Don’t let your next R&D project stink

Skunk with lifted tail - don't let your R&D project stink

Seeing into the future often requires a sixth sense. But what if we could anticipate what the air freshening and fragrance market might look like in 2021?


The nose is a great thing. It can warn us of danger before we can see or hear it. Smell is also said to make up 80% of the flavours we taste. Anosmia—the loss of the sense of smell—has been attributed to loss of appetite, libido and increased feelings of depression.

When it comes to counteracting odours in the home, it’s no longer enough to create products that simply emit pleasant aromas. A bowl of potpourri in the bathroom simply doesn’t cut it for many. The latest market-leading air fresheners and atomisers now actively neutralise nasty pongs.

Fill your house with flowers

Could patented technologies and filing trends reveal the roadmap of the next few years? What is the next big thing? Who are the new entrants to the market? Should you be wary of any of them? And could you find game-changing partners and licensees?Boy and sunflower - refresh your R&D projects

Looking at intellectual property (IP) data of modern innovators in the air freshening industry reveals signals about how this market, its players, and their technologies, are evolving. But these signals are suffering interference from loads of noise.

The results to a query investigating “odour-neutralising air fresheners, fragrances and deodorisers” show the current of innovation is wafting in the direction of some trends—so we followed the scent of a few interesting findings.


This is just a snapshot of how IP data could help your R&D projects. Download the full report for even more analysis. We also share our search queries for you to refine and improve upon—so you can answer your own specific questions.
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A rose by any other name

When beginning a patent search, it’s useful to confirm that the core of your search is correct.  A simple word cloud showing common themes within patents can often help refine your search.

Sometimes a word cloud can help you understand some of the key areas that innovators are focussing on too.

And there are some interesting words that keep popping up in patents relating to air fresheners.

Click image to enlarge

Word cloud air fresheners
Air freshener innovation word cloud (Source: PatSnap platform)

Organic solvents, alkyl groups, active carbon and carboxylic acid are a few that jumped out—are these areas that have potential for future development?


Carboxylic acids and esters

Carboxylic acids are naturally occurring organic chemicals containing the carboxyl functional group (‑COOH)—their names end in ‘-oic acid’. Ethers are created by adding alcohol to carboxylic acids. Different ethers have different, often fruity, smells. Adding pentanol to ethanoic acid creates an ether called pentyl ethanoate—which smells of pears.

Patent-intensive companies

Here we can see the most patent intensive companies in the air freshening arena. The top three companies should probably come as no big surprise. Febreze’s owner P&G leads the innovation charge. SC Johnson (Glade) follows up in second place. Taking third place is Reckitt Benickser—known for its Air Wick range.

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patent intensive companies
Winning by a nose - the most patent-intensive companies in air freshening 
(Source: PatSnap platform)

Taking 4th-6th places are Firmenich, Givaudan and International Flavors and Fragrances—all specialists in aromatics and flavours.

In 7th place is prolific inventor Donald Spector—an individual you probably haven’t heard of. But you’ve possibly benefited at some point from one of his inventions—or you may in the future.

New and blossoming companies

When thinking about the next big thing in any industry, it’s always worth looking beyond your major competitors. After all, you already know they are there—right?

But you might not know about the SME that could pop up from off the radar. It’s also worth knowing about companies working on adjacent technologies that are possibly dabbling in your area of specialism.


This is just a snapshot of how IP data could help your R&D projects. Download the full report to see the emerging companies you need to know about. 

Download the full report


Highest market valued patents

Identifying and understanding the highest-valued patents within a field can indicate which technologies and concepts hold the greatest growth potential. 

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Highest value patents - the smell of money
The smell of money (Source: PatSnap platform)

The sixth highest-valued patent within this field is held by Arkema. JP5575241B2, worth an estimated US$7 million, concerns “oxides of organic sulfide odor is occluded by the solvent composition”. The patent refers to oxidising organic sulphides and effectively creating an odour shield. Patents like this can provide a glimpse into some of the most highly-rated items of innovation in this area.   

EP2281582B1 Chemical Cartridge For Blower Type Chemical Diffusing Apparatus .pngEP2281582b1—Chemical Cartridge for Blower Type Chemical Diffusing Aparatus (Source: PatSnap platform)


Top inventors

We’ve looked at the big fish, new companies and a few lone wolves that have a foothold in this market. But if you want the best talent in the market, sometimes you need to go out and find it.

By looking at the top inventors we can see who are the real brains behind all this innovation. And it can also reveal who is funding their R&D efforts.

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Top inventors
Whoever smelt it—the most innovative individuals in the battle against malodour
(Source: PatSnap platform)

P&G is well linked with the top three inventors, plus quite a few further down this list.

Could any of them be tempted by a golden handshake to bring their expertise to a new company?


The most litigious companies

When you’re trying to come up with great innovative products, it’s essential to be novel and not tread on any toes.

You can avoid hazards down the line by knowing from the onset where litigation threats are concealed.


This is just a snapshot of how IP data could help your R&D projects. Download the full report to reveal which company has filed ten lawsuits protecting their intellectual property.

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Refresh your R&D strategy

Technology development is moving faster than ever—making it essential to plan your R&D journey well. 

Know your competition

Know your friends

Know the trends


Get more Insights with PatSnap

This report was designed and created using Insights by PatSnap with the following Boolean search parameters:

(IPC: A61L9 OR B01D53/34) AND ((("odor" OR "odour" OR "olfactory") AND ("controlling" OR "masking" OR "neutralise" OR "neutralize" OR "suppress" OR "suppression" OR "masking agent" OR "mask" OR "counteractant" or "deodourising" OR "deodorizing")) AND ("fragrance" OR "flavour" OR "flavor" OR "aroma" OR "scent" OR "perfume")) NOT (CPC:(C0) OR CPC:(G))

(IPC: A61L9 OR B01D53/34) AND ("malodor" OR "bouquet" OR "smell" OR "odor" OR "odour" OR "olfactory" OR "fragrance" OR "flavour" OR "flavor" OR "aroma" OR "scent" OR "perfume") AND ("masking" OR "suppress" OR "suppression" OR "masking agent" OR "mask" OR "counteractant" or "deodourising" OR "deodorizing" OR "deodorant" OR "deodourant")

We encourage you to modify and improve upon these rudimentary parameters, so you can uncover the insights that matter to you.