Influence of room fragrance on attention, anxiety and mood

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



With a special focus on the potential benefits of widely used room scents, the aim of the present blinded study was to investigate attention, anxiety and mood in a large group of healthy people during exposure to various pleasant odours compared with the same situation in a non-odourous environment. A psychological test battery (d2 test of attention, State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory and Multidimensional Mood State Questionnaire) was applied to 200 normosmic subjects, placed in rooms with four different room fragrance conditions (rose odour; grapefruit odour; a combination of orange, lime and lemon odour; and a odourless control). After exposure, subjects were asked to rate occurrence and severity of heart problems (tachycardia/palpitations), headaches or breathing problems. Results revealed no significant effects of room fragrance on attention, anxiety and mood. Exposure to odours seemed to affect men and women differentially with men presenting unfavourable results in rose-fragranced rooms whereas they seemed positively affected by the smell of grapefruit. However, these effects could only be observed when no corrections for multiple comparisons were applied. Exposure to the fragrances was not associated with a higher incidence of physical symptoms. These results suggest that the grapefruit odour may be a more suitable room fragrance for mixed-gender groups than rose odour to reduce anxiety and to improve attention and mood.


Seiten (von - bis)24-28
FachzeitschriftFlavour and fragrance journal
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Jan. 2017

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-9713-0183/work/152546005
ORCID /0000-0003-1311-8000/work/158767602



  • cognition, mood, olfaction, room fragrance, smell