Product odour


Odour masking Improve product odour

Product odour is a very important factor in perceiving a cosmetic product as successful. Smell is one of the five human senses. Unpleasant product odour or taste of a cosmetic formulation will cause immediate aversion. Odorous substances are highly volatile substances that are bound by the olfactory receptors in the nasal mucosa. Via a signalling cascade, the stimulus is transmitted to the nerve cells and passed on to the brain. This is where the actual olfactory sensation is created. Pleasant odours are distinguished from unpleasant ones.

The cosmetic product odour is important because it has a positive influence on the user experience and the perception of the product. A pleasant product odour can contribute to the product being accepted and further used, which can lead to higher satisfaction and customer loyalty. In addition, a pleasant smell can also help users feel better and have a positive effect on their mood (e.g., there is valid research on orange oil that confirms this).


Bad product odour is associated with inferior quality

Unscented cosmetic products can have an unpleasant smell due to one of the raw materials used. Such products are considered to be of inferior quality. The complaint rate of bad-smelling products is higher and they are more difficult to sell. Smelly raw materials come into focus at the latest during a product relaunch. To eliminate the product odour, the active ingredient in question is either dosed lower – with consequences for the effectiveness of the cosmetic. Or a substitute has to be found.

Our experience shows that cosmetics manufacturers should invest in eliminating unpleasant product side odours. Our special analytical methods detect volatile substances that are odourless to humans and check whether the product odour is optimally designed.


This happens in three steps to improve the product odour:

  1. detection and identification of the olfactorily perceivable substances
  2. search for ways to eliminate these substances
  3. formulation strategies to mask these substances.


If you would like to evaluate the product odour of your product, please contact us.


Read more about our services for cosmetics manufacturers here:

Why Cosmacon?  

Vegan Seal

Fast Track Fee



Quality and safety investigation of commonly used topical cosmeticpreparations.

Almukainzi M, Alotaibi L, Abdulwahab A, Albukhary N, El Mahdy AM.Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 31;12(1):18299.