Malodor Control

40 years of R&D in Fragrance Industry



 Here is what we can do for you.


Analyze the context

Identify the problem

Define the fragrance

Deliver adapted solutions


This is an overview of Dr. Starkenmann’s research in the malodor control. 

Human Body Odors

I have been studying malodours and Caucasian adult axillaries odor for many years. This axillary odor is made of 3 main chemicals: acids, sulfur compounds and steroids. I have discovered the sulfur compound responsible for the onion odor in human sweat. Aprocrine glands excrete compounds which don’t smell ( = odor precursors) and it is the metabolic products from the microflora on the skin which release the malodor. I discovered the precursors of the sulfur compounds and the precursors of steroids. The quality of the microflora (microbiome) is critical in malodor formation. I also demonstrated in collaboration with a team of sensory scientists and microbiologists, that two subjects excreting the same amount of precursors but with different microflora have either a strong odor or almost no odor. Together with partners in academia, I also addressed others odor questions. Human milk secretion shows several parallels to sweat production. For example, does human milk contain sweat specific substances? Does the presence of human sweat specific substances drive Anopheles gambiae mosquito (the main vector of malaria) to seek a human host?


Compounds for a controlled release of active molecules containing glucuronide of perfume alcohol. WO 2014202416

Inhibition of sweat malodor. WO 2006079934


3‐Methyl‐3‐sulfanylhexan‐1‐ol as a major descriptor for the human axilla‐sweat odour profile

Identification of the Precursor of (S)‐3‐Methyl‐3‐sulfanylhexan‐1‐ol, the Sulfury Malodour of Human Axilla Sweat

5α‐Androst‐16‐en‐3α‐ol β‐D‐Glucuronide, Precursor of 5α‐Androst‐16‐en‐3α‐ol in Human Sweat

Gender-Specific Differences between the Concentrations of Nonvolatile (R)/(S)-3-Methyl-3-Sulfanylhexan-1-Ol and (R)/(S)-3-Hydroxy-3-Methyl-Hexanoic Acid Odor Precursors in Axillary

Mapping axillary microbiota responsible for body odours using a culture-independent approach

Human sweat odour conjugates in human milk, colostrum and amniotic fluid

Behavioral response of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, to human sweat inoculated with axilla bacteria and to volatiles composing human axillary odor

 Toilet Malodors

I have been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to understand and help to control malodors from a range of sanitation systems. I conducted field research in India and some African countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Uganda where toilet malodors were sampled and analyzed. A sensory survey was organized to understand cultural perception of these malodors. As part of a multidisciplinary team, prototypes were developed to control malodors. Having access to descent sanitation should be a basic human right, but having work is necessary to break poverty. Upcycling human fecal biochar as a perfume delivery system is an example how we can add value to a waste to achieve a circular economy.



The influence of thermal reaction and microbial transformation on the odour of human urine

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of volatile constituents from latrines

Quantitative headspace analysis of selected odorants from latrines in Africa and India

Sensory survey of key compounds of toilet malodour in Switzerland, India and Africa

Use of fecal and sawdust biochar as a new perfume delivery system

Simulating latrine conditions to assess perfume performance against malodour


Use of volatile compositions to limit or eliminate perception of fecal malodor WO 2018091686

Stable bleaching composition WO 2017202763

Manufactured product diffusing volatile ingredients WO 2017140860