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  • Author or Editor: Eijiro Fujii x
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Hyunju Jo, Susan Rodiek, Eijiro Fujii, Yoshifumi Miyazaki, Bum-Jin Park and Seoung-Won Ann

To better understand how fragrance may enhance human health, this study examined psychophysiological responses to Japanese plum blossom fragrance. Although previous studies used essential oils or fragrance components, the present study measured the effects of floral scent naturally diffused by the plant itself to simulate the way we generally experience natural scent in everyday life. Subjects were Japanese males (n = 26), and the data collected included cerebral and autonomic nervous system activities, semantic differential (SD) scale, and profile of mood states (POMS). Exposure to the fragrance significantly activated the sympathetic nervous system and the cerebral areas related to movement, speech, and memory. SD scale and POMS results showed the fragrance evoked cheerful, exciting, and active images and changed mood states by enhancing vigor while suppressing feelings of depression. These findings indicate that contact with a floral scent such as plum blossom fragrance can improve mood states and may foster the brain functions of memory, speech, and movement, potentially leading to improvements in emotional health, depression, and memory disorders.