This Little Plastic Clip Serves as a Mini Aromatherapy Diffuser for Your Mask

ScentClip, created by Penn Medicine anesthesiologist Mark-Alan Pizzini, is here to make mask-wearing a little more pleasant.


ScentClip, a clip-on aromatherapy device for face masks, was designed for doctors but can be used by all. Photograph courtesy ScentClip.

Five years ago, Dr. Mark-Alan Pizzini, anesthesiologist and head of perio-operative services at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, noticed that during surgeries, the operating staff around him would smear mint lidocaine ointment into their surgical masks in order to conceal unpleasant smells. The problem? Lidocaine is a local anesthetic, and their lips ended up numb.

Around the same time, Pizzini witnessed how nurses on the floor started utilizing essential oils before and after surgery to help patients relax and reduce their nausea and anxiety. Pizzini says these two factors inspired him to create a product that would not only make wearing a mask more enjoyable — particularly to the olfactory system — but promote the wellness benefits of aromatherapy. He spent the next several years researching, designing, prototyping, and modifying to create ScentClip, a clip-on aromatherapy device that enhances your mask-wearing experience with fragrances from essential oils.

While ScentClip was inspired by medical professionals, now that the pandemic has made masks ubiquitous accessories, it’s a product anyone can use.  The clip can be affixed to nearly any mask and will last up to three weeks. Plus, the formulas used are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, and the product itself sustainable, as it is made with recyclable plastic.

Using ScentClip is simple. For those wearing fit-tested N95 and KN95 masks in healthcare or high-risk settings, place the sealed clip in your mask, and re-fit to ensure the mask is fully sealed. If your mask is not fit-tested, the clip can simply be attached to your mask, as the device has a “minimal effect on the mask perimeter,” according to Pizzini. To sanitize, wipe the external plastic with a disinfectant and small towel, while avoiding the internal scent well. And like face coverings themselves, be sure to wear your ScentClip on your own mask only — avoid sharing with others.


ScentClip lasts up to three weeks, and it’s made of recyclable plastic. Photograph courtesy ScentClip.

As for the fragrances, ScentClip currently offers periwinkle lavender (made from lavender oil) and apple orchard (made from eucalyptus and lemon oils). Pizzini chose these essential oils for their natural therapeutic qualities. Lavender oil has been found to reduce anxiety, eucalyptus oil can work as a cough suppressant and natural decongestant, and lemon oil is said to boost your mood and concentration.

Pizzini says he never imagined ScentClip’s official launch would happen during a global pandemic, and that masks would be part of our new normal. During an era of so much unknown and subsequent stress, he believes ScentClip can help reduce negative emotions and make mask-wearing a more pleasant experience for adults and children. “The overall goal is to help more people keep calm and keep their masks on,” Pizzini says.

You can purchase ScentClip as a pack of four ($12.95), a pack of 12 ($49.95), or a box of 100 ($350) here.