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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Solanone is a tobacco fragrance.

Solanone was discovered by American tobacconists Johnson and Nicholson in 1965. The name "solanone" derives from "solanaceous", the plant group to which tobacco belongs. Natural solanone is obtained from tobacco leaves. It is a liquid that can be clear and colorless or light yellow, with a subtle sweetish scent similar to the fragrance of carotin or black tea. Turkey is the principal producer of natural solanone, which is the preferred scent used in tobacco, thus its fame as the "queen of tobacco fragrance." The consensus among tobacco producers is that Turkish tobacco has an exceptional fragrance due to its high content of solanone.

The average amount of solanone used in the production of cigarettes is 0.005-0.01%. It enhances the fragrance of the tobacco leaves, making it fuller, finer, rendering a smooth and moist taste to the final product. It also disguises the odor and after-taste, thus improving the quality of cigarettes to a considerable extent. As concerns over the health hazards caused by cigarette smoking grow, so does the tendency to reduce the tar content in cigarettes. Unfortunately, the process that reduces tar in cigarettes also reduces the natural fragrance of tobacco, to the discontent of the smokers. The only solution to the problem is by adding fragrance in the production of cigarettes. What can be better than the fragrance that is derived naturally from tobacco itself? Which explains the increasing demand by tobacco manufacturers for solanone-based fragrances.

In the past, solanone could only be obtained from tobacco leaves, in very small quantities and at very high costs. With the development of synthesizing technology, solanone has become the single most effective additive in the production of top-grade cigarettes.

Foreign companies have supplied China with large quantities of other tobacco fragrances, but not solanone. When they do offer solanone, the price quoted is so high as to be totally unacceptable by Chinese tobacco producers. Companies in China have succesfully developed solanone to be produced on an industrial scale.

Information from Chinese solanone manufacturer Yiwu Li Li Xiang Food Factory[1]