WO2006061803A1 - A device for dispensing a volatile liquid and method for its activation - Google Patents

A device for dispensing a volatile liquid and method for its activation Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2006061803A1
WO2006061803A1 PCT/IB2005/054147 IB2005054147W WO2006061803A1 WO 2006061803 A1 WO2006061803 A1 WO 2006061803A1 IB 2005054147 W IB2005054147 W IB 2005054147W WO 2006061803 A1 WO2006061803 A1 WO 2006061803A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
wick
member
device
reservoir
emanator
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2005/054147
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Paul Manczak
Terence William Gander
Nicholas O'leary
Nathan Angel
Lyse Tranzeat
Original Assignee
Firmenich Sa
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB0427128.4 priority Critical
Priority to GB0427128A priority patent/GB0427128D0/en
Priority to IBPCT/IB2005/053513 priority
Priority to IB2005053513 priority
Application filed by Firmenich Sa filed Critical Firmenich Sa
Publication of WO2006061803A1 publication Critical patent/WO2006061803A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L9/00Disinfection, sterilisation or deodorisation of air
    • A61L9/015Disinfection, sterilisation or deodorisation of air using gaseous or vaporous substances, e.g. ozone
    • A61L9/04Disinfection, sterilisation or deodorisation of air using gaseous or vaporous substances, e.g. ozone using substances evaporated in the air without heating
    • A61L9/12Apparatus, e.g. holders, therefor
    • A61L9/127Apparatus, e.g. holders, therefor comprising a wick
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01MCATCHING, TRAPPING OR SCARING OF ANIMALS; APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF NOXIOUS ANIMALS OR NOXIOUS PLANTS
    • A01M1/00Stationary means for catching or killing insects
    • A01M1/20Poisoning, narcotising, or burning insects
    • A01M1/2022Poisoning or narcotising insects by vaporising an insecticide
    • A01M1/2027Poisoning or narcotising insects by vaporising an insecticide without heating
    • A01M1/2044Holders or dispensers for liquid insecticide, e.g. using wicks

Abstract

The present invention relates to the field of perfumery and more precisely it concerns a device, and the consumer articles associated therewith, for dispensing an active composition into the surrounding space. The device comprises an active liquid, a reservoir holding the active liquid, a wick/emanator superstructure composed of a wicking part and an emitting part, the latter having an evaporative surface to be directly exposed to the surrounding space when the device is activated and being housed in a moveable housing assembly, activation of the device occurring without need to removing the housing assembly and or the wick/emanator superstructure.

Description

A DEVICE FOR DISPENSING A VOLATILE LIQUID AND METHOD FOR ITS

ACTIVATION

Technical field The present invention relates to the field of perfumery and more precisely it concerns a device, and the consumer articles associated therewith, for dispensing an active volatile liquid into its surroundings, at an approximately constant rate over the lifetime of the device. The device comprises a body comprising a reservoir for containing an active liquid having a specific volatility, a wick/emanator superstructure composed of a part able to soak in the liquid volatile and be impregnated therewith and an emitting part, the latter having an evaporative surface directly exposed to the surrounding space, and optionally a specific absorbency and weight per unit of said evaporative surface. The device of the invention is intended to be activated without the need to remove the protective housing thereof which possibly prevents diffusion of the liquid volatile into the surroundings prior to the desired activation of the air freshener device. The device does not require thermal operation.

The invention also relates to a method for activation of an air freshener device of the type indicated and to consumer products associated with said device.

Prior art

Devices for dispensing an active volatile liquid in the surrounding space have been known for a long time. One type of such devices are the so-called wick-based devices, which all comprise a reservoir, a wick and an emanating body from which the active liquid evaporates. The main problem of said wick-based devices is the difficulty to achieve a controlled release into the surroundings of said active liquid, with the desired diffusion rate, such that the device does not become inactive in an unacceptable period of time.

The various wick-based devices disclosed in the prior art, and described as solving the above-mentioned problem, can be divided in several categories. Each of said categories is characterised by the fact that the device achieves a controlled release thanks to: i) the use of special films or occluding systems which enwrap the emanating body; ϋ) the use of cover means making it possible to vary, over the lifetime of the device, the surface of the emanating body from which the active liquid can evaporate (i.e. the evaporative surface); or ϋi) the use of electrically powered aids such as a heating or a fan. However, all these prior known devices are complex to realise and often require complementary elements to the essential components of the reservoir and emanating structure, which renders them relatively costly.

On the other hand, the vast majority of commercial devices of the wick type, which conserve a very simple structure based only on the reservoir/wick/diffusing element components require manual removal of the reservoir closure or of the housing assembly of the device preventing evaporation before activation and re-positioning of the housing covers equipped with vents to allow diffusion of the active volatile.

Moreover, the prior known wick type devices resorting to the use of an aqueous solution or emulsion of the active volatile composition, imply the use of large amounts of liquid and of surfactants that may be detrimental to the effective releasing performance of the device.

The present invention aims at improving over all these known devices by providing an air freshener that can be activated without the need to dismount the initial packaged device, is efficient in delivering a constant and linear amount of active composition over the lifetime of the device and is particularly adapted to be used with non-aqueous volatile compositions, thus dispensing the use of large amounts of surfactants.

Description of the invention The aim of the present invention is to provide an air freshener of the wick type able to diffuse an active liquid in the surrounding space, rooms, cupboards or other enclosed spaces, with essentially linear performance, i.e. at approximately constant rate, and without requiring films covering the emanating body, or being electrically powered. It seeks moreover to provide a device as here-above cited having a practical activation mechanism, easily manipulated by the user and which provides for variable control of the amount of volatile substance diffused in time.

This was achieved by providing a device for diffusing an active volatile liquid into the surroundings, said device comprising: a) a reservoir containing the active volatile liquid and having an upper part equipped with an opening; b) means located on or above the reservoir capable of preventing evaporation of the active volatile liquid prior to activation of the reservoir; c) an emanating member or assembly located above the reservoir, formed of a material capable of being impregnated with said active volatile liquid and of allowing evaporation thereof into the surroundings upon activation of the device; d) a wick member or assembly formed of, or carrying, a porous material part capable of being impregnated with said active volatile liquid, said wick member being lodged in the device in a position allowing it to be impregnated with the volatile liquid and to be in contact with the emanating member upon activation of the device; and e) a housing member or assembly covering the emanating member, said housing member or assembly being possibly able to prevent evaporation of the active volatile before activation of the device and comprising means to allow diffusion thereof into the device's surroundings upon its activation; the emanating member and/or the wick member being lodged in the device in a position allowing the wick member to be in contact or to enter into contact with the active volatile liquid upon activation of the device, and to cause the emanating member to be impregnated with the active volatile liquid, said activation occurring via action of a user on the housing assembly and/or the wick/emanating assembly and without having to remove the housing assembly and/or the wick/emanator assembly.

According to a specific embodiment of the device of the invention, the housing member is in two elements or parts, an internal element and an external element, the two elements being provided with openings or vents, said elements being moveably arranged and able to slide relative to each other, preferably coaxially, upon activation of the device, to allow partial or total overlap of the inner and outer vents and thus diffusion into the surroundings of the active volatile composition contained in the reservoir.

According to advantageous embodiments of the invention, the active volatile is selected amongst the group of fragrance, deodorizing, sanitising and insect repellent compositions.

Typically the device does not require heating to diffuse the volatile. By "active volatile liquid" we mean here a liquid which is at least partially volatile, i.e. can evaporate, and which is able to impart a benefit to the surrounding space.

The reservoir chamber has the function of storing the non-aqueous active volatile liquid composition, from now on referred to also as "active composition", prior to activation of the device and, after activation, the remainder thereof which has not been absorbed on the wick-emanator assembly and diffused.

The invention also relates to specific embodiments wherein the wick member is lodged within a guiding or supporting structure disposed within the housing assembly, said wick member being fastened or attached to a moveable piece of the housing assembly or of said guiding or supporting structure. This wick member guiding or supporting structure may be axially disposed within the housing assembly. Details of such specific embodiments can be found in the examples presented further on.

The reservoir chamber lid has the function of preventing the evaporation of the active composition from the reservoir and also of acting as support of the wick-emanator superstructure.

According to useful embodiments of the device, the reservoir chamber is covered by a lid or cap, which may be a moulded assembly and which has the function of preventing the evaporation of the active composition from the reservoir and can also act as the support structure for the wick member, or possible the wick-emanator assembly. This cap assembly may thus be equipped with means for securing the emanator member on top of the reservoir and a support structure for lodging the wick member. Details of the manner in which the latter may be realized are presented in the examples.

Component b) of the device is preferably a barrier of foil hermetically fastened to the opening or another part of the reservoir, said foil being intended to be perforated by the wick member or a wick guiding member, or otherwise displaced upon activation of the device. In more specific embodiments of the invention, said barrier is hermetically fastened to the opening of the reservoir. This barrier then has the function of preventing evaporation of the volatile composition before activation of the device and is removed or perforated when the device is activated to diffuse the active volatile.

As previously indicated, the emanator and wick members, or their assembly, are lodged within the housing assembly. They are preferably coaxially arranged and lodged within a cylindrical structure fastened to the reservoir's cap, the wick member being arranged so as to be able to move downwards relative to the emanator member, upon activation of the device, and to perforate the hermetic barrier of foil above-mentioned. To this end, and according to an advantageous realization of the device, the wick member is equipped with a lower pointed capable of perforating the barrier.

Alternatively, the reservoir's cap assembly carries a wick guiding structure or member and is lodged in a moveable upper part of the device, such that movement thereof allows perforation of the barrier by the wick guiding member or structure.

In other embodiments, there are provided, on the housing assembly, moveable means capable of causing movement of the upper part of the device, carrying the wick/emanator assembly, relative to the reservoir or its cap or capping assembly, so as to provide for perforation of the protecting hermetic barrier or seal of the reservoir's opening. Such moveable means may for example consist of a slide member connected to at least one of the two parts of the housing assembly and able to move one of said two parts relative to the other. The slide may be installed vertically so as to provide for longitudinal movement of the two parts relative to each other. The wick member, or alternatively a guiding structure therefore, will then perforate the hermetic seal of the reservoir's opening upon activation of the device.

When the emanator and wick members are not part of a same piece or assembly, it is possible to have the wick completely plunged inside the reservoir's liquid and to provide means allowing for the emanator member to come into contact with the wick upon activation of the device and thus be impregnated with active liquid and be able to diffuse it over time from its evaporative surface. In these embodiments of the device, there are provided means to force this contact, which are typically lodged within the housing assembly, for example in the form of a spring lodged between the emanator and the inside surface of a part capping the housing assembly of the device which houses the emanator.

According to preferred embodiments of the invention, the emanating member or emanator, and the wick member or wick, are part of a single piece possibly forming a superstructure. The device will then be typically equipped with moveable means capable of allowing the wick part of the superstructure to plunge in the volatile liquid when the device is activated. Amongst such embodiments, there are provided those wherein one zone of said emanating piece can be deformed and made to plunge into the reservoir's liquid upon activation of the device to allow impregnation of said zone with the liquid and subsequent absorption by the emanating surface for diffusion. Alternatively, the device may be provided with a deformable housing assembly, such that the user applies pressure thereon to force the wick zone of the emanator/wick assembly to pierce the barrier and plunge into the liquid to be diffused. The wick is then retained inside the liquid for the lifetime of the device by a variety of means, illustrated in the examples herebelow. It goes without saying that such deformable housings can also be used with a two piece emanator/wick assembly of the type above-mentioned.

In general, the essential parts of the device are formed strictly by the reservoir containing the volatile composition, a barrier to prevent evaporation of the latter prior to activation of the device, an absorption/diffusion member capable of being impregnated with the composition and of diffusing it into the surroundings once the device is activated, said member being lodged in a housing assembly which does not require to be removed from the reservoir to allow diffusion of the composition, and the moveable means of breaking the impermeable barrier and allowing the absorption/diffusion member to come into contact with the composition to be diffused. The latter means can be any, provided that they are compatible with these main characteristics, and may be provided either in the housing, in the absorption/diffusion member or in the support or guiding structure of the latter. In particular they may be means that allow movement of the housing assembly and the emanator fastened to or associated with it, relative to the reservoir, or means acting on the emanator/wick assembly to move the latter relative to the reservoir. Examples of a great variety of realizations are given below, but these are not to be taken to limit the scope of the invention, the skilled person being able to devise other alternative and convenient embodiments of the device, provided that they are compatible with the requirement of being capable of being activated and diffusing the composition in the reservoir, without having to remove the housing assembly or the structure carrying or forming the emanator/wick assembly.

Typically, the device of the invention will comprise a housing that is made of two parts, but this is not strictly necessary as is exemplified further on. When there are two parts provided, they will preferably be moveable relative to each other, thus allowing regulation of the surface of exposure of the evaporative surface of the emanating surface to the surroundings by varying the partial or total coincidence of the diffusion vents on the two housing parts. The latter vents may be carved vertically or horizontally. The housing parts are typically made of plastic, possibly deformable as explained earlier and may assume any shape that is adapted to the aims of the device.

The wick/emanator assembly can be of a same piece or in two pieces. Convenient assemblies are emanating superstructures, which are adapted to be activated according to the invention, described for example in published International Application WO 2004/006968, owned by the present applicant the contents of which are hereby included by reference. The materials for their realization are disclosed in the mentioned International application. Superstructure emanating members of this type, having a weight comprised between 80 and 1000 grams per square meter of evaporative surface, and an absorbency comprised between 0.01 and 0.1 grams of active volatile liquid composition per square centimetre of evaporative surface, such that, at any moment in time, during the active lifetime of the device, the amount of non-aqueous active volatile liquid adsorbed by the emanator member is less than about 20% of the initial total weight of non-aqueous active volatile liquid contained in the reservoir, are particularly advantageous to be incorporated in the easily activated device of the invention. Amongst these, emanating members having an evaporative surface comprised between 50 and 200 cm2 are particularly preferred but other useful embodiments thereof are described in WO 2004/006968, and their description is hereby included by reference.

The examples presented further on show such devices comprising superstructure-type wick/emanator assemblies and the manner in which they may be incorporated in the easily activated devices of the invention.

The reservoir, and possibly a cap therefore, are formed of materials compatible with the active composition and totally impermeable to the vapors of the latter. Preferably the reservoir chamber is made of a transparent or translucent material, so that a consumer can visually monitor the level of the active composition, present in the reservoir chamber, and therefore know when the device according to the invention has to be replaced because exhausted.

Suitable materials for the reservoir chamber and the reservoir chamber lid or cap, include injection or thermoform molded materials such as those obtainable from polymers like polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl acetate, polyamide, polyacrylamide, polymethylacrylate, and the like. Alternatively, the reservoir, or the reservoir and the lid, could be formed from glass. Their shape can be very varied, provided that they are compatible with each other, and their shape compatible with the structure of the emanator/wick member, and/or its supporting or carrying structure, and that of the housing assembly covering the whole ensemble. The only requirement is the fact that the composition must be hermetically closed within the reservoir and the housing structure prior to activation of the device.

It is also understood that the reservoir and the cap can be part of a single body.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the composition to be contained in the reservoir is non-aqueous.

By "non-aqueous active volatile liquid composition" it is meant here an active volatile liquid composition which is essentially devoid of, or contains only marginal amounts of, water, e.g. one may cite as example a composition which contains less than 5% of its total weight of water.

A useful active composition is also surfactant free or devoid of the latter.

The active composition contains at least two ingredients. Said ingredients can be divided into ingredients capable of imparting a benefit to the surrounding space or enclosed space, and forming an active volatile material, and optional ingredients which can be beneficial to said active volatile material. In other words the active composition contains an active volatile material, comprising at least one ingredient, and optionally one or more ingredients selected from the group consisting of solvents, thickeners, anti- oxidants, dyes, bittering agents and UV inhibitors.

As the active volatile material, there can be used, for example, a perfume, in which case the consumer product will be of the air freshener type. Other suitable active volatile materials can be deodorizing or sanitizing agents or insect repellents or any other active materials capable of imparting perceptible and desirable benefits to the quality of the air into which it is diffused.

A preferred active volatile material is a perfume. As perfume there can be used any ingredient or mixture of ingredients currently used in perfumery, i.e. capable of exercising a perfuming action. More often, however, it will be a more or less complex mixture of ingredients of natural or synthetic origin. The nature and type of said ingredients do not warrant a more detailed description here, which in any case would not be exhaustive, the skilled person being able to select them on the basis of its general knowledge and according to intended use or application and the desired organoleptic effect. In general terms, these perfuming ingredients belong to chemical classes as varied as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, ethers, acetates, nitriles, terpene hydrocarbons, nitrogenous or sulphurous heterocyclic compounds and essential oils of natural or synthetic origin. Many of these ingredients are in any case listed in reference texts such as the book by S. Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Chemicals, 1969, Montclair, New Jersey, USA, or its more recent versions, or in other works of a similar nature, as well as in the abundant patent literature in the field of perfumery.

Although special mention has been made hereinabove of the perfuming effect that can be exerted by the devices of the invention, the same principles apply to analogous devices for the diffusion of deodorizing or sanitizing vapors, the perfume being replaced by a deodorizing composition, an antibacterial, an insecticide, an insect repellent or an insect attractant. By the term "sanitizing vapors", we refer here not only to the vapors of those substances which can enhance the degree of acceptance of the air surrounding the observer, but also to those substances which can exert an attractant or repellent effect towards certain species of insects, for instance towards houseflies or mosquitoes, or else, which can have bactericide or bacteriostatic activity. It goes without saying that mixtures of such agents can also be used.

The total amount of active volatile material in the active composition may be comprised between 20% and 100%, preferably between 30% and 70%, of the weight of the active composition.

As anticipated above, the active composition may also contain some optional ingredients acting as, for example, solvents, thickeners, anti-oxidants, dyes, bittering agents and UV inhibitors.

The presence of one or more solvents may be useful to have a single-phase liquid and/or to modulate the speed of evaporation of the active material into the surrounding air. Said solvents may belong to the families of isoparaffins, paraffins, hydrocarbons, namely glycols, glycol ethers, glycol ether esters, esters or ketones. Examples of commercially available solvents useful to the invention are known under the tradename Isopar® H, J, K, L, M, P or V (isoparaffins; origin: Exxon Chemical), Norpar® 12 or 15 (paraffins; origin: Exxon Chemical), Exxsol® D 155/170, D 40, D 180/200, D 220/230, D 60, D 70, D 80, D 100, D 110 or D 120 (dearomatised Hydrocarbons; origin: Exxon Chemical), Dowanol® PM, DPM, TPM, PnB, DPnB, TPnB, PnP or DPnP (glycol ethers; origin: Dow Chemical Company), Eastman® EP, EB, EEH, DM, DE, DP or DB (glycol ethers; origin: Eastman Chemical Company), Dowanol® PMA or PGDA (glycol ether esters; origin: Dow Chemical Company) or Eastman® EB acetate, Eastman® DE acetate, Eastman® DB acetate, Eastman® EEP (all glycol ether esters; all origin: Eastman Chemical Company).

Other examples of solvents useful to the invention are dipropylene glycol, propylene glycol, ethylene glycol ethyl ether acetate, ethylene glycol diacetate, isopropyl myristate, diethyl phthalate, 2-ethylhexyl acetate, methyl n-amyl ketone or di-isobutyl ketone. The total amount of solvents present in the active composition may vary between 0.0% and 80%, preferably between 30% and 70%, the percentages being relative to the weight of the active composition.

As non-limiting examples of useful thickener ingredients, one can cite ethyl cellulose (commercial examples of which are available from Hercules Inc.), fumed silica (commercial examples of which are available from Degussa) and styrene-butadiene- styrene block copolymers (commercial examples of which are available from Shell).

The total amount of thickeners present in the active composition may vary between 0.0% and 10%, preferably between 1% and 4%, the percentages being relative to the weight of the active composition. As non-limiting examples of useful antioxidant ingredients, one can cite the sterically hindered amines, i.e. the derivatives of the 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-piperidine, such as those known under the tradename Uvinul® (origin BASF AG) or Tinuvin® (origin: Ciba Speciality Chemicals), as well as the alkylated hydroxyarene derivatives, such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The total amount of antioxidants present in the active composition may vary between 0.0% and 10%, preferably between 1% and 4%, the percentages being relative to the weight of the active composition. Dyes are other optional ingredients of the active composition. Suitable dyes are oil-soluble and can be found in the Colour Index International, published by The Society of Dyers and Colourist. Non-limiting examples of suitable dyes are derivatives of the anthraquinone, methine, azo, triarylmethane, triphenylmethane, azine, aminoketone, spirooxazine, thioxanthene, phthalocyanine, perylene, benzopyran or perinone families. Examples of such dyes which are commercially available are known under the tradename Sandoplast® Violet RSB, Violet FBL, Green GSB, Blue 2B or Savinyl® Blue RS (all anthraquinone derivatives; origin: Clariant Huningue S.A.), Oilsol® Blue DB (anthraquinone; origin: Morton International Ltd.), Sandoplast® Yellow 3G (methine; origin: Clariant Huningue S.A.), Savinyl® Scarlet RLS (azo metal complex; origin: Clariant Huningue S.A.), Oilsol® Yellow SEG (monoazo; origin: Morton International Ltd.), Fat Orange® R (monoazo; origin: Hoechst AG), Fat Red® 5B (diazo; origin: Hoechst AG), Neozapon® Blue 807 (phtalocyanine; origin: BASF AG), Fluorol® Green Golden (perylene; origin: BASF AG). The total amount of dyes present in the active composition may vary between

0.0% and 0.5%, preferably between 0.005% and 0.05%, the percentages being relative to the weight of the active composition.

The presence of a bittering agent may be desirable in order to render the product unpalatable, making it less likely that the active composition is ingested, especially by young children. One can cite, as non-limiting examples, isopropyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl n-butyl ketone or yet a denatonium salt such as the denatonium benzoate known also under the trademark Bitrex™ (origin: Mac Farlan Smith Ltd.).

The bittering agent may be incorporated in the active composition in a total amount comprised between 0.0% and 5%, the percentages being relative to the total weight of the active composition. In the case of Bitrex™ the amount can be comprised between 0.0% and 0.1%, preferably between 0.001% to 0.05% of the total weight of the active composition.

As non-limiting examples of useful UV-inhibitor ingredients, one can cite benzophenones, diphenylacrylates or cinnamates such as those available under the trade name Uvinul® (origin: BASF AG). The total amount of UV-inhibitors present in the active composition may vary between 0.0% and 0.5%, preferably between 0.01% and 0.4%, the percentages being relative to the total weight of the active composition.

As mentioned above, at least 60% of total weight of the active composition is made of ingredients having a vapour pressure comprised between 4 Pa and 270 Pa, said vapour pressure being measured at 20°C and a pressure of 760 mmHg. The described requirement in the formulation of the active composition ensures that a relatively constant composition is maintained over the lifetime of the device and that said active composition evaporates at a relatively steady rate during the life of the product. Most preferably, at least 80% of total weight of the active composition is made of ingredients having a vapour pressure comprised between 4 Pa and 270 Pa.

In the above-mentioned preferred devices of the invention carrying a superstructure type emanator, the emitting part may comprise one or more emitting bodies in contact with each other, in general from one to four emitting bodies being used. Similarly, the wick part may comprise one or more wicks, in general from one to four wicks are used.

The emitting part contributes more than significantly to the regulation of the speed of evaporation of the active composition. Indeed, thanks to its specific absorbency, its weight per square meter of evaporative surface and optionally its evaporative surface, the emitting part is able to influence the evaporation of the active composition so that said evaporation occurs at an essentially constant rate during the lifetime of the device.

By "rate" it is meant here the amount of active composition, per unit of time, which is emitted into the surroundings during a given frame of time, or if preferred a weight loss per a given period of time. By "essentially constant rate" it is meant here a rate which can oscillate in a range comprised between approximately 80% and approximately 120% of the mean rate, preferably between 90% and 110%, during a period of at least 20 days, or even 25 days, of use of the invention's device.

As mentioned above, the emitting part has the capacity of absorbing from 0.01 g to approximately 0.1 g of active composition per square centimetre of evaporative surface, and has a weight comprised between 80 g/m2 and 1000 g/m2, relative to the evaporative surface. Moreover, said emitting part absorbs less than about 20% of the initial total weight of active volatile liquid present in the device.

Preferably said emitting part has the capacity to absorb from 0.02 g to approximately 0.08 g of active volatile liquid per square centimetre of evaporative surface, and has a weight comprised between 100 g/m2 and 500 g/m2, relative to the evaporative surface. Furthermore, said emitting part preferably absorbs less than about

15% of the initial total weight of active volatile liquid present in the device.

The emitting part can also be characterised by an evaporative surface comprised between 50 cm2 and 200 cm2. Preferably, the evaporative surface will be comprised between 100 cm2 and 150 cm2. Non-limiting examples of materials of which the emitting part can be made are cellulose derivatives, e.g. papers, moulded ceramics, sintered or porous plastics.

Preferred papers are those currently used as filter paper and having a particle retention size comprised between 3 μm and 30 μm, such as those commercially available from Whatman International Ltd., UK as Filter Paper N° 1, 3, 4 or 113. In the case of sintered or porous plastics, preferably said material will have a porous size comprised between 5 μm and 200 μm and is based on high density polyethylene, ultra high molecular weight polyethylene or polypropylene. Examples of such materials are commercially available, e.g, under the tradename Vyon® T (origin: Porvair Technology Ltd, UK). The wicking part is intended to absorb a part of the active composition and transport the latter to the emitting part, from which it can evaporate into the surrounding space of the invention's device.

The wicking part may be made of organic and inorganic materials. Examples for appropriate inorganic materials include porous porcelain materials, moulded ceramics, glass fibers, or asbestos, in combination with a suitable binder such as, for example, gypsum or bentonite. It is also possible to prepare wicks from powdered mineral materials, such as, for example, clay, talc, kieselguhr, alumina, silica or the like, singly or in combination with, for example, wood flour, carbon powder, or activated carbon, using an appropriate glue. Organic materials include felt, cotton, pulp, woven and non-woven cotton fibers, synthetic fibers, cellulose derivatives, e.g. papers, and woven and non- woven sintered or porous plastics. Preferably, the wicking part and the emitting part are made of the same material. Other details and specific examples relating to these embodiments of the invention can be found specifically in the description of prior mentioned International publication WO 2004/006968, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

The devices of the invention are preferably used in the form of airfresheners or deodorizers for cupboards and other closed environments. They may also assume the form of animal litter refreshers, linen perfuming articles and similar.

During the storage of the invention's device, the active composition is prevented from evaporating through the disclosed foil barrier or other means as exemplified further on. The device is activated by rotating the upper part thereof relative to the reservoir, in the various manners of doing this exemplified hereafter, or by otherwise puncturing the barrier by deforming the housing of the device. All these activation methods here-described are the object of the invention.

The latter shall now be described in further detail by way of the examples presented hereafter and with reference to the drawings attached.

Description of the drawings

Figures 1 to 9 represent a variety of embodiments of the easily activated devices of the invention, and the activation means and methods there-relative. Detailed description of these figures is provided in the examples.

The following examples are further illustrative of the present invention embodiments, and further demonstrate the advantages of the invention devices relative to prior art teachings.

Example 1

Figure 1 illustrates an embodiment of the device of the invention.

Figure 1 a) is an exploded view of the various components of the device, which can be assembled as described here below.

The reservoir 1 is filled with a perfume solution 2 introduced through the opening 3, the outer surface of which comprises a thread. The opening is sealed with a sealing member 4 made for example of a foil material. Before activation of the device, the perfume solution is thus completely contained in the reservoir.

The threaded opening 3 is adapted to receive a cap 5, which can either be screwed or clicked onto it, above the sealing member or part 4. The cap 5 is provided with a moulding 7 adapted to receive the emanator member 6, made of porous material, and which can be removably fitted into the moulded cap as shown in Figure 1 c). The device's housing assembly is formed of two parts hollow, cylindrical parts, both provided with vertically carved vents or openings. The inner part 8 of the housing member or assembly, provided with vents vertically carved in its surface, is assembled over the emanator member 6 and is secured in place by clicking the base thereof onto the cap 5. The outer part 9 of the housing member, forming a movable shutter equipped with vents, is snapped onto inner part 8 of the housing assembly.

A movable wick member or assembly 10 comprises a solid centre part 10a carrying a porous material part 10b. The bottom end of the movable wick 10 is formed into a pointed extremity 10c, which is located just above the sealing member 4 whilst the device is inactivated. A wick cap 1Od fits tightly onto the top end or extremity 1Oe of the movable wick member.

The movable wick assembly 10 is axially disposed in the center of the static emanator 6 in a tight manner so as to allow contact between the porous part 10b of the wick and the porous material of the emanator, but without preventing movement of the wick along the common axis when the device is activated, to allow any liquid to travel between the two parts.

As represented in Figure 1 d), the ratchets 1Of on each side of the movable wick assembly 10 click into the moulded part 11 of the cap of the reservoir and secure the movable wick assembly in place, leaving the gap 12 between the top of the wick cap 1Od and the top of the movable shutter 9. Figure 1 d) shows the assembly of the internal components of the device, before activation. When all the pieces are assembled, before activation, the device has the external appearance represented in Figure 1 b), wherein 12 represents the gap above-mentioned, the reservoir carrying a perfume or other volatile composition.

Activation of the device takes place by pressing down on the wick cap 1Od until the latter is in contact with the top of the movable shutter 9, as represented in Figure 1 f). During the activation process, the movable wick assembly slides down through the center part of the emanator member and the pointed end or extremity 10c of the wick member pierces the impermeable barrier member 4. The movable wick assembly thus comes into contact with the perfume solution 2 and the latter migrates up the porous material part 10b and onto the porous emanator 6. The perfume solution saturates the emanator and starts to evaporate into the surrounding air. The movable wick 10 is held in contact with the perfume solution 2 by the ratchets 1Of.

Figure 1 e) shows the position of the internal components once the device has been activated. Rotating the movable shutter 9 relative to the vented inner part 8 of the housing controls the exposure of the emanating member 6 to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting fragrance intensity. Figure 1 f) shows an activated fully assembled device according to the invention, wherein the vents of parts 8 and 9 coincide partially to allow evaporation of the liquid. The amount of evaporation can be controlled via the further or lesser coincidence of these vents, through rotation of part 9 of the housing assembly.

Example 2

Figure 2 illustrates another embodiment of the device of the invention. Figure 2 a) is an exploded view of the various components of the device, which can be assembled as described here below.

The reservoir 1', having a carved edge l'b on its outer surface, is filled with a perfume solution 2' introduced through the opening 3'. The opening is sealed with a perfume impermeable barrier 4', for example of a foil material. Before activation of the device, the perfume solution is thus completely contained in the reservoir.

The reservoir 1' is provided with a threaded portion l'a intended to accommodate an inner and lower moulded part or moulding 13 which can be screwed or clicked onto the top of the reservoir. An outer and upper moulded part or moulding 14 is provided with a carved recess 14a on its upper surface. The recess 14a is shaped so as to be able to accommodate the emanator member 6', made of porous material capable of being impregnated with the liquid 2'. The emanator is shaped such that its lower end fits tightly into the recess 14a, and is provided with an internal cavity 6' a able to lodge a cylindrically shaped wick member 10', formed of porous material, the latter being securely lodged in the center of the emanator so as to ensure contact between the two parts. The wick 10' has a length allowing it to extend beyond the lower part or bottom of the emanator 6' and to fit into the cylindrical cavity of wick locator member 14b carved in the upper moulding 14, as is shown in Figure 2 c). The lower end of the wick locator cavity 14b is positioned just above the barrier member 4' whilst the device is inactivated.

The upper surface of the upper moulding 14 is also provided with two slots 14c intended to accommodate the two top edges 13a of the lower moulding 13 when the device is activated. The inner part 8' of the hollow cylindrical housing assembly, equipped with openings or vents, is positioned over the emanator 67 wick 10' assembly and is secured in place by clicking its base or lower end onto the top of the upper moulding 14. The outer housing part or movable shutter 9' is snapped onto the inner housing part 8' and is also provided with vents or openings. The upper part 15 of the device, which comprises the outer moulding 14, the emanator 6', the wick 10', the inner housing part 8' and the movable shutter 9', forms one assembly.

Figure 2 b) shows this embodiment of the invention when all the parts are assembled and before activation thereof.

When the device is inactivated, the top part of the edge l'b of the reservoir 1' and the lower edge 14d of the outer moulding part 14 are aligned as shown in Figure 2 d). To activate the device, a quarter rotation of the upper part 15 is effected relative to the reservoir 1 '/inner moulding 13 assembly and this allows the two top edges 13a of the inner moulding part 13 to come in line with the two slots 14c of the outer moulding part 14. At this stage, pressing down the upper part 15 activates the device. Indeed, the top edges 13a of the inner part 13 go through the slots 14c allowing the upper part 15 to lower and cause the wick locator part 14b to move down and pierce the barrier 4', as shown in Figure 2 e) which shows the position of the internal components once the device has been activated. The wick 10' enters into contact with the fragrance solution 2', and the latter migrates up the wick and onto the emanator 6'. The perfume solution saturates the emanator and starts to evaporate into the surrounding air, the vents of the parts 8' and 9' coinciding at least partially. Figure 2 f) shows the external position of the components once the device has been activated, the outer moulding 14 shape fully espousing the shape of the reservoir's edge l'b.

Example 3

Figure 3 illustrates another embodiment of the device of the invention.

Figure 3 a) is an exploded view of the various components of the device, which can be assembled as described here below. The reservoir 1", is filled with a perfume solution 2" introduced through the opening 3". The reservoir body is moulded or worked so as to be equipped with a longitudinal recess or groove l"c carved on its outer surface and intended to lodge an activation slide 18. The shape of this groove can be any, provided that it is adapted to that of the activator slide and compatible with the function of the device.

The opening is sealed with a perfume impermeable barrier 4", for example of a foil material. Before activation of the device, the perfume solution is thus completely contained in the reservoir.

The top of the reservoir is equipped with a moulded recess l"a so shaped as to be able to accommodate the emanator member 6", made of porous material, the lower end shape of which allows it to slot into the moulded recess l"a and be held upright on top of the reservoir.

A particular feature of the emanator 6" is the elongated flat shaped central part forming the wick member 10", represented in Figure 3 a) by dotted lines when in its upright position 10"a, but which can be bent to the position 10"b to slot into a wick guiding member 16. In this embodiment of the invention the emanator and wick members are therefore part of a single structural element of the device, a sort of emanator super-structure formed in porous material able to be impregnated with the volatile liquid in the reservoir and to diffuse the latter upon activation of the device. The wick part of this super-structure is cut in the porous material so as to be moveable between the two positions cited above.

The lower end of the wick guiding member 16 slides into a complementary shaped second moulded recess l"b provided on top of the reservoir 1". As is shown in Figure 3 a), this wick guiding member has an inversed U-shape and is equipped with a groove 16a for guiding the wick part 10" of the emanator super-structure. Before activation of the device, the two extremities of the inverse U-shaped wick guiding member are located just above a knockout part or member l"d of the top of the reservoir and above the barrier 4". Upon activation of the device, they perforate said barrier upon its activation. The device comprises a housing assembly in two hollow nearly cylindrical parts, the inner part 8" and outer part 9", both provided with vents or openings, in this embodiment horizontally carved. The inner part 8" of the housing is provided with a parallelepiped shaped recess part 8"a, having a central, ovally shaped, hole 8"b carved along the recess part. The latter serves as airflow adjuster and makes it possible to control the position of the inner shutter part 8" of the housing.

The outer part 9" of the housing is equipped with a vertical groove 9" a carved along a small part of its outer surface and equipped with a longitudinal hole 9"b intended to accommodate a slide 17, making it possible to move the inner and outer parts of the housing relative to each other.

The inner slide 17 is provided with a protruding member on its inner surface able to tightly fit by pressure into the cavity 8"b of the recess 8"a, or to enter into this cavity to be fastened to the shutter 8". The moveable inner part 8" of the device's housing assembly fits inside the static outer part 9", the protruding part or member of the slide 17 fitting into the holed part 9"b of the groove 9"a so as to allow vertical movement of the inner part 8"of the housing, relative to the outer part 9" thereof. The shape of the groove 9" a, and likewise that of the recess 8" a, espouses the shape of the slide 17 and it is clear that this shape can be any provided that it allows for movement of part 8" relative to part 9" and the sliding of their respective vents relative to each other to adjust diffusion of the fragrance into the surroundings of the device. This housing assembly covers and lodges the emanator/wick assembly 6" and is tightly secured in place by clicking the lower end thereof onto the top of the reservoir 1". The outer, activation slide 18 is associated with, or connected to, the wick guiding member 16 so that, before activation of the device, the lower end or extremity of the activation slide 18 is aligned with the top of the reservoir 1" and the lower end of the housing assembly as illustrated in Figure 3 b), which shows the device assembled and before activation thereof. The wick 10" has a portion 10" a engaged into the upper part of the guiding member 16 as shown in Figure 3 a).

Pushing down the activation slide 18 concurrently moves the wick guide 16 down, breaking the knockout member l"d in the reservoir upper surface. The wick bends into position 10"b and its lower portion comes into contact with the fragrance solution 2". The latter migrates up the wick and onto the emanating surface 6" a. The perfume solution saturates the emanator and starts to evaporate into the surrounding air.

Sliding the airflow slide 17 up or down controls the exposure of the emanating part 6" to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting the intensity of fragrance diffusion. Figure 3 d) shows an activated fully assembled device.

Example 4

Figure 4 illustrates yet another embodiment of the device of the invention.

It is an exploded view, in cross-section, of the various components of the device, which can be assembled as described here below.

The reservoir 1'", is filled with a perfume solution 2'" introduced through the opening

3'".

A porous wick member 10'" is inserted through the opening 3'" and held in place by an appropriately shaped recess l'"a carved in the internal bottom surface of the reservoir. The length of the wick member is adjusted to reach an appropriate height within the reservoir allowing contact between the wick and the emanator member upon activation of the device. The opening 3'" is then sealed with a removable fragrance impermeable barrier 4'".

Before activation of the device, the perfume solution and the wick are completely contained in the reservoir.

An emanator 6'" is held by guiding prongs 8" 'a that form part of the inner vented housing 8'". The emanator and this inner part 8'" of the housing assembly are held in place by snapping the lower end of the latter onto the top of the reservoir.

Upon assembly of the various parts and when the device is inactivated, the removable barrier 4'" prevents contact between the wick 10'" and the emanator member 6'". The outer moveable part or shutter 9'" of the housing assembly is snapped over the inner housing 8'".

The device is activated by removing the barrier 4'", allowing contact between the wick and the emanator. The fragrance solution migrates up, saturates the emanator 6'" and starts evaporating into the surrounding air. The contact between the wick 10'" and the emanator is aided by a spring S that provides a downward force onto the emanator. Alternative means can be used to provide this downward force.

Rotating the movable shutter 9'" controls the exposure of the emanating part 6'" to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting fragrance diffusion intensity.

Example 5

Figure 5 illustrates yet another embodiment of the device of the invention.

Figure 5 a) shows an exploded view, in cross-section, of the various components of the device, which can be assembled as described here below.

The reservoir 21 is filled with the perfume solution 22 through the opening 23. A fragrance impermeable barrier disc 24 is sealed to the bottom of the cap 25. The cap is snapped onto the opening and fits tightly to it. Before activation of the device, the perfume solution 22 is completely contained in the reservoir 21.

The porous wick/emanator superstructure 19 is positioned coaxially within a wick locator member 20 so that the fins 19a of the emanator superstructure can protrude, upon assembly of the device's parts, through appropriate slots 20a provided in locater member 20. The latter is provided at its lower end with ribs or threads 20b.

The wick/emanator superstructure 19 is lodged inside the wick locator 20 and their assembly covered by a coaxial vented housing 26 and both are held in place by clicking the ribs 20b into the locking threads 25a (or an appropriate additional threaded piece) on the internal surface of the bottom of the cap 25. The housing 26 is inserted between the top of the reservoir 21 and the upper part 20c of the locator 20 (or a separate cap snapped onto the upper end of this wick locator member 20). The score or scored section 26a in the middle of the vented housing allows vertical deformation of this housing, provided the latter is made of deformable or flexible material. When the device is inactivated, the lower end of the wick part 19b of the emanator superstructure 19 carried by the locator 20 is lodged just above the barrier 24 and the housing 26 is uncompressed, with the slits or vents 26b being disposed in their closed position, as presented in Figure 5 b) which shows the assembled inactivated device. Activation of the latter occurs by pressing down or rotating cap part 20c of the wick locator, thus forcing the housing vents 26b to open up and, simultaneously, the wick/emanator superstructure 19 and the wick locator 20 to slide down and pierce the impermeable barrier 24. The perfume solution 22 goes through the slots 20a of the wick locator 20 and comes into contact with the wick part 19b lodged inside it. The perfume solution migrates up, saturates the emanator fins 19a and starts evaporating into the surrounding air. The wick/emanator superstructure 20 is thereafter held in contact with the perfume solution 22 by the ribs 20b. The latter were snapped or screwed into the threaded or ribbed portion 25a of the cap 25. Figure 5 c) shows an activated fully assembled device according to this embodiment.

Although not shown, adjustment means to control fragrance diffusion intensity can be incorporated into the device. Moreover, in a threaded version of the locator member 20 it is possible to somewhat inactivate a previously activated device by simply unscrewing the locator to a position wherein the wick part of the emanator superstructure no longer plunges in the liquid. Increased diffusion can be re-activated by causing the wick part to re-plunge in the liquid in a similar manner.

Example 6

Figure 6 illustrates another embodiment of the device of the invention, similar to that described in Example 5 but wherein the upper cap of the device is a separate piece and the locator member is positioned below the emanator superstructure.

Figure 6 a) shows an exploded view, in partial cross-section, of the various components of the device, which can be assembled as described here below.

The reservoir 21' intended for containing the perfume 22' is capped by a piece 25' into which engage the ribs 20'b of the locator member 20' which is inserted through the upper opening 25'b of the cap and secured in the cap by clicking the ribs into the opening. The cap is snapped onto the reservoir and provided with an opening 25' a through which the fragrance is introduced into the reservoir. This opening is sealed with a fragrance impermeable barrier 24'.

The bottom of the wick locator 20' fits tightly over the recess 21 'a at the bottom of the reservoir, ensuring a leak proof seal 27 as shown in Figure 6 b) illustrating the assembled inactivated device.

The wick/emanator superstructure 19' is coaxially inserted in the wick locator so that the fins 19' a are protrude through the slots 20' a of the wick locator. A spring 28 located above the wick/emanator superstructure, provides a downward force, ensuring contact between the bottom part of the wick 19'b and the bottom of the reservoir once the device is activated.

Before activation of the device, the wick locator prevents contact between the perfume solution and the wick/emanator superstructure 19'.

A two-part vent-equipped housing is positioned over the wick/emanator superstructure and is secured in place by clicking its inner part base onto the top of the reservoir. Its outer part or movable shutter is snapped onto into the vented inner part. An upper cap

29 is attached onto the top of the moveable housing shutter. An activation cap 30 is positioned above the spring 28 and securely attached to the top of the wick locator 20'.

The device is activated by pulling the activation cap 30 upwards, raising the wick locator 20' and breaking the leak proof seal 27 (Figure 6b)). The perfume solution goes through the slots 21'b of the recess 21'a fixed to the reservoir's bottom internal surface and comes into contact with the wick part 19'b. The perfume solution migrates up, saturates the emanator fins 19' a and starts evaporating into the surrounding air. The wick locator

20' is held in the upwards position by the ratchets 20'b. Rotating the movable shutter controls the exposure of the emanating surface 19' a to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting fragrance diffusion intensity.

Figure 6 c) shows the activated fully assembled device.

Example 7 Figure 7 a) illustrates another complete device of the invention, before activation.

Figures 7 b) and 7 c) are exploded views, in partial cross-section, of the basic configuration of the embodiment. The reservoir 31 is filled with the perfume solution 32 through the opening 33. The porous wick 34 is inserted through the opening 33 and held in place by engaging its top portion into the slot 35 of the cap 36. The cap 36 is snapped onto the opening 33.

Before activation of the device, the perfume solution 32 and the wick 34 are completely contained in the reservoir 31. The cap 37 is clicked onto the reservoir. The emanator locator member 38 is placed over the cap 37 and snapped onto the opening 33. The perfume is prevented from evaporating from the wick 34 by a wick cover 39. The emanator 40 is held upright by sliding into the slots 41 of the emanator locator 38. The inner part 42 of the vented housing is assembled over the emanating surface 40 and is secured in by clicking onto the holed part 43 provided on the cap 37. The outer part or movable shutter 44 of the housing is snapped onto the inner housing part 42. An activation slide 45 (Figure 7 c) is connected or associated to the emanator locator or supporting member 38 by any appropriate means.

The device is activated by fully rotating the activation slide 45. During the activation process, the wick cover 39 rotates, uncovering the wick 34; the emanator 40 come into contact with the wick; the fragrance solution migrating up and saturating the emanator to start evaporating into the surrounding air. The contact between the wick and the emanator is aided by a spring 46 that provides a downward force pressing the emanator 40. Alternative means can be used to provide this downward force. Rotating the movable shutter 44 allows control of the exposure of the emanating surface to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting fragrance diffusion intensity. Figure 7 d) shows an elevated view of the activated, fully assembled, device.

Example 8 Figure 8 a) illustrates another complete device of the invention, before activation, through an elevated view thereof.

Figure 8 b) is an exploded view, in partial cross-section, of the basic configuration of the various parts of this embodiment of the invention's device.

The reservoir 51 is filled with the perfume solution 52 through the opening 53. The reservoir cap 54 is snapped onto the opening.

The wick locator 55 is secured onto the holed piece 56 provided on the upper part of the cap 54. The porous wick/emanator superstructure 57 is positioned coaxially within a wick locator 55 so that the fins 57a protrude through the slots 55a of the wick locator upon assembly. A plunger 58 with a pointed end 59 is located in the centre of the wick 57b and provided with a cap 60 able to be snapped via its inner grooved part 60a onto the ratchets 61 arranged on the outer surface of the upper part of the locator member 55. The two-part housing provided with openings or vents is equipped with an inner part 62 placed over the wick/emanator superstructure 57 and attached to the reservoir cap 54 in any appropriate manner. The moveable shutter 63 is snapped on top of the inner housing part 62.

Whilst the device is inactivated, the lower ends of the plunger 58 and of the wick part 57b are located just above the knockout piece 64 at the centre of the reservoir cap. Pressing down on the plunger cap 60 activates the device shown in the elevated view presented on Figure 8 c). During the activation process, the plunger 58 and the wick/emanator assembly 57 slides down and the pointed end 59 of the plunger 58 breaks the knockout piece 64. The wick part 57b comes into contact with the perfume solution and the later migrates up the wick and onto the emanator part 57a. The wick part is held touching the bottom of the reservoir and kept in contact with the perfume solution by the engagement of the grooved zone 60a of the plunger cap with the ratchets 61 of wick locator or guiding member 55.

Rotating the movable shutter 63 allows control of the exposure of the emanating surface 57a to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting fragrance diffusion intensity. Example 9

Figure 9 a) illustrates another device of the invention.

Figure 9 a) is an exploded view, partially in cross section, of the various parts that can be assembled to form the device.

The reservoir 71 is filled with the perfume solution 72 through the opening 73. The reservoir cap 74 is snapped onto the opening 73. A flat-shaped wick locator 75 is held in place by engaging its two protruding extremities 75a into two corresponding holed pieces 76 fixed on or fastened to the upper surface of reservoir's cap. The wick/emanator superstructure 77 comprises a pointed part serving as a wick member 77a and a fin shaped part forming the emanating surface 77b and can be inserted via its pointed part into a slot 78 carved at the centre of the wick locator 75. The reservoir cap comprises a conical recess 74a (Figure 9 b)) to accommodate the pointed wick part 77a.

Whilst the device is inactivated, the conical recess 74a prevents contact between the wick/emanator superstructure 77 and the perfume solution 72. The conical recess 74a terminates with a snap off piece 74b (Figure 9 b)). When the device is assembled, this snap off piece 74b of the conical recess 74a is securely located in the reservoir recess 71a carved or moulded on the inner surface of the reservoir's bottom. The inner part 79 of the vented housing is assembled over the emanating surface superstructure 77 and is secured in by clicking onto the wick locator 55. The outer part or movable shutter 80 of the housing is snapped onto the inner housing part 79. The device is activated by twisting the upper assembly 81, formed of the two-part housing assembly, the emanating superstructure 77, the wick support or locator 75 and the reservoir's cap 74, relative to the reservoir. This causes the apex 74b of the conical recess 74a to snap off; the wick 77a to come into contact with the perfume solution and the later to migrate up the wick onto the fin-shaped emanating surface or member 77b. Rotating the movable shutter 80 allows control of the exposure of the emanating surface to the surrounding air and thereby provides a means for adjusting fragrance diffusion intensity.

Figure 9 c) shows the inactivated fully assembled device, whereas Figure 9 d) shows the activated device, both on an elevated view.

Claims

1. A device for diffusing an active volatile liquid into the surroundings, said device comprising: a) a reservoir (1) containing the active volatile liquid (2) and having an upper part equipped with an opening (3); b) means (4) located on or above the reservoir so as to prevent evaporation of the active volatile liquid prior to activation of the reservoir; c) an emanating member (6) located above the reservoir, formed of a material capable of being impregnated with said active volatile liquid and of allowing evaporation thereof into the surroundings upon activation of the device; d) a wick member or assembly (10) formed of, or carrying, a porous material part (10b) capable of being impregnated with said active volatile liquid, said wick member being lodged in the device in a position allowing it to be impregnated with the volatile liquid and to be in contact with the emanating member upon activation of the device; and e) a housing member or assembly (8 and 9) covering the emanating member, said housing member or assembly being possibly able to prevent evaporation of the active volatile before activation of the device and comprising means to allow diffusion thereof into the device's surroundings upon its activation; the emanating member (6) and/or the wick member (10) being lodged in the device in a position allowing the wick member to be in contact or to enter into contact with the active volatile liquid upon activation of the device, and to cause the emanating member to be impregnated with the active volatile liquid, said activation occurring via action of a user on the housing assembly and/or the wick/emanating assembly and without removal of either one or the other.
2. A device according to claim 1, wherein the wick member is lodged within a guiding or supporting structure disposed within the housing assembly, said wick member being fastened or attached to a moveable piece of the housing or of said guiding or supporting structure. 2
3. A device according to claim 2, wherein the wick member guiding structure is axially disposed within the housing assembly.
4. A device according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the housing assembly is in two parts, an internal part (8) and an external part (9), both being provided with openings or vents, the two parts being moveably arranged so as to be able to slide relative to each other, preferably coaxially, upon activation of the device, to allow partial or total overlap of the inner and outer vents.
5. A device according to claim 1, 2 or 4, wherein component b) is a barrier of foil hermetically fastened to the opening or another part of the reservoir, said foil being able to be perforated by the wick member (10) or a wick guiding member (14b), or otherwise displaced upon activation of the device.
6. A device according to claim 5, wherein the reservoir is covered by a cap
(5) or moulded assembly (13, 14) equipped with means (7, 14a) for securing the emanator member (6) and a structure for lodging the wick member (10).
7. A device according to claim 6, wherein the said barrier is fastened to the opening of the reservoir and the emanator and wick members are arranged coaxially and lodged within a cylindrical structure fastened to the reservoir's cap (5), the wick member
(10) being arranged so as to be able to move downwards relative to the emanator member (6), upon activation of the device, and to perforate the barrier (4).
8. A device according to claim 7, wherein the wick member is provided with a pointed end (10c) capable of perforating the barrier.
9. A device according to claim 6, wherein said moulded assembly (13, 14) carries the wick guiding member (14b) and is lodged in a movable upper part (15) of the device, such that movement of the latter allows perforation of said barrier by the wick guiding member (14b).
10. A device according to claim 5, which is provided with a slide member (17) connected to at least one of the two parts of the housing assembly and able to move one of said parts relative to the other when actuated.
11. A device according to claim 5 or 10, wherein the emanator and wick members are part of a single piece forming an emanator superstructure (6"), part of said emanator being deformable and connected to a moveable wick guiding member (16).
12. A device according to claim 4, wherein component b) is a removable barrier impermeable to the active volatile.
13. A device according to claim 12, wherein the wick member is completely lodged inside the reservoir, means being provided to force contact between the emanator and wick members upon activation of the device.
14. A device according to claim 13, wherein said forcing means are formed of a spring.
15. A device according to claim 2 or 3, comprising a deformable housing (26) and a wick guiding member (20) provided with means (20b) able to cause the wick part (19b) of the emanator structure (19) to plunge into the volatile liquid upon activation of the device.
16. A device according to claim 15, wherein said wick guiding member and the emanating structure are of a single piece and the housing comprises vents or openings (26b) and a scored part (26a) allowing diffusion of the volatile liquid upon deformation of the housing.
17. A device according to claim 1, wherein the active volatile liquid is a nonaqueous composition, at least 60% of the total weight of which is formed of ingredients 4 having a vapor pressure comprised between 4 Pa and 270 Pa.
18. A device according to claim 1 or 17, wherein said emanating member has a weight comprised between 80 and 1000 grams per square meter of evaporative surface, and an absorbency comprised between 0.01 and 0.1 grams of active volatile liquid composition per square centimetre of evaporative surface, such that, at any moment in time, during the active lifetime of the device, the amount of non-aqueous active volatile liquid adsorbed by the emanator member is less than about 20% of the initial total weight of non-aqueous active volatile liquid contained in the reservoir.
19. A device according to claim 18 wherein the emanating or evaporative surface of the emanating member is comprised between 50 cm2 and 200 cm2.
20. A device according to claim 17, wherein the non-aqueous active volatile liquid composition contains an active volatile material and optionally one or more ingredients selected from the group consisting of solvents, thickeners, anti-oxidants, dyes, bittering agents and UV inhibitors.
21. A device according to claim 20, wherein the active volatile material is selected from the group consisting of perfumes, deodorizing or sanitizing agents and insect repellents.
22. A device according to claim 20, characterised in that the amount of active volatile material is comprised between 20% and 100% of the weight of the non-aqueous active volatile liquid composition.
23. A device according to claim 18, wherein said emanator member has a weight comprised between 80 and 1000 grams per square meter of evaporative surface, and an absorbency comprised between 0.01 and 0.1 grams of active volatile liquid composition per square centimetre of evaporative surface, such that, at any moment in time, during the active lifetime of the device, the amount of non-aqueous active volatile liquid adsorbed by the emanator member is less than about 20% of the initial total weight 5 of non-aqueous active volatile liquid contained in the reservoir.
24. A method for the activation of a device according to claim 1 or 17, which comprises moving a part of the device's housing assembly and/or wick-/emanator assembly relative to the reservoir containing the active volatile, with removing either of the two.
PCT/IB2005/054147 2004-12-10 2005-12-09 A device for dispensing a volatile liquid and method for its activation WO2006061803A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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GB0427128.4 2004-12-10
GB0427128A GB0427128D0 (en) 2004-12-10 2004-12-10 Air freshener device
IBPCT/IB2005/053513 2005-10-27
IB2005053513 2005-10-27

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WO2009147330A1 (en) * 2008-06-05 2009-12-10 Sublim'air Ambience diffusion apparatus comprising a solid substrate impregnated with a fragrant substance
WO2010070576A1 (en) 2008-12-15 2010-06-24 Firmenich Sa A device for dispensing a volatile substance
ITBS20090140A1 (en) * 2009-07-27 2011-01-28 Mauro Colosio Dispensing device of a substance
WO2012033526A1 (en) * 2010-09-08 2012-03-15 S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Fragrance diffuser
US8691256B2 (en) 2008-03-19 2014-04-08 Tyratech, Inc. Pest control compositions and methods
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USD713516S1 (en) 2012-11-27 2014-09-16 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Dispenser
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WO2019129789A1 (en) * 2017-12-27 2019-07-04 Zobele Holding S.P.A. Support for volatile substance-diffusing wicks

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US8043569B2 (en) 2007-06-14 2011-10-25 Firmenich Sa Device for dispensing a volatile substance
EP2005974A1 (en) 2007-06-14 2008-12-24 Firmenich SA A device for dispensing a volatile substance
WO2008152606A1 (en) * 2007-06-14 2008-12-18 Firmenich Sa A device for dispensing a volatile substance
US8691256B2 (en) 2008-03-19 2014-04-08 Tyratech, Inc. Pest control compositions and methods
FR2932095A1 (en) * 2008-06-05 2009-12-11 Sublim Air Ambience diffusion apparatus comprising a solid support impregnated with a fragrant substance
WO2009147330A1 (en) * 2008-06-05 2009-12-10 Sublim'air Ambience diffusion apparatus comprising a solid substrate impregnated with a fragrant substance
WO2010070576A1 (en) 2008-12-15 2010-06-24 Firmenich Sa A device for dispensing a volatile substance
US8882998B2 (en) 2008-12-15 2014-11-11 Firmenich Sa Device for dispensing a volatile substance
ITBS20090140A1 (en) * 2009-07-27 2011-01-28 Mauro Colosio Dispensing device of a substance
WO2011013024A1 (en) * 2009-07-27 2011-02-03 Cms Di Colosio Mauro Dispenser device of a substance
US9610375B2 (en) 2010-05-10 2017-04-04 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Volatile material dispenser and its housing and cartridge
WO2012033526A1 (en) * 2010-09-08 2012-03-15 S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Fragrance diffuser
CN103189077A (en) * 2010-09-08 2013-07-03 约翰逊父子公司 Perfume diffuser
JP2014509889A (en) * 2011-02-09 2014-04-24 フイルメニツヒ ソシエテ アノニムFirmenich Sa Diversifier element for volatile liquid and device having a diffuser element for volatile liquid
US9278151B2 (en) 2012-11-27 2016-03-08 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Volatile material dispenser
US10010642B2 (en) 2012-11-27 2018-07-03 S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Volatile material dispenser
USD713516S1 (en) 2012-11-27 2014-09-16 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Dispenser
US9205163B2 (en) 2012-11-27 2015-12-08 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Volatile material dispenser
USD713948S1 (en) 2012-11-27 2014-09-23 S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Dispenser
US9258988B2 (en) 2013-07-16 2016-02-16 University Of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. Methods and devices for sustained release of substances
WO2015009818A1 (en) * 2013-07-16 2015-01-22 University Of Florida Research Foundation, Incorporated Methods and devices for sustained release of substances
WO2015107030A1 (en) * 2014-01-14 2015-07-23 Bericap Gmbh & Co. Kg Device for protection against leaks of scented liquid containers
WO2016000086A1 (en) * 2014-07-04 2016-01-07 Cws-Boco Supply Ag Apparatus for generating a fragrance-laden fluid stream
JP2016078935A (en) * 2014-10-22 2016-05-16 エステー株式会社 Volatilization instrument
WO2017192641A1 (en) * 2016-05-03 2017-11-09 The Procter & Gamble Company Volatile composition dispenser with guiding mechanism
ES2646757A1 (en) * 2016-06-08 2017-12-15 Zobele España, S.A. Device for diffusion of volatile substances
WO2019129789A1 (en) * 2017-12-27 2019-07-04 Zobele Holding S.P.A. Support for volatile substance-diffusing wicks

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