Effectiveness of aroma on work efficiency: lavender aroma during recesses prevents deterioration of work performance

Chem Senses. 2005 Oct;30(8):683-91. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bji061. Epub 2005 Sep 14.


The present study investigated whether exposure to aromas during recess periods affects work performance. Subjects comprised 36 healthy male students (mean age, 24.2 +/- 2.2 years) who were randomly divided into three groups: (1) control group, not exposed to aroma during recesses; (2) jasmine group, exposed to jasmine aroma during recesses; and (3) lavender group, exposed to lavender aroma during recesses. All participants completed five work sessions performing a task requiring concentration on a computer monitor, with each session lasting 60 min. Recess periods of 30 min were provided between each session. To clarify the time at which work concentration was lowest, work performance for the control group was analyzed. Concentration was lowest in the afternoon period, where afternoon drowsiness is strongest. Comparison of the three groups for this time period indicated significantly higher concentration levels for the lavender group than for the control group. No such effect was noted for the jasmine group. Although lavender is a sedative-type aroma, use during recess periods after accumulation of fatigue seems to prevent deterioration of performance in subsequent work sessions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Efficiency*
  • Humans
  • Jasminum / physiology
  • Lavandula / physiology*
  • Male
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Workload*