Mask or Eliminate: What's The Difference?
Odor Eliminators vs Area Sprays:
Area sprays are designed to reduce the amount of "bad" scent OR improve or add a certain "temporary" scent in your immediate environment, typically a restroom, bathroom, vehicle, bedroom and so on.
I for one, like lavender in my bedroom when I fall asleep. Not to mask an unpleasant odor, I just like the smell. I know it won't last long either, and it's made of essential oil and I do not have to be worried about formaldehyde.
Air fresheners are mostly masking agents that overpower the undesired aroma that you're trying to smell less of and do not last for long. They are modifiers and they serve a purpose!
Odor eliminators work completely different. They are designed with the sole purpose of eliminating an odor. As such they must reach the source of an odor. If your car stinks of cigarettes, you would spray and eliminator into the fabric of the seats and other cloth, carpet and so on (dampening it) and let it air dry.
There should not be any lingering odor after the treatment. In my opinion, "Clean" should not smell like a rain forest or pineapple.
Spraying a few puffs into the air will not accomplish 100% of the odor elimination. It helps but you have to get to the source.
Of course, there is always the most natural way to get rid of an offensive odor. Simply clean or wash the items causing it.
Here are some links to research on the topic of deodorization: