Scent Diffusers – Why they do not work?

Tuesday, 30 August, 2011

My friend Anita recently bought a gadget that supposedly delivers a nice fragrance when plugged in the USB of a computer. After some trial days, she concluded that the product actually does not work. Annoyed, she explains that although she likes the scent she can only smell it a little bit when she puts her nose very close to the gadget – but then she cannot see the computer screen!

This is not her first bad experience with fragrance diffusers: although she likes fragrances, she is not satisfied with the products she buys. Why all these fragrance devices never work? – She asked me. Well, Anita, I will try to answer your question in the article below.

Unfortunately there are many products in the market that are supposed to diffuse fragrances but they actually do not perform. Some of them lack intensity, others work only for few days, some do not deliver any smell at all, and the majority has a very nasty, low quality smell. How is it possible that such an enormous investment is not based in a solid working principle? All the moulds, technology, hardware, software, etc are useless if the consumer does not perceive the smell or dislikes it.

Essentially, the reason why many fragrance diffusers do not work is because fragrances do follow the laws of physics and chemistry. However, some producers that have good distribution channels in the computer industry and are familiar with hardware and software developments are developing and launching ‘fragrance diffusers’ without seriously considering this fact.  

Whether it is an air care product, a revolutionary appliance for wellness through aromatherapy or a fragrance diffuser for a computer, expert assessment is required to develop performing fragrance diffusers. Just placing a nice fragrance in a heated device is not enough: fragrances do require special tailoring for a proper performance.

Besides, the olfactory quality of a fragrance diffused to the air is not only about how much consumers like them. It is about how well the technology for fragrance diffusion does perform and how properly the fragrance has been tailored to it. Indeed, the same fragrance can have a very nice smell in a diffusion system and a horrible smell in another device.

A brief consumer test is not enough to prevent consumer dissatisfaction.Expert sensory evaluation is required to test and validate fragrances before a main launch, to ensure that intensity, consistency and duration of the fragrance are the right ones. Factors such as evaporation surface, vapour pressure, air dynamics and temperature must be considered when tailoring a fragrance for a diffusion system. Fragrance suppliers can provide some technical advice but they can only invest on a client’s project when the potential business involves a considerable fragrance volume.

All these products are spoiling the market by consistently delivering consumer dissatisfaction. Some of them stay in the market because there are always new people trying them, in a search for something new or better. Anita, my recommendation can only be: make sure you buy a good brand next time!

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