Title:
Package for storing dryer sheets
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a carton comprising a top panel defining at least one window; and at least one dryer sheet comprising a perfume technology comprising at least one perfume microcapsule, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness, and wherein said at least one dryer sheet is located within the interior of said carton such that said indicia of freshness is visible through said at least one window.



Inventors:
Samarcq, Catherine (West Chester, OH, US)
Wagner, Julie Ann (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Morgan III, George Kavin (Hamilton, OH, US)
Abdalkhani, Ida (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/985636
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
11/16/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
229/229, 221/63
International Classes:
B65D73/00; B65D17/00; B65H1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PAGAN, JENINE MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a. a carton comprising a top panel defining at least one window; and b. at least one dryer sheet comprising a perfume technology comprising at least one perfume microcapsule, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness, and wherein said at least one dryer sheet is located within the interior of said carton such that said indicia of freshness is visible through said at least one window.

2. The package according to claim 1, wherein said indicia of freshness comprises dots, bubbles, triangles, squares, stars, flowers, lines, crescents, hearts, letters, numbers and combinations thereof.

3. The package according to claim 1, wherein said indicia of freshness comprises a water soluble ink.

4. The package according to claim 1, wherein said indicia of freshness comprises an indicia area of from about 5% to about 50% of said area of said at least one dryer sheet.

5. The package according to claim 1, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises a non-woven substrate.

6. The package according to claim 1, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an embossed substrate comprising at least one embossment.

7. The package according to claim 1, wherein said at least one perfume microcapsule is selected from the group consisting of a friable microcapsule, a moisture-activated microcapsule, a heat-activated microcapsule, and combinations thereof.

8. The package according to claim 7, wherein said moisture-activated microcapsule comprises a cyclodextrin.

9. A package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a. a carton comprising: i. a top panel defining at least one window comprising an arcoidal shape; and b. at least one dryer sheet comprising a perfume technology, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness, and wherein said at least one dryer sheet is located within the interior of said carton such that said indicia of freshness is visible through said at least one window.

10. The package according to claim 9, wherein said at least one window is selected from the group consisting of a circle, an oval, an ellipse, a crescent, a half-circle, a quarter circle, a semi-circle, a ring, a group of concentric circles, a group of concentric rings, and combinations thereof.

11. The package according to claim 9, wherein said at least one window comprises a window area from about 10% to about 40% of said top panel area.

12. The package according to claim 11, wherein said indicia of freshness comprises dots, bubbles, circular shapes, and combinations thereof.

13. The package according to claim 11, wherein said perfume technology comprises a friable microcapsule, a moisture-activated microcapsule, a heat-activated microcapsule, and combinations thereof.

14. The package according to claim 11, wherein said carton is formed of a single carton blank.

15. The package according to claim 11, wherein said at least one window comprises a clear sheet.

16. The package according to claim 15, wherein said clear sheet is selected from the group consisting of a polyethylene sheet, a polyester sheet, a cellophane sheet, and a mixture thereof.

17. The package according to claim 15, wherein said clear sheet comprises a slit wherein said at least one dryer sheet can be accessed through said slit to be extracted from said carton.

18. The package according to claim 11, wherein said top panel comprises a proximal edge and said carton further comprises a proximal panel, wherein said proximal panel is attached to said proximal edge of said top panel.

19. The package according to claim 18, wherein said proximal panel further comprising a second window.

20. The package according to claim 18, wherein said top panel and said proximal panel define a line of weakness, and said top panel defines a hinge line, wherein said hinge line and said line of weakness define a recloseable access flap pivotably attached to said top panel by said hinge line.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of packages for storing dryer sheets.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One method of applying fabric enhancers to fabrics utilizes dryer sheets impregnated with a fabric enhancer composition comprising fabric enhancer actives such as softeners, antistatic agents, and perfumes. These dryer sheets may be readily placed in the dryer with the fabrics. During drying process the fabric enhancer actives are transferred from the dryer sheets to the fabrics. Dryer sheets have generally been provided to consumers in the form of a roll or as individual folded sheets stored in recloseable cartons. Examples of known cartons include those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,577,612 to Chesson et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,310,057 to Caldwell et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,305,881 to Caldwell et al.; U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0109827 to Martin et al.,; and 2003/0224962 to Fryc et al.

Surprisingly, some of the problems associated with the proper selection and use of dryer sheets are traceable to recent attempts to provide consumers with varying types of scent experiences. Recent attempts to provide varying types of consumer scent experiences have focused on proliferation of different scent types and attempts to provide controlled scent release profiles to provide desired levels of scent during the laundering process and/or the wear/re-wear cycle. These and other attempts have been disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,196,049 to Brain et al.; and U.S. Patent Publication No. 2005/0209116 to Edelman et al.

Many consumers desire an enhanced/or and more pleasurable scent experience during the laundering process. Attempts to provide this type of consumer with their desired scent experience have had limited success in part due to the proliferation of scent types and lack of sufficient communication to the consumer of the scent experience provided in a given package of dryer sheets. Differentiation and selection of dryer sheets based on a consumer's scent experience preference is difficult due to the many types of scent types available in the store. Moreover, consumers selecting dryer sheets based on scent descriptor(s) provided on the packaging often fail to make the proper selection because the consumers often do not know what type of scent experience to expect based solely on the scent descriptor, as these are usually fictional names (i.e., Clean Breeze). Accordingly, there remains a need to provide consumers with an enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience as well as an effective way to properly communicate this type of scent experience to the consumer. The proper communication of the expected scent experience will allow consumers to select the right type of dryer sheet during the purchasing process as well as when they are in the process of laundering their fabrics at home.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the invention provides a package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a carton comprising a top panel defining at least one window; and at least one dryer sheet comprising a perfume technology comprising at least one perfume microcapsule, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness, and wherein said at least one dryer sheet is located within the interior of said carton such that said indicia of freshness is visible through said at least one window.

Another aspect of the invention provides a package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a carton comprising: a top panel defining at least one window comprising an arcoidal shape; and at least one dryer sheet comprising a perfume technology, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness, and wherein said at least one dryer sheet is located within the interior of said carton such that said indicia of freshness is visible through said at least one window.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an elevated side view of one embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows an elevated side view of another embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows an elevated side view of yet another embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows a top planar view of a carton blank in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows an elevated side view of a carton in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

It has surprisingly been found that a package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a carton comprising a top panel defining at least one window; and at least one dryer sheet comprising a perfume technology in accordance with the present invention, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness, and wherein said at least one dryer sheet is located within the interior of said carton such that said indicia of freshness is visible through said at least one window in accordance with the present invention provides the synergistic benefits of providing consumers with an enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience while properly communicating the type of scent benefit provided in the given package of dryer sheets. In one embodiment, the window comprises an arcoidal shape. In another embodiment, the perfume technology comprises at least one perfume microcapsule.

FIG. 1 shows one non-limiting embodiment of a package for storing a dryer sheet comprising: a carton 10 comprising: a top panel 20 comprising a proximal edge 30; and a proximal panel 40 connected to said top panel at said proximal edge; a line of weakness 50 formed from at least one of said top panel and said proximal panel, said line of weakness defining a recloseable access flap 60, a hinge line 70 formed from said top panel 20, said hinge line 70 pivotably attaches said recloseable access flap 60 to said top panel. Said top panel further defines a window 80 having an arcoidal shape revealing the interior of the carton 400. The package as shown in FIG. 1 further comprises at least one dryer sheet 90 stored within said carton 10, said at least one dryer sheet comprising at least one perfume microcapsule, wherein said at least one dryer sheet comprises an indicia of freshness 100. FIG. 1 further shows how said indicia of freshness is visible through said window 80. The carton 10 further comprises a distal panel 140 connected to said top panel 20 at the edge opposite the proximal edge 30. Further, the carton 10 comprises a bottom panel 150, attached to said proximal and distal panels, and opposite said top panel. On one side of the carton 10, there is a first side panel 130 attached to said top, bottom, proximal, and distal panels. Opposite this first side panel, the carton comprises a second side panel 120, attached to said top, bottom, proximal, and distal panels.

FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of the present invention, wherein said carton 10 further comprises a second window 110 defined by said proximal panel 40. In another suitable embodiment, the second window is defined by the top panel 20.

FIG. 3 shows yet another embodiment of the present invention, wherein said portion of said top panel 62 which forms said recloseable access flap 60 also forms a portion of said window 80. In this embodiment, the hinge line is formed of both the top panel as well as a portion of said window film 85. FIG. 3 also shows a second window 110 which is displaced from said portion of said proximal panel 64 which forms said recloseable access flap 60. In this embodiment, the carton contains a plurality of dryer sheets 160 which are visible through said second window 110. Further, the dryer sheet 90 further comprises at least one area of embossment 170.

FIG. 4 shows a carton blank 15 which can be used to form the carton according to at least one embodiment of the present invention. Top panel 10 is connected to said proximal panel 40 at the proximal edge 30 of said top panel. In this embodiment, the line of weakness 52 has a rounded shape. Further, a plurality of adhering flaps 200 are provided so that the carton blank when properly cut and folded forms the carton 10 of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows a carton 10 formed of a carton blank in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 shows the carton empty of any contents within the interior 400 of said carton.

1. ENHANCED AND/OR MORE PLEASURABLE SCENT EXPERIENCE

An enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience is not only limited to the scent or fragrance deposited upon the fabrics during the laundering process but also includes the experience the consumers obtain when selecting their desired fabric enhancers during the purchasing process as well as when the consumer takes the fabric enhancers home. As defined herein, an enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience means the holistic freshness or scent feeling which a consumer achieves throughout the laundering process, starting from the purchase of the laundering products, use of the laundering products, storage of the fabrics laundered by said product, and extending to the wear and/or re-wear cycle. The present invention provides a holistic approach to conveying a sense of an enhanced and/or more enjoyable scent experience to the consumer by informing them of the type of scent experience they are selecting. This enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience is shown through enhanced user scent/ freshness acceptance rates from using the present invention.

Further, the present invention allows consumers to more easily identify the type of scent experience they are searching for during the selection process, thereby saving time while shopping and helping the consumers select the proper type of dryer sheet for their laundering preferences. It is believed that providing a window to allow consumers to see the interior contents of the carton is desirable in that it allows the consumer to begin the scent experience without having to open the carton or wait till the consumer has taken the package home. By coordinating the type of scent experience with the indicia of freshness located upon the dryer sheet, the consumer can more easily determine which type of scent experience they desire. For example, in one embodiment where dryer sheet comprises a perfume technology comprising at least one microcapsule, the indicia of freshness comprises one or more dots, bubbles or other circular shapes. By coordinating the indicia of freshness to represent the perfume technology, the present invention allows consumers to more easily understand that the type of perfume technology provided within the dryer sheet. In other words, the perfume microcapsule technology is more effectively conveyed to the consumer, helping the consumer differentiate between the multitude of dryer sheets available in the market.

In one embodiment, the package further comprises a different types of dryer sheets having different types of scents and/or varying fabric softening dosages (i.e. soft vs. very soft), different indicia of freshness are used to signal different types of dryer sheets. For example, a certain color or shape can be used to indicate the type of scent or perfume technology used. The window of the present invention thereby allows the consumer to view the dryer sheets within the container and more easily select the desired sheet during the purchasing process and/or the laundering process. This reduces the amount of time the carton is in an open position, thereby decreasing any undesired fragrance loss from the carton and/or the contained dryer sheets.

2. CARTON

The package for storing dryer sheets of the present invention comprises a carton. The carton of the present invention can be in the shape of a rectangular or square box. The carton can have sharp angular edges or smoothed edges. In one embodiment the carton is formed from a single carton blank. This carton blank comprises a single sheet of carton material. Suitable carton materials include card board and or paper materials and are commonly known and used for storing dryer sheets. Depending upon the number of dryer sheets to be stored within the carton and the dryer sheet dimensions, the carton can have varying dimensions. Non-limiting examples of suitable carton dimensions are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,310,057 to Caldwell et al.

The carton of the present invention comprises a line of weakness which allows for easy opening of the carton to access the interior contents. In one embodiment, the line of weakness comprises a plurality of slits or cuts into the carton. In one embodiment, the line of weakness is formed from the top panel and the proximal panel of the carton. In another embodiment, the line of weakness is formed only of the top panel. In yet another embodiment, the line of weakness is formed only of the proximal panel. It should be understood that the line of weakness can be formed in any one or more adjacent panels such that a recloseable access flap is formed from the portion of the panel(s) which form the line of weakness.

The two ends of the line of weakness of the present invention are connected by a hinge line to forms recloseable access flap. The hinge line can be a score line or a fold line such that when the interior of the carton is accessed by accessing the line of weakness, the hinge line allows the recloseable access flap to remain attached to the carton. The hinge line further allows the recloseable access flap to be biased away from the carton such that an the interior contents of the carton can be accessed. Where the recloseable access flap is formed of more than one panel, the recloseable access flap will further have a secondary hinge line where said more than one panels touch; where the recloseable access flap is formed of the top panel and the proximal panel, the recloseable access flap further comprises a secondary hinge line where the proximal edge of the top panel meets the proximal panel.

In one embodiment, the recloseable access flap forms a hexagonal shape. In another embodiment, the recloseable access flap is in the shape of a quadrilateral, trapezoid, a pentagon, a semi-circle, semi-oval, or otherwise semi-circular shape, wherein the hinge line forms one side of the shape.

3. WINDOW

The carton of the present invention comprises a top panel defining at least one window. In one embodiment, the window comprises an arcoidal shape. As defined herein, an arcoidal shape means any shape which is curved and rounded, comprising a circle, an oval, an ellipse, a crescent, a half-circle, a quarter circle, a semi-circle, a ring, a group of concentric circles, a group of concentric rings, and combinations thereof, and so forth. Further, in one embodiment, the arcoidal shape includes any of the aforementioned shapes and portions or sections thereof. In one embodiment, where the carton comprises more than one window, the windows can have different arcoidal shapes. In another embodiment, the window comprises any suitable shape which reveals the interior of the carton, including but not limited to the arcoidal shapes disclosed herein, other geometric shapes including squares, rectangles, triangles, stars, as well as flower shapes, petal shapes, tear drops, and so forth.

In one embodiment, said at least one window comprises a window area of from about 10% to about 40% of said top panel area, alternatively from about 20% to about 30% of said top panel area. As used herein, window area means the area of the cut out portion of the carton which reveals the topmost sheet located in the interior of the carton. In one embodiment, the top panel comprise from about 100 cm2 to about 600 cm2, alternatively from about 150 cm2 to about 500 cm2, alternatively from about 250 cm2 to about 350 cm2.

Further, in one embodiment the window is from about 10 cm2 to about 100 cm2, alternatively from about 15 cm2 to about 60 cm2, alternatively from about 20 cm to about 50 cm2, and alternatively from about 25 cm2 to about 40 cm2.

Said at least one window of the present invention is designed to reveal the contents of the interior of the carton while protecting said contents from being exposed to the ambient environment prior to the carton being opened during use or re-use. In one embodiment a plastic film is laminated upon the panel or panels which define said at least one window. Suitable materials for the window include clear sheet, including but not limited to plastic films comprising polyethylene, polyester, cellophane, and mixtures thereof. As used herein, clear sheet means the contents within the carton are visible through the sheet with the naked eye; transparent and translucent sheets are included in the present clear sheet. It is suitable for the clear sheet to be laminated upon the interior facing side of the panel but it is possible to laminate the clear sheet upon the exterior facing side of the panel. In one embodiment, the clear sheet comprises a window cut out area which extends from about 5 mm to about 50 mm away from any cut line or cut edge of the carton, alternatively 10 mm to about 40 mm, alternatively 15 mm to about 30 mm. As used herein, a window cut out area means the area of the clear film which is laminated upon the panel or panels forming said at least one window or under the panel or panels forming said at least one window (being in the interior of the carton). The window cut out area is chosen such that when the clear sheet is laminated onto said panel or panels the clear sheet covers over said window cut out area. As used herein, a cut line or a cut edge means any portion of said carton which forms either an edge between the carton panel and a window or the edge of the panel.

In one embodiment, the clear sheet comprises a slit or opening which allows for access to the interior of the carton without the need to further open the carton. Suitable cartons with clear sheets comprising a slit are used with tissue cartons. In another embodiment, the clear sheet does not have a slit or any other opening.

It is believed that the carton comprising said window enhances the consumer scent experience in that the window helps the consumer appreciate the perfume technology provided in the dryer sheet contained therein. Further, the window is designed and positioned to reveal at least a portion of the indicia present upon said dryer sheet contained therein. This combination of elements is believed to cause the consumer to gain a further refreshing and holistic benefit from using the present invention during the laundering process.

In one embodiment, said at least one window is defined by at least one panel comprising said top panel. In another embodiment, said at least one window is at least partially defined by said top panel and at least partially defined by an additional panel, adjacent to said top panel, such as any of said proximal, distal, first side, or second side panels.

In yet another embodiment, the carton further comprises a second window which is separate and non-contiguous with said first window. This second window can be on said proximal panel or any other panel of the present carton, including on the top panel. Said second panel comprises a window area of from about 10% to about 40% of said panel which defines said second window, alternatively from about 20% to about 30%. For example, said second window can be on said top panel or said proximal panel.

4. DRYER SHEET

The dryer sheets of the present invention comprise a non-woven substrate and a releasably affixed fabric enhancer composition, hereinafter “fabric enhancer composition”. In one embodiment, the dryer sheet comprises a fabric enhancer loading rate of from about 0.1% to about 40% of said fabric enhancer composition by weight of said dryer sheet. Said fabric enhancer composition comprising a perfume technology and optionally one or more additional fabric enhancer actives as defined below. Further, any conventional fabric enhancer actives can be used with the present invention. In one embodiment, the fabric enhancer composition comprises from about 0.1% to about 99% of said perfume technology, alternatively from about 0.5% to about 60%, alternatively from about 1% to about 50%, alternatively from about 3% to about 40% by weight of said fabric enhancer composition. In another embodiment, the remainder of said fabric enhancer composition comprises said one or more additional fabric enhancer actives.

a. Perfume Technology

The perfume technology of the present invention comprises at least one perfume microcapsules comprising a friable perfume microcapsule, a moisture-activated perfume microcapsule and combinations thereof. In another embodiment, the perfume technology comprises a free perfume ingredient.

It is believed that the advantages of using the present perfume technology in dryer sheets includes, but are not limited to: (i) the ability to use a reduced total perfume level, e.g., in neat perfume directly added onto the dryer sheet, and/or the amount of perfume in the perfume microcapsules; (ii) avoiding cost in processing and lost perfume through processing; (iii) delivering a high level of perfume while not affecting process product disposition or process parameters or product stability or product physical properties of the fabric enhancer actives and/or the non-woven substrate; and (iv) delivering a high level of perfume to fabric while avoiding a high level of neat product odor, which can be undesirable to some consumers; (v) delivering improved fabric odor longevity performance compared to neat perfume; and (vi) delivering improved odor from fabrics under stress conditions (one example is while wearing clothing during physical activity or exercise).

The perfume ingredients of the present invention can be encapsulated into a microcapsule (as disclosed below) to form a perfume microcapsule, or can be incorporated into the fabric enhancer composition as a free perfume oil. In one embodiment, the perfume technology further comprises from about 1% to about 50% by weight of a free perfume oil, alternatively from about 5% to about 35%.

Non-limiting examples of suitable perfumes ingredients include blooming perfumes, perfume oils, and perfume raw materials comprising alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, esters, ethers, nitrites alkenes, and mixtures thereof. In one embodiment, the perfume microcapsule encapsulates a blooming perfume composition, wherein the blooming perfume composition comprises blooming perfume ingredients. Non-limiting examples of blooming perfume ingredients that may be useful in the articles of the present invention are given in U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2005/0192207 A1, published Sep. 1, 2005, åå29-31.

A non-limiting example of a suitable dryer sheets comprising a perfume microcapsule is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,425,887 to Lam et al.

b. Microcapsules

The term “microcapsule” is used herein the broadest sense and includes the encapsulation of perfume or other materials or actives in small capsules (i.e., microcapsules), typically having a diameter less than about 300 microns. In one embodiment, these microcapsules comprise a spherical hollow shell of water insoluble or at least partially water insoluble material, typically polymer material, within which the active material, such as perfume, is contained. Non-limiting examples of microcapsules are available in the following references: U.S. Patent Publ. Nos. 2003/215417 A1; 2003/216488 A1; 2003/158344 A1; 2003/165692 A1; 2004/071742 A1; 2004/071746 A1; 2004/072719 A1; 2004/072720 A1; 2003/203829 A1; 2003/195133 A1; 2004/087477 A1; 2004/0106536 A1; EP 1,393,706 A1; U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,645,479; 6,200,949; 4,882,220; 4,917,920; 4,514,461; RE 32,713; and 4,234,627.

i. Friable Microcapsule

In one embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules comprises a friable microcapsule. Friability refers to the propensity of the microcapsules to rupture or break open when subjected to direct external pressures or shear forces. For purposes of the present invention, a microcapsule is “friable” if, while attached to fabrics treated therewith, the microcapsule can be ruptured by the forces encountered when the capsule-containing fabrics are manipulated by being worn or handled (thereby releasing the contents of the capsule). In one embodiment, the perfume technology comprises from about 0.5% to about 99% of a friable microcapsule, alternatively from about 1% to about 70%, alternatively from about 2% to about 50%, alternatively from about 4% to about 30%, by weight of said fabric enhancer composition.

ii. Moisture-Activated Microcapsule

In another embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules comprises a moisture-activated microcapsule. In one embodiment, the moisture-activated microcapsule comprises a free perfume ingredients either absorbed onto or into a perfume carrier (e.g., zeolites, clays, cyclodextrins, and combinations thereof). As used herein, a moisture-activated microcapsule includes perfume ingredient absorbed into or onto a perfume carriers. In one embodiment, the perfume technology comprises a moisture-activated microcapsule comprising a cyclodextrin carrier such as beta-cyclodextrin. In one embodiment, the perfume technology comprises from about 0.5% to about 30% of a moisture-activated microcapsule, alternatively from about 1% to about 20%, alternatively from about 4% to about 15% by weight of said fabric enhancer composition.

iii. Other Microcapsules

In yet another embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules further comprises a heat-activated microcapsule. As defined herein, a heat-activated microcapsule is one that ruptures or otherwise releases the encapsulated fabric enhancer composition by body heat and/or by the heat in a machine dryer.

In yet another embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules comprises a friable microcapsule, a moisture-activated microcapsule, a heat-activated microcapsule, and combinations thereof. Non-limiting examples of additional microcapsules include wax comprising microcapsule such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,246,603 and starch-based microcapsule also described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,246,603.

iv. Preparation of Microcapsule and Microcapsule Characteristics

Microcapsules may be prepared using a range of conventional methods known to those skilled in the art for making shell capsules, such as interfacial polymerization, and polycondensation. See e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,516,941, 4,520,142, 4,528,226, 4,681,806, and 4,145,184; GB Patent No. 2,073,132; and WO Publication No. 99/17871.

In one embodiment of the invention, the shell of the microcapsule comprises an aminoplast resin. A method for forming such shell capsules includes polycondensation. Aminoplast resins are the reaction products of one or more amines with one or more aldehydes, typically formaldehyde. Non-limiting examples of suitable amines include urea, thiourea, melamine and its derivates, benzoguanamine and acetoguanamine and combinations of amines. Suitable cross-linking agents (e.g., toluene diisocyanate, divinyl benzene, butane diol diacrylate etc.) may also be used and secondary wall polymers may also be used as appropriate, e.g., anhydrides and their derivatives, particularly polymers and co-polymers of maleic anhydride as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Publ. No. 2004/0087477 A1. In another embodiment, the shell of the microcapsules comprises urea-formaldehyde; melamine-formaldehyde; or combinations thereof.

In one embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules comprises a mean diameter in the range from about 1 micrometer to about 100 microns, alternatively from about 5 microns to about 80 microns, alternatively from about 10 microns to about 75 microns, and alternatively between about 15 microns to about 50 microns. The particle size distribution can be narrow, broad or multimodal. In another embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules vary in size having a maximum diameter between about 5 microns and about 300 microns, alternatively between about 10 microns and about 200 microns. Without intending to be bound by theory, it is believed that as the microcapsule diameters approach about 300 microns, (e.g., about 250 microns), a reduction in the number of microcapsules entrained in the fabric may be observed. In another embodiment, the plurality of microcapsules comprises an average shell thickness from about 0.01 micron to about 5 microns, alternatively from about 0.02 micron to about 1 micron.

c. Additional Fabric Enhancer Actives

In one embodiment, the dryer sheet further comprises additional fabric enhancer actives. As used herein fabric enhancer active means any material that performs a function or delivers a benefit, such as modifying the physical or chemical properties of the treated material (e.g. fabric).

Suitable fabric enhancer actives include, but are not limited to: perfumes, softening agents, anti-static agents, crisping agents, water/stain repellents, stain release agents, refreshing agents, disinfecting agents, wrinkle resistant agents, wrinkle release agents, odor resistance agents, malodor control agents, abrasion resistance and protection agents, solvents, insect/pet repellents, wetting agents, UV protection agents, skin/fabric conditioning agents, skin/fabric nurturing agents, skin/fabric hydrating agents, color protection agents, dye fixatives, dye transfer inhibiting agents, silicones, preservatives and anti-microbials, fabric shrinkage-reducing agents, brighteners, hueing dyes, bleaches, chelants, antifoams, anti-scum agents, whitening agents, catalysts, cyclodextrin, zeolite, petrolatum, glycerin, triglycerides, vitamins, other skin care actives such as aloe vera, chamomile, shea butter and the like, mineral oils, and combinations thereof. In one embodiment, said one or more additional fabric enhancer actives can be encapsulated similar to the perfume microcapsule. In another embodiment, said one or more additional fabric enhancer actives are included as free ingredients present in or on the dryer sheet.

Those of skill in the art will understand that more than one type of dryer sheet can be used in accordance with the package of the present invention. In one embodiment, the package for storing dryer sheets comprises a carton containing a plurality of dryer sheets, said plurality of dryer sheets comprising a first dryer sheet comprising a first perfume technology and a first indicia, and a second dryer sheet comprising a second perfume technology and a second indicia, wherein said first and said second perfume technologies can be different, meaning for example that the first dryer sheet comprises a perfume microcapsule comprising a first perfume, and the second dryer sheet comprises a perfume microcapsule comprising a second perfume. Further said indicia of said first and said second dryer sheets can be correspondingly different such that a consumer will understand that dryer sheets having a certain indicia will provide a certain perfume technology. In another embodiment, said plurality of dryer sheets comprises a second dryer sheet comprising a fabric enhancer active other than a perfume microcapsule.

d. Embossed Substrate

In one embodiment, the dryer sheet comprises an embossed substrate comprising at least one embossment. Suitable examples of embossed substrates and methods of making are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,983,686 to Vaughn et al. In one embodiment, said at least one embossment comprises an area of embossment. It is believed that including at least one embossment on said dryer sheet further enhances and/or makes more pleasurable the consumer scent experience because the added three dimensionality of the embossed substrate conveys a sense of increased potency and/or longer lasting freshness of the dryer sheet. Further, embossed substrates are believed to allow for increased fabric enhancer composition loading rates.

5. INDICIA OF FRESHNESS

The dryer sheet of the present invention further comprises an indicia of freshness. When the dryer sheet is stored within the carton of the present invention, the indicia of freshness should be visible through the window of the carton. By revealing the indicia of freshness, it is believed that the consumer scent experience can be enhanced and/or made more pleasurable. This enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience is believed to be represented by the freshness/scent acceptance which a consumer receives when laundering their fabrics using the package of the present invention.

In one embodiment, the indicia of freshness is in the form of printed designs or patterns upon the dryer sheet. Suitable designs and or patterns include a variety of shapes comprising dots, bubbles, circular shapes, triangles, squares, stars, flowers, lines, crescents, hearts, letters, numbers and combinations thereof. The type of shape can be selected to convey the scent experience which is designed from the given type of dryer sheet provided. For example, where the dryer sheet comprises a perfume technology comprising at least one perfume microcapsule the indicia of freshness can be a plurality of dots, bubbles or other circular shapes. Where the dryer sheet further comprises a floral scent, the indicia of freshness can comprise flower or petal shapes.

In one embodiment, the indicia of freshness is printed onto the dryer sheet. In another embodiment, the indicia of freshness is printed using a flexographic printer. In yet another embodiment, the indicia of freshness is made of a water-soluble ink. Non-limiting examples of suitable methods to provide indicia of freshness upon dryer sheets are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,663,198 to Norris; U.S. Pat. No. 6,887,524 to Aouad et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 6,983,686 to Vaughn et al.

In one embodiment, the indicia of freshness comprises an indicia area of from about 5% to about 50% of said area of said at least one dryer sheet. In another embodiment, the indicia area is from about 10% to about 25% of said area of said at least one dryer sheet. Regardless of the relative size of the indicia of freshness or the relative size of the window defined by the carton, it is believed that at least a portion of said indicia of freshness should be revealed through the window.

In another embodiment, the indicia of freshness comprises an area from about 50% to about 90%, alternatively from about 60% to about 75% of said at least one dryer sheet. In yet another embodiment, the indicia of freshness comprises colors or color patterns which can be present upon the entire dryer sheet or a portion of the dryer sheet. Suitable colors or color patterns for use herein include any colors which are different from the conventional dryer sheets which are whitish in color, such as rainbows, ribbons, or tie dye patterns. Where a color or color pattern is used as the indicia of freshness, the indicia or freshness can cover the entire dryer sheet.

6. EXAMPLES

Table I—Enhanced and/or More Pleasurable Scent Experience

A three leg consumer test is conducted providing test subjects with one of three packages for a two week usage period. Test subjects are instructed to use the dryer sheets as they normally do following the wash, during the drying process using an automatic dryer. After the two week usage period, test subjects are questioned regarding their acceptance of the tested product.

Among the test subjects who show interest in scent and desire scent longevity (self 10 identified) and are accepting of the scents used for the testing the following surprising results were obtained. Table I shows that the Leg 1, in accordance with the present invention provides enhanced and/or more pleasurable scent experience compared to Leg 2, where no indicia is used, and when compared to Leg 3, where neither indicia nor a carton having a window are used.

TABLE 1
Leg 1Leg 2Leg 3
Testing conditions
Perfume: 45 mg neat perfume oilXXX
Perfume: 20 mg of a perfume inXXX
cyclodextrin
Perfume: 30 mg of a perfume in aXXX
microcapsule
Indicia of FreshnessX
Carton with WindowXX
Base size788688
Results
% of test subjects preferring tested88%76%73%
sheet to usual dryer sheet brand for
scent experience
Average ratings* provided by
test subjects to scent attributes:
Scent left on dried fabrics847673
Making the Bed716365
Noticeable Freshness while Folding878275
Leave Fabrics smelling Fresh898378
Scent lasting a long time on Fabrics827068
Provides LLF837872
Unexpected Freshness through out756761
the day
X means that the test condition is included in that Leg.
*Ratings provided individually by test subjects on a 0-100 scale (0: poor - 100: excellent). Ratings then averaged across test subjects.

Morning Dew Scent Dryer sheets comprising the perfume technology shown in the table above are used for each of said three legs. The dryer sheets of Leg 1 include indicia of freshness in the form of a plurality of dots, printed onto the dryer sheet, whereas the dryer sheets of Leg 2 and 3 do not. Further, the carton of Leg 3 does not include a window.

Morning Dew Scent Dryer sheets comprise:

    • Non woven polyester substrate impregnated with a coating comprising the following ingredients:
      • KRA: di(soft tallow oxyethyl) hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate with primary benefit being antistatic;
      • CSalt: salt of stearyl (and palmyl) dimethyl amine and hard tallow fatty acid with primary benefit being softness;
      • Perfume technology.
    • Perfume technology for Morning Dew Scent Dryer sheets:
      • 45 mg neat perfume oil;
      • 20 mg of a perfume in cyclodextrin, said cyclodextrin supplied by Wacker Chemical Corporation of Adrian, Mich.;
      • 30 mg of a perfume in a microcapsule, said microcapsule supplied by Appleton of Appleton, Wis.

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm”.

It should be understood that every maximum numerical limitation given throughout this specification includes every lower numerical limitation, as if such lower numerical limitations were expressly written herein. Every minimum numerical limitation given throughout this specification includes every higher numerical limitation, as if such higher numerical limitations were expressly written herein. Every numerical range given throughout this specification includes every narrower numerical range that falls within such broader numerical range, as if such narrower numerical ranges were all expressly written herein.

All parts, ratios, and percentages herein, in the Specification, Examples, and Claims, are by weight and all numerical limits are used with the normal degree of accuracy afforded by the art, unless otherwise specified.

Except as otherwise noted, the articles “a,”“an,” and “the” mean “one or more.”

All documents cited in the Detailed Description of the Invention are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the same term in a document incorporated by reference, the meaning or definition assigned to that term in this document shall govern.

While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.