Consumers enjoy having fragrance in their homes, whether to create a specific ambiance or to mask and eliminate unpleasant odors. Mintel’s Air Care—US, 2014 report finds that some 82% of consumers use some type of air freshener or candle product in their home, underscoring the category’s popularity. While there is a strong emotional component that comes with using air fresheners, functionality is just as important, especially when it comes to tackling unpleasant odors. Mintel’s Air Fresheners—US, 2013 report finds that bathroom odors are the primary odor offender, as more than seven in 10 air care users say that bathroom odors are the type of odor they find themselves trying to eliminate most frequently.

82% of consumers use some type of air freshener or candle product in their home

Kohler is coming to the rescue with their newest toilet seat that has the potential to help homeowners in their fight against unfortunate bathroom odors. The company just launched its line of Purefresh toilet seats, which are battery-activated toilet seats that emit a continuous pleasant fragrance through the use of a built-in fan and replaceable scent pack. Once a consumer comes in contact with the toilet seat, the built-in fan activates and begins to spread the fragrance emitted by the integrated scent pack. An integrated carbon filter is also included to neutralize unpleasant odors, only leaving behind the fragrance from the scent pack. Consumers can buy a Purefresh toilet seat separately to upgrade their current seat.

This product launch could have significant implications on the air care market because bathroom use is one of the primary usage occasions for air freshener and candle products. Having a toilet seat that delivers fragrance each time the toilet is used could eliminate the need for separate air freshener and candle products in bathrooms.

Air care companies could prevent sales cannibalization by partnering with Kohler and other toilet seat makers to create the fragrance packs that are used in these seats. Brands such as Glade and Febreze could partner with Kohler to sell co-branded fragrance packs. This could help air care brands reclaim some sales should fragranced toilet seats become popular.

Gabriela Elani brings a strong background in marketing strategy, innovation, and consumer research to Mintel, where she leverages her knowledge across the home and personal care series of reports, as well as related household, consumer packaged goods, and beauty reports.