The Power of Odor

It has been said that of the five senses, smell is the one with the best memory. For many disposable hygiene product consumers, they would be more than happy to forget about the smells and circumstances associated with the use of diapers, pads, shields and briefs. 

While a certain degree of odor is expected and accepted when products are in use, a product’s aroma immediately after opening a fresh package can be unexpected and sometimes unwelcome among consumers. In fact, complaints regarding product odor have increased in recent years, directly impacting consumer satisfaction. 

Manufacturers today are acknowledging the powerful role odor can play in purchasing decisions. Many of them are working with the odor experts at Bostik to gain a better understanding of odor perception so they may improve their overall production, marketing and sales efforts.

The nose knows what it likes and what it doesn’t.

An individual’s sense of smell allows them to determine whether an odor is pleasant or unpleasant to them; this is also referred to as the hedonic tone. Because humans have more than 300 genes dedicated to the sense of smell, there is little probability that two people will ever perceive odor the same way and have the same hedonic response. 

If appealing to individual preferences was not challenging enough, regional and cultural perceptions of odor also need to be taken into consideration. What may be perceived as offensive in one region or culture might be perfectly acceptable in another. 

While the sense of an odor is very evocative, identifying the various contributors within a product and successfully reducing or eliminating their potency is no small feat. Testing for odor can be just as complicated, as there are multiple ways to measure odor but no industry-recognized standard test methods. Bostik’s odor experts have found the most effective approach is to leverage existing, demonstrated best practices to help identify and eliminate product odor.

Now more than ever it is critical for manufacturers and their trusted partners, like Bostik, to meet consumer demands and improve satisfaction through ongoing odor research efforts and employing reliable odor test methods.

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