Mesityl oxide is a α,β-Unsaturated ketone with the formula CH3C(O)CH=C(CH3)2. This compound is a colorless, volatile liquid with a strong peppermint odor.
It is prepared by the condensation
to give diacetone alcohol
, which readily dehydrates to give this compound. This type of reaction is called aldol reaction
A further condensation yields isophorone, which is also used as solvent.
Mesityl oxide is used as a solvent and in the production of methyl isobutyl ketone