When I first entered the industry in 1990, we were limited in available technology and techniques available to help eliminate odors. Today, there is a variety of equipment, products, and techniques available to employ combination techniques. First, to choose the appropriate technique, we must understand the odor issue: type, source, areas affected, etc. Odor is classified into two types:
The pure sensation of smell transmitted to the olfactory lobe by the olfactory nerve.
Odor that a person thinks they smell based on experience or suggestion. For example, if I say the word “Skunk” to you, your mind tend tends automatically think of the pungent odor that the skunk produces.
In dealing with odors, consider: Source Removal, Encapsulation and/or Chemically Changing the Molecular Structure of the Odor Molecule. The preferred first step of odor control is to remove the source. Next we should understand some of the basic categories of our options: Masking, Time-release, Absorbing, Pairing, Disinfecting, Sanitizing, Digesting, and Oxidizing. More information on these categories can be found
Most deodorants used in odor control contain a combination of masking and pairing agents. Here are definitions about these two categories:
All we are doing here is overwhelming the olfactory area with an acceptable odor. This is temporary and is used primarily to control odors until removal of the source takes place
Physically changing the odor substance by pairing it with a chemical which combines with the malodor molecule and gives it some of its own chemical properties. This transforms the odor chemistry into a new non-odorous compound by modifying the shape and charge to fool the olfactory region.