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By: Geza Csuros
What would we do without air fresheners? Throughout history, man tried different ways to create fragrances to mask bad odors and create pleasing scents. Air fresheners are found everywhere and are used in your home, your offices, public spaces and bathrooms to emit pleasant fragrance.

Air fresheners are divided into to two main categories: the first is a continuous application, the second being an instant application of the product. Although on-the-spot applications of air fresheners were popular not so long ago, as of late uninterrupted application air fresheners are becoming the accepted choice. Some favorites that belong to the latter group are used by us daily, and include some well known manufactured goods such as scented candles, incense burners, impregnated gels, wall plug-ins and nebulization systems. The first modern air freshener as we know it was introduced in 1948. The initial product distributed a fine spray of aroma compounds that would linger suspended in the air for an extended period of time. After the growth of spray types airs fresheners, prior to the 50s, the industry begun to experiment with chemical additives to try to improve effectiveness. Pre-Polymers and unsaturated esters were included in goods manufactured between 1950 and the 80s.

Concerns about the ozone layer and other environmental issues in the 1970s and 1980s other delivery methods became not only popular, but in a way romantic and exotic. Scented candles and potpourri were soon found in most homes, and not only helped with aroma issues, but created ambiance, a new lifestyle and a variety of cottage industries. Every little store on Main Street sold candles and potpourri in a variety of scents, packaging and price ranges. Cost issues and developing technology further urbanized the scent market to include heated fragrances and other oils, which could be mass manufactured and large-scale marketed. Candles and other visually pleasing scent control products will still be preferred, but are less affordable than bulk-produced items.

Synthetic fragrances, such as aldehydes, when mixed with water, offer a sweet smelling flowery variation. Some tropical resins and different oils are used to create a scent reminiscent of outdoors, cut grass and plant stems. Sometimes natural sources such as violet leaves are used to produce a more desirable effect. Although the smell of freshly cut flowers is certainly the most popular, herbal-spice scents are seen also as being very well-known. Some of the common ingredients in the latter are sage, cinnamon, cedar and cloves. As the Orient, and oriental spices have always provided for a mystical ambiance, it goes without saying that these scents are very sought after.

The short of it that we all utilize air fresheners, and be it simply for a reason to control malodor or for enhancing our ambiance (or a combination of both), we do benefit from their use. It is although very advisable that we try to treat the source first, rather than to try to cover up the symptom.


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