic' is used to describe organic molecules which do not contain benzene rings.

While it was originally believed that the smell of aromatic compounds was down to the benzene ring, this isn't the case but the name has stuck for historical reasons. Compounds containing benzene rings are now referred to as arenes.