Air Wick Essential Mist




Air fragrancing device




  • Industrial design
  • Insight and strategy
  • Packaging design
  • Prototyping

How we helped Air Wick freshen-up home air-care

Home fragrance is a growing market, one in which we’ve spent many years helping global consumer healthcare firm, RB, become a leader worldwide with its Air Wick brand. But it’s also a category that’s lacked excitement in the last few years, polarising around functional, mass market plug-ins and sprays at one end and more premium, experience-led, spa-style vaporisers and candles at the other. 
Air Wick Essential Mist is changing all this, shaking up the middle ground with a new generation of air-care product that bridges this gap and satisfies the demand for a less artificial, more natural home fragrance. It’s unique diffuser technology silently swirls a fine mist of essential oil into people’s homes, at perfectly-timed intervals throughout the day.

Launched with packaging also by DCA, Air Wick Essential Mist has been a huge global success, picking up two product design awards and a Product of The Year consumer award in its first year. Why? Because, working in close partnership with RB, we listened intently to consumers and used these powerful insights to design a device that lives up to their needs and desires. Read more about this co-creation story below.

Air Wick Essential Mist has carved out a new niche in a crowded category.

Insight-led product innovation

We knew that although people wanted their homes to smell fresh and natural, they found existing products were often overpowering and too artificial. Because of this, many were limiting the use of air-care products to one room, such as the kitchen or bathroom, to specifically protect their homes from bad odours. RB saw an opportunity to launch a vaporiser into the mass market that used essential oils to create a more natural and ambient fragrance, anywhere in the home.

Right from the very earliest stage of the project, we worked side-by-side with RB’s Consumer Product Insight team in the US to conduct in-home qualitative research with both existing consumers and consumers not currently engaged with the category. We built their insights into the design at every stage of the project, from start to finish, testing different systems and technologies against various use-case scenarios.

A breakthrough innovation that’s a result of true co-creation.

Acting naturally

The result is a completely new fragrance delivery device. Sleek, silent, subtle and battery-powered, it’s designed to be portable and sit unobtrusively in any room, whatever the décor. It’s also refillable, making it a sustainable choice and giving customers the option to try difference fragrances. The small glass containers of oil that slot into the device are reminiscent of the little bottles of essential oil, boosting its natural credentials. An eight-hour automatic cycle makes sure that fragrance is released only when needed and the intensity of the scent can also be adjusted – both crucial aspects of our brief from consumers. We also designed the platform to provide RB with a roadmap for future development, with the opportunity to add functionality as needs change.

RB is delighted with the result; a breakthrough innovation that’s defined a new, premium segment within mass air-care. Giving more people the opportunity to fill their homes with an ambient, fresh new fragrance, thanks to the Air Wick brand.

RB is delighted with the result.