Micro-encapsulation technology - an interview with Ross Emerick from Celessence
In the eighties at school, someone in my class brought in some Garfield Scratch and Sniff stickers, with scents such as pizza, watermelon and lasagne. I think this was the first time I ever had come across 'scratch and sniff', and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
Fast-forward about twenty five years and I learn that British perfumer, Ruth Mastenbroek, has launched a scented bathrobe to go with her range, based on similar technology. The nine-year old version of me can't resist finding out more, so I spoke to Ross Emerick who the Global Applications Manager of Celessence, the company that developed the scented robe using Micro-encapsulation technology.
So first of all, for the uninitiated: what is micro-encapsulation technology...
"We take the fragrance oil in a concentrated solution, with all the alcohol and water removed and wrap a polymeric shell around the oil to protect it. When the shell is broken it releases the fragrance. The shell will break if you rub the surface of a printed product; or with movement if it is used on a garment."
Celessence worked with Ruth Mastenbroek last year to create a bathrobe scented with her signature fragrance.
"It releases the scent over time, so you won't just get a big hit of fragrance all at once. When you move in a garment, there is this constant release - and as there are 30 billion of the microcapsules in one gram of the product it lasts a long time, and its been designed to withstand washes, so you won't lose the scent after washing."
Celessence was founded around thirty years ago, dealing mainly with smells in the printed industry, but now the textile side is larger. As well as fragrance, products can be encaspulated with oils that provide skin benefits, such as Vitamin E or Aloe Vera. A company in Mexico uses Celessence's technology to add proven anti-cellulite agents to hosiery.
It doesn't stop at clothing - any textile can be scented with the technology "Bedsheets, mattresses, t-shirts, carpets... we've also developed a spray product, which is used by a major cinema chain, an odor neutralizer, which they use after screenings for the seats and carpet".
The possibilities seem quite endless, and I'm sure over the next few years we'll see more of our favourite fragrance houses adding scented garments and other items to their collections. Or it may be a way for places like Abercrombie & Fitch to promote their scent lines by scenting their clothing...
In the meantime, I'm off to eBay to buy Garfield Scratch and Sniff stickers...
You can read more about Celessence at their website. And for readers in the UK we have a Ruth Mastenbroek sample giveaway: simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, basenotes username and address. Twenty randomly picked lucky sniffers will win a sample of Ruth Mastenbroek's debut scent. Offer ends 28 February 2011.