Does Poo Pourri really prevent bathroom odors?

Lexi says…I typically skip over YouTube commercials but I saw one yesterday that mesmerized me – some British chick talking about a product called “Poo Pourri” that covers up bathroom odors. The commercial looks like a total joke but apparently it’s a real product. Is this any better than a regular air freshener? Enlighten us oh Beauty Brains!

The Beauty Brains respond

Update: After I wrote this post, Poo Pourri contacted me and offered to send free samples for us to try. We’ve been using them at the Beauty Brains headquarters and have been pleasantly surprised at how well the products work. While we haven’t done any scientific testing, these products certainly do appear to get the job done!

We have to admit this entire advertising campaign does have the feel of an elaborate put on. (Check out the video for yourself…) However, if their website is to be believed, this is indeed a legitimate product.

What is Poo Pourri?

The product is a non-aerosol mixture of essential fragrance oils which is sprayed into the toilet bowl prior to the dirty deed. (As opposed to traditional scented products which are sprayed in the air afterwords.) Their tagline is “spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know.” According to their website the product’s essential oils cover the water in the toilet bowl with a fragrant film. When your “astronauts splashdown” (that’s from the commercial – we couldn’t make this stuff up) the film traps their odors below the water level.

Could this stuff really work?

We opted out of any elaborate consumer testing on this one and instead will comment on some of the theoretical aspects of how fragrances work. This product certainly uses a clever approach. Applying a film on the water to seal in orders in theory could help reduce some of the scent problem. And since the fragrance oils have a higher coefficient of diffusion then the “bad odors” they should lift up and fill the room helping to mask those smells that do escape.

While this approach should work with just about any liquid fragrance product we presume that Poo Pourri has optimized their oil-to-fragrance ratio to get the right balance of the toilet bowl coverage and fragrance “bloom.” It’s unlikely that a traditional air freshener would have enough oil and while you could use your favorite perfume (which contains up to 20% oil) it will be a very expensive alternative. (You’d be better off by diluting perfume with another oil.)

The Beauty Brains bottom-line

There is enough fragrance science at work here to suggest that Poo Pourri may provide a unique benefit in the bathroom air freshening category. If anyone is brave enough to give it a try leave a comment and let us know what you stink…uh, think.