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Fun with chemistry: changing the way we experience the world

My name is Nicolas Armanino. Originally from Brazil, I came to Switzerland to study chemistry and did my PhD in organic Chemistry at ETH. After a Postdoctoral stay in Munich, Germany, I joined the fragrance ingredient discovery team at Givaudan where I am now a senior research scientist.

To me, chemistry is fun because it is both a science and a craft. It allows us to understand the world around us and the way we interact with it but it also lets us create solutions that improve the way we experience it.

An example of an every-day problem that we recently addressed is how to make perfumes last longer. Because perfumes are composed of volatile molecules, they evaporate quickly and not much is left after a few hours. We have improved this by creating so-called fragrance precursors. These precursors are larger molecules that respond to environmental stimuli and slowly break down to release fragrance molecules. By storing fragrances in such a reservoir, we can make sure they don’t evaporate immediately and can be slowly released for longer periods of time.

Because chemistry gives us the power to change the world, it also puts great responsibility in our hands. As chemists, we need to make sure we create products that improve people’s lives but are also sustainable for our planet. This is a guiding principle in our daily work and I think this is one of the most important contributions that chemistry will have in the future.

I wish to the participants of the IChO 2023 to always be curious to learn more and to have fun discovering the world through chemistry.

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