Perfume manufacturers rely on chalcone, a substance that can be produced in the Saegusa oxidation process. This reaction was researched in 1978 by the Japanese chemists Takeo Saegusa and Yoshihiko Ito. Saegusa is considered one of the pioneers of new polymerization processes. He published nearly 350 papers on polymer synthesis, and another 215 papers on organic synthesis. He also founded a separate branch of polymer chemistry with his research.
Takeo Saegusa studied chemistry at Kyoto University, writing his dissertation on the chemical reactions of polymers. He then joined the Furukawa research group. In 1960, he was appointed to Kyoto University, where he worked until his retirement in 1993.
Saegusa received numerous honors, including the Japan Chemical Society Award in 1978, the Society of Polymer Science Award in 1989, and the Purple Ribbon Medal awarded by the Emperor of Japan in 1992.