Alteration of Perceived Fragrance of Essential Oils in Relation to Type of Work: A Simple Screening Test for Efficacy of Aroma

Chem Senses. 1999 Aug;24(4):415-21. doi: 10.1093/chemse/24.4.415.

Abstract

The perceptional change of fragrance of essential oils is described in relation to type of work, i.e. mental work, physical work and hearing environmental (natural) sounds. The essential oils examined in this study were ylang ylang, orange, geranium, cypress, bergamot, spearmint and juniper. In evaluating change in perception of a given aroma, a sensory test was employed in which the perception of fragrance was assessed by 13 contrasting pairs of adjectives. Scores were recorded after inhaling a fragrance before and after each type of work, and the statistical significance of the change of score for 13 impression descriptors was examined by Student's t-test for each type of work. It was confirmed that inhalation of essential oil caused a different subjective perception of fragrance depending on the type of work. For example, inhalation of cypress after physical work produced a much more favorable impression than before work, in contrast to orange, which produced an unfavorable impression after physical work when compared with that before work. For mental work, inhalation of juniper seemed to create a favorable impression after work, whereas geranium and orange both produced an unfavorable impression then. From these studies, together with those conducted previously with lavender, rosemary, linalool, peppermint, marjoram, cardamom, sandalwood, basil and lime, we thus concluded that the sensory test described here might serve not only as a screening test for efficacy of aroma but also as a categorized table for aroma samples which can act as a reference to each other.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Odorants*
  • Oils, Volatile*
  • Perception*
  • Smell / physiology*

Substances

  • Oils, Volatile