Essay on Psychology of Fragrance Use

7439 Words Dec 19th, 2013 30 Pages
Psychology of Fragrance Use: Perception of Individual Odor and Perfume Blends Reveals a Mechanism for Idiosyncratic Effects on Fragrance Choice
´ ´ ´ Pavlına Lenochova1, Pavla Vohnoutova1, S. Craig Roberts2, Elisabeth Oberzaucher3, Karl Grammer3, 1 ´ˇ Jan Havlıcek *
1 Department of Anthropology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 2 School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, 3 Department of Anthropology, University Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Abstract
Cross-culturally, fragrances are used to modulate body odor, but the psychology of fragrance choice has been largely overlooked. The prevalent view is that fragrances mask an individual’s body odor and improve its pleasantness. In two
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Funding: The study was supported by Grant Agency of Charles University (GAUK 55108/2008), Czech Science Foundation (GACR P407/10/1303) and Czech Ministry of Education grant 0021620843. The authors are also very grateful for a material donation provided by the Yves Rocher, Optimum Distribution CZ & SK and Fann Parfumery. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: Yves Rocher, Optimum distribution CZ & SK and Fann Parfumery provided a material donation to this study. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials, as detailed online in the guide for authors. * E-mail: jan.havlicek@fhs.cuni.cz

Introduction
Odors are highly potent in affecting various domains of human psychological functioning, ranging from perception and mood to cognitive processes and behavior. Recent studies suggest that odors could be effective even at concentrations below conscious levels. For example, subthreshold ambient ‘sweet’ odors increase pain tolerance [1], while a common detergent perfume changes spontaneous cleaning behavior [2]. Further,

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