We report the synthesis of a novel hydrazine based compound 1-[(2-Hydroxy-1, 2-diphenyl-ethyl)-hydrazonomethyl]-naphthalen-2-ol (2). Compound 2 is the first report of its kind. We utilized the aforesaid compound to detect Cu2+ and F− via emission enhancement and naked eye color change. The structural intricacies of 2 have been explored by its crytal structure. The mechanism of binding of 2 with F− has been established by 1H NMR titration. The limit of detection for Cu2+ and F− is ∼9.0 × 10−7 (M) and 1.0 × 10−6 (M), respectively. The practical performance of 2 is demonstrated by successful live cell imaging of Cu2+ and detection of F− in toothpaste. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.