leatherAir Freshener Fragrances

Fragrances for air fresheners are manufactured in the following forms: solid, liquid and gel. They may be used in the home, car, commercial buildings, public bathrooms, and hotels. Each air freshener type has its own benefits and drawbacks. Many states also have their own laws governing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) allowable in retail air fresheners. It is advisable to first learn what regulations/restrictions are applicable to your product before requesting fragrances.

Solid Air Fresheners

These consist of a porous, solid matrix which contains a predetermined amount of concentrated, oil soluble, liquid fragrance or deodorant.

Blotter Type: which are made from thick blotter-type paper or felted paper or fabric which is sprayed or dipped with concentrated fragrance. The thicker the material is, the longer the fragrance will take to evaporated. The larger the material is, the stronger it will smell because of the greater amounts of fragrance it can hold. The advantage of this type of air freshener is that the material is very inexpensive and simple to manufacturer. The disadvantage is that, once the package is opened, the entire fragrance is exposed to air and will evaporate as quickly as possible. At first, the fragrance may be overpowering but will rapidly diminish in strength. Since individual chemicals in a fragrance evaporate at different rates, with volatile ones evaporating first; the fragrance character will change over time.

Block Type: air fresheners consist of a solid block of porous material which contains a predetermined amount of concentrated liquid fragrance or deodorant. Blocks are typically made from compressed chipboard, compressed cardboard, unglazed ceramic, or a container of any absorbent material which can both absorb and allow liquids to evaporate. Since block type air fresheners are thicker than the blotter types, they generally will hold more fragrance for a longer duration. Since the liquid is mostly “inside” the block and is slowly drawn to the surface, the fragrance will evaporate at a more even rate, therefore, the fragrance will not change drastically over time as it does in the blotter type. The disadvantage is that they are more expensive, and if they do not evaporate fast enough, they may have to be put in a unit with a fan to accelerate evaporation.

Solid Plastic Type: consist of special polymer mixtures which contain large amounts of concentrated fragrance. Solid plastic air fresheners can be molded, colored, or decorated into any type of novelty. A liquid vinyl plastisol will hold 20% or more of a liquid fragrance. This mixture can be cast into a mold and heat cured, creating a solid, soft, toy-like air freshener. Other polymers can be made either clear or opaque. The disadvantage of this type of air freshener is that polymers generally do not release sufficient amounts of fragrance at a fast enough rate compared to other systems which may be more effective in scenting or deodorizing large areas.

Liquid Air Type: air fresheners consist of a container or reservoir of liquid fragrance which is either forced into the air by a propellant (aerosol), or mechanical pump (pump spray) or evaporating out of a bottle (reed diffuser).

Aerosol types actually perform the best since ach application releases the fragrance with all of its components in the correct proportions. The duration of the spray determines the strength and the fragrance application is as desired. There are systems on the market which will mechanically spray the fragrance at given intervals. The disadvantages to aerosols are that they are relatively expensive and automated units are usually designed to work only with the manufacturer’s fragrances.

Pump spray air fresheners may be either water-based or oil/ solvent based. Water soluble pump spray air fresheners are inexpensive but weak. We can supply concentrates which are ready to mix with water and are self emulsifying. Usually 1 to 2 ounces of fragrance are mixed with enough water to make a quart of finished air freshener. This is the most common type uses in car washes, car dealers and for hotel rooms. We can also supply a concentrate which any oils soluble concentrated fragrance can be added to. A drop or two of food color will tint the finished product if a color is desired. We can supply the dyes separately or pre mix them into the fragrance.

Oil soluble pump stray air fresheners are use when a highly concentrated air fresheners sold in a small, pump spray bottle is desired. As a general rule, the larger the bottle of air freshener, the more dilute it is. Concentrated fragrance oils which are too expensive to use “as is” or too thick to spray can be cut back with solvents such as alcohol, odorless mineral spirits, or other low-odor solvents. Too much alcohol may make the product flammable; too high a VOC content may restrict where the product can be marketed; the more concentrated the air freshener, the greater the chance it may “attack” the pump spray mechanism causing it to fail.

Evaporating liquid types have been used for many years in commercial rest rooms. A concentrated fragrance is usually mixed with an accelerant to increase the evaporation rate. Sometimes a wick is placed in the bottle or jar and a fan may also be used to speed evaporation. The disadvantages of this type of system are leaking or spilling of the concentrated liquid, VOC limitations, and problems with the public handling fragrance in liquid form which they can spill on themselves, furnishings, etc. This type of system is usually maintained by professional janitorial personnel when they are cleaning and maintaining public spaces.



Dry, free-flowing powders typically containing 56% concentrated fragrances or deodorants.

The carrier, an inorganic synthetic, amorphous silicate, disperses the fragrance/deodorant throughout the polymer.

This form is useful when liquid fragrances and deodorants are not compatible, when a deodorant is useful to calendering on to a finished film, or used to keep the film from sticking to itself as well as deodorizing it. Examples of this are: shower curtains, pool liners, garbage bags, mattress liners, water bed covers, ect. Since polypowders are suspended in the polymer matrix, they may opacify the final product to some extent. All polypowders are made to order and usually take two to three days to produce. There is a minimum order of 25 LBS. for all polypowder orders.



Dry beads of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate co-polymer of uniform size.

Beads are the preferred form when other forms present a problem of mixing and dispersing with palletized feed stock during processing. This from has the drawback of carrying the lowest load level of concentrated fragrance or deodorant.

Andrea polybeads usually contain 20% concentrated fragrance/ deodorant by weight. They can be used to incorporate fragrances or deodorants into other polymers where liquid or polypowder forms are not suitable. They can be supplied in cosmetic grade or food contact grade versions if desired. The fragrance use level may be reduced down to 5% if a less concentrated or lower-cost version is required. They may also be “dyed” a variety of colors.

Polybeads may be used “as is” for use in: air fresheners, potpourris, and environmental fragrancing applications. Natural essential oils or all-natural fragrance blends may also be used for specialized applications. These products are made up to order and usually require a minimum of three to five days to produce. There is a minimum order of 25 LBS. for each fragrance ordered.

Prices depend primarily on the cost of the fragrance and deodorant employed and the concentration used in the beads.

If the beads are used in extruded polymer applications, the softening point of the beads is about 88º - 110ºC. Polybeads are not recommended for use with styrene, K-resin, or polycarbonate systems.


A Note on Packaging

All fragrances in liquid form are best kept in glass. Many fragrance raw materials are excellent solvents and plasticizers and will sooner or later attack and soften most plastics. When packing fragrances in plastic, we use high density polyethylene bottles which have been custom fluorinated to the maximum level 5 which makes them chemical resistant. Even these measures do not work will with all fragrances over an extended period of time. Solid air fresheners should be packed in special packaging designed to bar fragrance migration. Cellophane and metalized mylar are two packaging options which work well. There are also special combination laminates of 3 or more different polymers which are designed for this use.

Air Freshener Fragrance Limitations

Citrus type scents tend to evaporate very quickly and should not be considered if a long-duration application is desired. Some scents such as vanilla, baby powder and musk, are much longer lasting but are not as strong smelling. Some fragrance types are more suitable for a given location e.g. cinnamon or vanilla in the kitchen and baby powder for the bathroom. It should also be noted that fragrance preferences differ with age, sex, geographic location, ethnic group and nationality.

P.O. Box 3091
Princeton, NJ