Fragrance can be powerful. It can be sexy, evocative, playful, and memorable. It’s something consumers spend vast sums of money on, and it’s something we encounter in countless forms each day.
Equally ubiquitous yet unalluring is the all-purpose cleaner. It’s used everywhere – work and school desks, bathrooms in malls, on the counter of your local pizzeria, and in airplanes…
Just as commonplace and important as all-purpose cleaners are, and as pervasive as fragrance is, we don’t often think of the two together.
Perhaps we should.
Even in a product we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, fragrance matters. After all, we don’t want our cleaners to smell unappealing. We want fresh lemony goodness. We want bracing piney aromas that evoke thoughts of fresh air, clean breezes, and wide open spaces.
And because fragrance is so closely mingled with memory, by choosing cleaners with pleasant fragrances, we can create lasting positive associations with physical spaces.
Many all purpose cleaners contain similar active ingredients, which means that fragrance is often the single most important factor influencing the decision to choose one cleaner over another. The fragrance of cleaners is one of the most important ways we differentiate among myriad choices within the market.
Producers of industrial and institutional cleaners understand that fragrance trends don’t stop at candles and bath products. Fragrance trends filter down to the most ordinary of products, and decisions about fragrance in cleaners end up being important marketing choices.
If you think about it, fragrance may well be the single most important element of a cleaner. Consider the fact that a mixture of vinegar and ammonia work just as well as some commercially produced cleaners. But vinegar and ammonia aren’t olfactively pleasing.. We spend more on purchasing cleaners with pleasing aromas. That’s how important fragrance is.
That bottle of cleaner you’ve never really thought much about is far more complex and nuanced than most of us realize. Fragrances are created and selected based on consumer market research. Fragrances are built to work even when the product base itself may pose challenges. Marketing strategies are influenced by fragrance, and ingredients must comply with varying regulations across the globe.
In fact, when you realize just how integral fragrance is to a cleaning product’s commercial success and just how much work, inspiration, research, and expertise goes into each bottle of cleaner, that ordinary all purpose cleaner becomes much more interesting and perhaps even beautiful.