That an oil could be extracted from anise and fennel had been known since the Renaissance by the German alchemist Hieronymus Brunschwig (ca. 1450 – ca. 1512), the German botanist Adam Lonicer (1528–1586), and the German physician Valerius Cordus (1515–1544), among others.  Anethole was first investigated chemically by the Swiss chemist Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure in 1820.  In 1832 the French chemist Jean Baptiste Dumas determined that the crystallizable components of anise oil and fennel oil were identical, and he determined anethole's empirical formula.  In 1845, the French chemist Charles Gerhardt coined the term anethol — from the Latin anethum (anise) + oleum (oil) — for the fundamental compound from which a family of related compounds was derived.  Although the German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer proposed the correct molecular structure for anethole in 1866,  it wasn't until 1872 that the structure was accepted as correct.