Warm JS, Dember WN, Parasuraman R
Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, 1991
Subjects performed a visual sustained attention (vigilance) task for 40 minutes during which they received periodic 30-second whiffs of pure air or a hedonically positive fragrance, Muguet or Peppermint, through a modified oxygen mask. The former fragrance had been independently judged as relaxing, the latter as alerting. Subjects receiving either fragrance detected significantly more signals during the vigil than unscented air controls. Subjective reports of mood and workload indicated that the subjects experienced the vigilance task as stressful and demanding. However, the fragrances had no impact on the latter measures. These results provide the initial experimental evidence to indicate that fragrances can enhance signal detectability in a task demanding sustained attention, though the exact characteristics ofeffective fragrances have yet to be determined.
Warm JS, Dember WN, Parasuraman R. Effects of olfactory stimulation on performance and stress in a visual sustained attention task. J Soc Cosmet Chem. 1991;42;199-210.