Affective aroma study by Prof.Suk

Professor Suk published an article entitled “The affective effect of odor products in relaxation and working contexts [휴식 및 집중 환경에서 방향 제품의 감성적 영향]” in the Korean Journal of Science of Emotion and Sensibility. This study investigates compared the effect of odor products on the activity of brain waves, and the electroencephalogram(EEG) was facilitated. The study revealed that a pine scent was more proper than orange scent to support the subjects to feel more calm and also to pay attention to the given cognitive tasks.


As the consumer market for odor products grows, companies producing healthcare products are beginning to pay more attention to the emotional aspect of an odor product in order to differentiate their products from competitors. In the following research, the affective effect of odor product was investigated while focusing on relaxation and working contexts using orange and pine scents, since these are typical odors in current domestic market. Two empirical studies were carried out. First, in experiment I, 18 subjects, all of whom were university students, spent 20 minutes sitting comfortably on a sofa while electrocardiogram assessments were made. After a five-minute break, in experiment II, the same subjects were provided with both arithmetic and geometric questions and their electroencephalogram readings was recorded from eight channels. All subjects participated in three sessions – no odor, an orange scent, and then a pine scent – with a minimum time interval of 24 hours. The results show that in the context of a pine scent, both the activation ratio of subjects’ parasympathetic system and those of the Sensory Motor Rhythm waves and Mid Beta waves were at the highest peak. Therefore, the pine scent helped the subjects to feel more comfortable and more focused at the same time. In other words, it gave them a state of meditated attention. In addition, it was found that the right brain was activated twice the intensity when the subjects worked through the geometric questions, whereas both sides of the brain were activated in equal magnitude during the process of arithmetic tasks. This replicates previous studies of the functional aspect of the right brain – being responsible for spatial and creative thinking.

Full text in the Korean Journal of Emotion and Sensibility