Analyzing Unpleasant Odors Is an Important Part of Our Research

Unpleasant odors, including body odor, bad breath, and clothing and household odors, are an important research area for Lion. We analyze unpleasant odors to ascertain the causative substances and their sources and use this knowledge in product development. This odor analysis is conducted mainly using chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O), a type of gas chromatography. GC-O separates out individual odorous substances and enables the sensory assessment of individual substances. This allows us to identify odorous substances that are easily detectable even in small amounts.

Lion has used this approach to analyze a range of odors, such as the body odor of men in their thirties, the odors arising from laundry hung to dry indoors and the lingering odors in toilets. We use the results of such analyses in product development.

For example, we wiped the torsos of men in their thirties and analyzed these samples using GC-O. Among the wide variety of substances detected, we found that the main component responsible for the characteristic oily smell of men in their thirties was as fatty acid, mostly pelargonic acid.

R&D Case Study