The effects of odor on cortisol and testosterone in healthy adults

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2007 Aug;28(4):433-7.


Objectives: This study aimed to verify the influence of odor on the endocrine system (Cortisol, Testosterone).

Material and methods: Three odors (Musk, Rose and Floral) and air were given to 16 healthy volunteers (8 males, 8 females), and cortisol (C) and testosterone (T) levels were measured before and after stimulation.

Results: Each odor decreased levels of C, indicating that odor can attenuate stress. In males, T decreased with Musk, but increased with Floral. In females, T significantly increased with Musk, but decreased with Rose and Floral.

Conclusions: These results indicate that influences on hormone levels depend on the type of odor, and sex differences exist in response to odors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Endocrine System / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Male
  • Odorants*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Testosterone
  • Hydrocortisone