Alcohols : Lower alcohols are colourless liquids at normal temperature. The higher alcohols are colourless, odourless waxy solids.
Phenols : Phenols, like alcohols, are either colourless liquids or solids. But they usually turn reddish brown due to atmospheric oxidation.
Alcohols : The boiling point of alcohols is higher than that of corresponding aliphatic hydrocarbons, haloalkanes, aldehydes and ketones because alcohols form intermolecular hydrogen bonding.
The boiling point of isomeric alcohols decreases with branching due to decrease in surface area.
CH3CH2CH2CH2OH > (CH3)2CHCH2OH > (CH3)3COH
The boiling point of alcohols increases with molecular mass.
Phenols : The boiling point of phenols is higher than that of corresponding aromatic hydrocarbons, haloarenes, aldehydes and ketones because phenols, like alcohols, form intermolecular hydrogen bonding.
Alcohols : Alcohols are soluble in water because they form intermolecular hydrogen bonding with water molecules. The solubility decreases with increase in mass because the hydrocarbon part becomes larger and resists the formation of hydrogen bonds with water molecules.
The solubility of isomeric alcohols increases with branching because the surface area of the hydrocarbon part decreases with branching.
Solubility : Primary < Secondary < Tertiary.
Phenols : Phenols also form hydrogen bonds with water and hence are soluble in water. However, the solubility of phenols is much lower than that of alcohols due to the presence of the larger hydrocarbon part (benzene ring).