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Fragrance is a major component in many personal products, influencing their acceptability and, in some cases, their perceived efficacy. Despite claims that certain fragrances can relax or energize, there is surprisingly little scientific evidence in support of direct, physiological effects of fragrances. Rather, recent research suggests that psychological factors, such as personal experience, expectations, and the surrounding context may be among the most important factors that determine how a fragrance is perceived.
j. Cosmet. Sci., 51,141-151 (March/April 2000)
Fragrance perception: From the nose to the brain
PAMELA DALTON, Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market
Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Accepted for publication February 15, 2000. Presented to the New York
Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, November 4, 1998.
Fragrance is a major component in many personal products, influencing their acceptability and, in some
cases, their perceived efficacy. Despite claims that certain fragrances can relax or energize, there is surpris-
ingly little scientific evidence in support of direct, physiological effects of fragrances. Rather, recent research
suggests that psychological factors, such as personal experience, expectations, and the surrounding context
may be among the most important factors that determine how a fragrance is perceived.
Among humans, the ability to perceive volatile chemicals through our sense of smell is
often considered to be far less important than perception via other sensory modalities
such as sight or sound. In stark contrast to this view, considerable scientific, anthropo-
logic, and economic evidence exists to suggest that stimulation of olfaction through the
perception of environmental volatiles, fragrance materials, or scented products is of
paramount importance to humans. Odor perception provides information that guides
our responses to the environments in which we live (1) and the individuals we encounter.
At a commercial level, the significance of our response to olfactory stimulation is
illustrated by the fact that the fragrance industry is a multibillion dollar industry that
supplies products to scent shampoo, deodorants, tissues, soaps of all types, hand creams,
leather products, toys, air fresheners, cleaning products, and many other commodities.
In many commercial contexts, the addition of fragrance can serve a primary or secondary
purpose. For example, in some applications, such as air fresheners or perfumes, the
delivery of a pleasing scent (and the masking of an unpleasant one) is often the primary
function of fragrance. In other products, such as shampoos, lotions or soap, both the
immediate and lingering scent provides a secondary dimension that, in addition to its
hedonic impact, can also serve to reinforce perception of the product's purpose and
From an anthropological perspective, the meaning and significance of odors in everyday
human experience has historically been quite varied. Prior to the discovery of germ
theory, for example, unpleasant odors were deemed to be carriers of disease and good
odors were viewed as potentially curative, or at least protective (2,3). For example, the
habit of perfuming gloves and handkerchiefs seems to have originated as a way of
protecting the wearer from the foul and "disease producing" smells permeating Europe
during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In an attempt to protect his troops from
airborne disease, Napoleon commissioned a "bad smell map" of Egypt to guide their
movements in the early nineteenth century (4). We should, perhaps, not find it sur-
prising that many of these attitudes and beliefs still exist, being embodied in reactions
to odors that range from concerns about becoming sick from exposure to environmental
odors (5,6) to attempts to be healed through exposure to natural aromas (7,8).
Some of the most extreme claims for the positive benefits of fragrance derive from the
field of aromatherapy. The resurgence of interest in the use of essential oils and volatiles
highlights the persistence of the belief that certain fragrances have beneficial effects on
health, mood, and mental well-being (7-10). Although anecdotal experience informs us
that exposure to fragrances that we like or fragrances that are associated with happy
memories or favored individuals can elevate our mood, aromatherapy's claims go beyond
such second-order associative or placebo effects of fragrance. Aromatherapists contend
that positive benefits are derived from the actual properties and characteristics of these
derivatives, which are active, independently therapeutic agents (11). As might be ex-
pected, this assertion has provoked considerable controversy between aromatherapists
and the scientific and medical establishment. Although inhalation or dermal absorption
of lipophilic compounds can introduce these chemicals into the bloodstream, many
scientists believe that the amounts that will be absorbed in these applications are not
physiologically significant doses and, thus, that any systemic effects (positive or nega-
tive) from inhaled or absorbed oils are negligible. Unfortunately, there is little in the
way of scientific evidence to support or refute this idea. However, it is equally plausible
that the effects of scent can exert powerful effects on mood and well-being through
psychological mechanisms alone, and in this domain, there is considerable scientific
research to inform us.
Correlated with the increased interest in aromatherapy and other therapeutic uses of
fragrance is a proliferation in the number of scientific studies of odor perception in
humans and the impact of odors on mood, memory, and perceived well-being. Between
1990 and the present, MedLine (the National Library of Medicihe's [NLM] premier
bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary
medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences) lists more than 650
published, scientific articles on the subject of human oilaction, suggesting that there
have been considerable scientific advances in our understanding of both the mechanism
and function of the human olfactory system and the effect of odors on mood, mental
state, or performance. Among these references, however, there are no studies that provide
unequivocal evidence that exposure to specific fragrance materials at concentrations that
are commonly encountered in perfumes or scented products produces measurable direct
effects (positive or negative) on human health or well-being. Instead, much of the
evidence suggests that the first, and perhaps the foremost, impact of fragrance is through
the conscious perception of odor. Because our ability to perceive odors has an indisput-
able influence on our willingness to use or shun certain products or to linger in or avoid
certain environments, effective commercial use of fragrances can benefit from an under-
standing of the myriad factors that contribute to or determine individual sensitivity and
hedonic responses to odor. One aim of basic research in olfaction is to identify and
describe the sources of variation in odor perception, which can lead to a more complete
understanding of the many factors that determine our perception of fragrance. The
following sections provide a review of the current psychological perspectives on the way
odors are processed and the factors that contribute to the variation in odor experience,
at both the neural and psychological levels.
Because the perception of volatile chemicals is such an evolutionarily ancient and ru-
dimentary sensory system, it is tempting to think that what we perceive and how we
interpret the resulting olfactory sensation occur without much involvement from higher-
level cognitive or emotional processes. Similarly, any observed variation in ability to
perceive an odor or in its impact has typically been ascribed to biological factors such as
genes, age, or disease. However, as anyone who has failed to recognize the identity of an
odor until locating its source can attest, olfactory perception, like perception in other
sensory systems, is determined not just by the sensory properties of a fragrance, but by
information that the stimulus activates in memory, our current expectations, or even our
affective or emotional state. Thus, it is appropriate to examine the variation induced
both by biological and psychological mechanisms.
It is widely recognized in the fragrance industry and, to a lesser extent, among the
general public, that individuals can vary dramatically in their sensitivity to odors. This
variation is partly due to a number of predisposing factors. For example, the sensory
world of the older adult is often distinguished by a marked decrement in the detect-
ability or intensity of many odors (12,13), although there is evidence to suggest that the
decrease in sensitivity may not be uniform across all odorants (14) (see Figure 1). In
addition, genetic differences among individuals appear to account for a significant
amount of olfactory variability. The most dramatic manifestation of genetic influences
on olfaction is the inability of some people to smell a specific odorant or class of odorants,
known as specific anosmia (15,16). The most well-known of the selective anosmias in-
volves the perception of the steroid, 5ot-androst-16-en-3-one (androstenone). It is esti-
mated that approximately 40-50% of individuals worldwide cannot smell androstenone
at any concentration; among those who can smell it, however, a majority report it as
having a urinous, sweaty odor (15).
Although it is believed that specific anosmia is a common occurrence among individuals
with normal olfactory function, there is only limited information on the range and
diversity of odorants that cannot be smelled by one or more individuals with otherwise
normal olfactory function (16,17). Most people's specific anosmias probably go uniden-
¸ Female Male
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60 90
•, 50 •A• •ROS, TE• N?N•t 85 •AMYL AC•ETtAT•E , ,
40 i i i
[J'] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 80
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
O 90
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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Figure 1. Variation in olfactory function across the lifespan, as measured by odor identification ability for
six odorants from the National Geographic Smell Survey. After C.J. Wysocki and A. N. Gilbert (14).
titled, because the majority of real-world odor experiences rarely involve smelling a
single odorant. Nonetheless, an individual's specific anosmia has the potential to influ-
ence the perception of fragranced products because the inability to smell one or more
fragrances can greatly alter the overall intensity and quality of a complex fragrance (18).
Manufacturers of fragranced products such as lotions, perfumes, and air fresheners fre-
quently hear complaints that the perception of the fragrance in their product fades in a
remarkably short time. Although the consumer may suspect that the product fragrance
is less long-lasting than the manufacturer claims, the simple truth is that continued or
repeated exposure to any odor stimulus will result in a decrease in the perceived intensity
and detectability of that odor--a normal sensory process known as "olfactory adaptation"
(and sometimes referred to as "odor fatigue").
Odor adaptation is a common occurrence in natural environments when individuals who
work or live in odorous contexts cease to smell odors that are readily perceived by new
visitors. This decrease in odor perception does not appear to be due simply to a decrease
in the amount of attention paid to a familiar fragrance (although that may certainly play
a role), but appears to reflect specific, often persistent, changes in sensitivity and re-
sponse to the odorant that may be occurring both at the level of the olfactory receptors
as well as in higher cortical structures in the brain. Studies of individuals who are
occupationally exposed to a chemical have shown that workers exposed to acetone or
styrene have significantly higher detection thresholds for those chemicals, respectively,
than do non-exposed controls but show no difference in their sensitivity to another
chemical to which neither group is exposed (19,20).
Consistent with anecdotal observations, long-term adaptation has also been documented
following exposure to "air-freshener" type odors in the home. Participants whose bed-
rooms were continuously odorized with either isobornyl acetate or citralva for a two-
week period showed a marked decrease in sensitivity to this odor, but an increased
sensitivity to a control odor (see Figure 2). These results suggest that individuals who
regularly use the same scented products can experience long-lasting changes in the
perception of those fragrances that can alter both their olfactory experience and use of the
product. Of course, individuals such as perfumers or fragrance evaluators whose profes-
sions require them to maintain sensitivity to fragrances even as they sniff and sample
them regularly often limit their exposure duration in order to minimize the effect of
adaptation on their sensory systems.
Paradoxically, brief, repetitive exposures can also increase sensitivity to an odorant, as is
often experienced by individuals like perfumers or flavorists who find themselves able to
detect ever-lower concentrations of volatiles with continued experience. Although the
phenomenon of sensitization has been less well-studied than its counterpart, adaptation,
there is experimental evidence of increased sensitivity following certain types of odor
exposure. For example, some individuals who were anosmic to the volatile steroid
androstenone could be induced to smell androstenone following repeated exposure to its
odor (21,22). And among individuals who were already able to smell an odorant,
repeated testing at threshold frequently led to a lowering of the olfactory threshold for
the target odorant (23,24).
ß Adapting Odorant
[] Control Odorant
bl b2 al a2 rl r2
Test Session
Figure 2. The effect of long-term exposure to an odorant on sensitivity as measured by olfactory thresholds.
Ten subjects were exposed for two weeks in their home to a single odorant: half were exposed to isobornyl
acetate (IBA) and half to citralva (C); at weekly intervals they were given threshold tests for their adapting
odorant (IBA or C) and a control odorant (the alternate odor). bl and b2 refer to baseline tests, prior to
odorant exposure; al and a2 refer to tests during adaptation phase, and rl and r2 refer to tests following
removal of the odorant from their home (recovery). Thresholds were significantly elevated to the exposure
odorant, but not to the control odorant. Reprinted, by permission, from reference (24).
Anthropologists have observed that people of different cultures "inhabit different sensory
worlds" (25-28). Thus, it is not surprising that cultural-specific experience can evoke
different patterns of cognitive and emotional experience of an odor, and together, play
a role in one's odor perception. Indeed, the available studies suggest that odor familiarity
and dietary habits can influence both the identifiability and the perceived pleasantness
of an odor. For example, more than 90% of American subjects (regardless of their ethnic
background) correctly identified the odors of lemon and cherry (29), but only 23% of
Taiwanese subjects correctly identified lemon odor (30) and only 65% of Japanese
subjects correctly identified cherry odor (29). In addition, odors familiar to the Japanese
(e.g., India ink, dried fish, roasted tea) were rated as more pleasant by Japanese than by
German subjects (31). Conversely, odors familiar to the Germans (e.g., Catholic church
incense, anise, almond) were rated more pleasant by Germans than by Japanese subjects.
Results from the 1986 National Geographic Smell Survey showed that a significantly
larger number of Asians from Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand said that they would eat
something that smelled like mercaptan (an unpleasant rotten-egg smelling odor) than
did the Caucasian respondents from those same countries (32), perhaps reflecting the
prevalence of fermented foods in Asian diets.
Odor familiarity may even influence the perceived intensity of an odor. For example,
Japanese subjects perceived a familiar Japanese food odor, dried fish, as much less intense
than did German subjects (31). Thus, just as culture-specific experience can account for
some of the variation in both the sensory and hedonic response to odors, it can also play
a major role in judgments of preference and appropriateness of fragrances for specific
Although any odor sensation is based, in part, on properties inherent in the chemical
stimulus (e.g., concentration, quality), it can also be influenced by the mental set or
expectations that we bring to any situation where odors are present. Odor detectability,
perceived intensity, and even quality are meaningfully influenced by a variety of dif-
ferent types of "top-down" information that can color the sensory information available
from the odorant stimulus itself. For example, Knasko and colleagues (33) have shown
that describing an aerosol application of deionized water as either a pleasant or unpleas-
ant odorous substance produced reports of odor experience and mood effects that were
congruent with the given hedonic characterization. And, in several studies that exam-
ined more indirect influences of expectation on odor perception, adding color to an
odorous solution increased the likelihood that an individual reported detecting the odor
(34) and increased the perceived odor intensity (35).
In a clear demonstration of the malleability of odor experience, Dalton and colleagues
(36-38) have conducted a series of studies examining how information about the source
and consequences of exposure to a volatile chemical influenced people's sensory and
somatic response to an odor. In the basic paradigm, individuals were exposed in a
chamber to a steady-state concentration of an odorant and were asked to rate the
perceived intensity of odor and any sensory irritation (i.e., to eyes, nose, and throat) at
regular intervals during exposure. Although all subjects were exposed to the same
chemical, different groups were given different characterizing information about the
odorant to which they would be exposed. Subjects assigned to a positive-bias condition
were told that the odorant was a natural extract. In contrast, those assigned to a
negative-bias condition were told that the odorant was an industrial chemical, while
those assigned to a neutral-bias condition were given no characterizing information
about the odorant. Perceived odor and irritation ratings were measured during exposure,
and reports of health symptoms were obtained following exposure. In all cases, infor-
mation provided to the subjects greatly influenced their reported odor experience during
and following exposure (see Figure 3). Specifically, individuals exposed to the odorant
under a "positive" expectation exhibited the most adaptation to odor and the lowest
perceived irritation; following exposure they reported the fewest health symptoms. In
contrast, individuals given the negative expectation rated higher levels of odor intensity
and reported the most overall irritation; following exposure they reported significantly
more health symptoms than the other groups. Similar results were observed when the
ß 40
ß lO
--O-- Neutral
•--EI-- Positive
--•- Negative
5 10 15 20
5 10 15 20
-- VS
Exposure Duration
Figure 3. Average intensity ratings of the perceived odor and irritation of a 20-minute chamber exposure
to methyl salicylate (wintergreen) for participants given a positive, neutral, or negative bias about the nature
of the odorant. Reprinted, by permission, from reference (36).
characterizing information was conveyed by the behavior, symptoms, and verbal reports
of a "confederate" subject (an actor whose positive, negative, or neutral verbalizations
and symptom reports were scripted) (39).
These results suggest that odor experience may be particularly prone to the influence of
extrasensory factors, such as expectations and the emotional states and vigilance induced
by such expectations. Moreover, based on the studies reviewed here, responses to odors
appear to depend strongly on context and, accordingly, will vary among different in-
dividuals and across time within the same individuals as a function of how odor infor-
mation is interpreted through different cognitive and emotional filters.
Given the wide variety of factors that appear to influence individual sensitivity and
hedonic responses to any odorant, one may be left to wonder whether it is possible to
utilize fragrance in any systematic fashion or whether the variation in response to a select
group of odorants will render the perception and response to these fragrances hopelessly
idiosyncratic. Clearly, as more research is conducted on fundamental mechanisms in
olfaction and sources of variation in odor perception, better information will be available
to guide the systematic use of fragrances. In the meantime, there is considerable evidence
from extant olfactory research to indicate that fragrance is a powerful tool to elicit
hedonic reactions (both positive and negative) and different mood states (40,41), and
that perhaps through mood induction, specific odors can become associated with a
particular environment or emotional state (42). The association of odors with emotional
states through conditioning may well be one of the most potent methods to endow
specific odors with the ability to promote relaxation and health benefits (43•47).
Exposure can also significantly modify the sensory and affective response to a fragrance,
although the specific direction of the effect will depend greatly on the duration and
frequency of the exposure and the other stimuli that are present at the time of exposure
Moreover, although there can be substantial variation across different cultures or ethnic
groups, within a particular culture or age-group there can be considerable agreement
over what odor sensation constitutes a "clean" smell or a "calming" smell, owing perhaps
to the homogeneity of lifestyles and experiences that promote associations with odors
(31,49). Thus, following a careful evaluation of the target audience, the appropriate
fragrances and their optimal intensities can be selected for many different commercial
Despite the popular perception that olfactory sensation and information is of limited
importance to humans, who rely heavily on sight and sound, there is considerable
evidence that multiple facets of human experience and behavior are impacted, both
positively and negatively, by our ability to perceive odors and fragrances. This ability can
warn us of possible airborne chemical hazards (50), orient us to food sources, and allow
us to recognize kin or other close relationships (51). Perhaps most significantly, olfactory
sensations can rapidly and dramatically alter mood (40,52) and anxiety (46). This
proclivity for impacting affectlye responses has served as a powerful argument for in-
corporating olfactory cues into many products or environments.
All of these applications can benefit greatly from an increased understanding of the
determinants of human odor perception and response. What should emerge clearly from
this review is that psychological mechanisms are as important as biological mechanisms
for understanding and predicting the human response to olfactory sensations. Moreover,
psychological determinants of odor perception appear to hold greater promise for modi-
fying olfactory experiences to address the variability found across different individuals
and cultures than do biological determinants. Fragrance research and development that
acknowledges and pursues both mechanisms will undoubtedly profit from this insight.
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... Sensory evaluation can intuitively show the quality of wine [51,52]. There are three main parts in wine sensory analysis, including the visual perceptions, the olfactory sensations, and the taste [53][54][55]. The senses of olfactory, taste and mouth feel are related to the specific chemical composition of wine. ...
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In order to solve the problem of premature grape ripening due to global warming, inter-row peanut growing in viticulture was applied. In this two-year (2018–2019) study, the peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) was used to cover the ground between rows in the vineyards located in the semi-arid Northwest China, Xinjiang. The results showed that reflected solar radiation and temperature around the fruit zone with the peanuts growing were decreased. Compared with clean tillage, the grapes with covering peanuts had lower total soluble solids (TSS) and higher titratable acidity (TA) in the berries. Lower alcohol content and higher total acid (TA) was also found in their corresponding wines. Inter-row peanut growing treatment significantly decreased the contents of flavonols in the grapes and their wines in the two consecutive years, but no significant effect on flavanols was observed in the resulting wines. Norisoprenoids and esters in the grapes and the wines were increased with the peanut growing treatment, respectively. Additionally, compared to clean tillage, the peanut covering significantly improved the sensory value of the wines, especially the aroma complexity of the wines. This study helps us to better understand the feasibility of applying inter-row peanut growing in the viticulture of ground management in the semi-arid climate of Northwest China.
... Disturbance in daily routine activity like brushing, bathing, eating, drinking [2,3]. The Alzheimer association report states that in the USA approximately 5.5 millions people live with Alzheimer originated dementia & is considered as a 6th leading cause of death of older adults in USA [4]. Only in the USA, the total cost of AD treatment is approximately $259 billions which expected to rise by 1 trillion by 2050.The drugs used for the treatment of AD remain divided into two categories, one is symptomatic (cures the symptoms of disease) like rivastigmine, galantamine, donepecil (AchE inhibitor) while the other one remains targeted [5]. ...
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Nose to Brain drug delivery is very important drug delivery to enter drug molecule inside of brain. There are various severe disease like Parkinson disease, Alzheimer, depression and many more disease associated with brain it can be easily recover with the nasal route. Different type of nerve present in the nasal cavity which absorb the drug and hence easily enter into the brain. There are various barrier for other drug delivery system like BBB, Hydrophilicity of drug as a result very less amount of drug reach into the target site. In case of nasal route absence of BBB therefore molecule easily enter into brain site.
... A concentration of essential oils was used that would not induce dysfunction (e.g., headache or coughing) during the preliminary test. Several factors, including gender and personal experience (Dalton 2000;Brand and Millot 2001), can influence the perception for aroma. Therefore, such factors might influence the subjective evaluation in the present experiment. ...
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The wood of the Cupressaceae conifer family is widely used for many purposes, such as the structural and interior elements of buildings. Several studies have reported the effects of the Cupressaceae wood odor on humans. However, only a few studies have investigated the effects of the volatile compounds on psychophysiological responses in an indoor environment. In this study, the psychophysiological effects following the inhalation of volatile essential oils from the Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) and Sawara cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) woods were evaluated. Levels of salivary stress markers were used to determine the study participants’ endocrinological responses as well as the changes in their autonomic nervous systems during the experimental period. A questionnaire survey was also conducted to assess the perceptions of the odors in the experimental rooms and the participants’ psychological states. It was found that olfactory stimulation with volatile compounds from the essential oil of the Hinoki cypress wood increased salivary dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels in the rest period following stressful work. Sympathetic nervous activity levels were lower, and parasympathetic nervous activity levels were higher immediately following stressful work. A similar tendency was observed with exposure to the essential oil of the Sawara cypress wood. These observations suggest that an environment with the Hinoki or Sawara cypress wood odor may be useful in promoting physiological relaxation following stressful work.
... In a more cognitively-oriented study, [43] researchers asked whether minerality in wine is a sensorial reality or primarily a mental construct. That is, they asked whether their 63 experienced tasters (wine professionals) were perceiving something in wine via data-driven perception, evoking memories of soils, earthy notes, stones, and so forth, or whether their judgments of mineral character in the wines were primarily based on information already stored in the taster's head, the latter known as top-down information processing [52]. Arguing that consensus across tasters from different cultures in their qualitative, perceived minerality judgments would most likely indicate data-driven cognitive processing (i.e., judgments based on actual tasting of the wines, rather than on top-down cognitive processing), Parr and colleagues [43] asked French and NZ wine professionals to judge intensity of a range of wine attributes including minerality. ...
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Tasting minerality in wine is highly fashionable, but it is unclear what this involves. The present review outlines published work concerning how minerality in wine is perceived and conceptualised by wine professionals and consumers. Studies investigating physico-chemical sources of perceived minerality in wine are reviewed also. Unusually, for a wine sensory descriptor, the term frequently is taken to imply a genesis: the sensation is the taste of minerals in the wine that were transported through the vine from the vineyard rocks and soils. Recent studies exploring tasters’ definitions of minerality in wine support this notion. However, there are reasons why this cannot be. First, minerals in wine are nutrient elements that are related distantly only to vineyard geological minerals. Second, mineral nutrients in wine normally have minuscule concentrations and generally lack flavour. Results of reviewed studies overall demonstrate marked variability in both wine professionals’ and wine consumers’ definitions and sensory-based judgments of minerality in wine, although there is some consensus in terms of the other wine attributes that associate with the term mineral. The main wine composition predictors of perceived minerality involve a complex combination of organic compounds dependent on grape ripeness and/or derived from wine fermentations and redox status.
... Dalton, 2000Fedrizzi et al., 2010Mateo-Vivaracho et al., 2010Murat et al., 2001Parr et al., 2006Santosa et al., 2010 ...
The study aimed to determine the relationship between perceived mineral character in wine and wine chemical composition. We investigated sensory properties and chemical composition of Sauvignon blanc wines from two major Sauvignon-producing countries, New Zealand and France. Sensory experiments employing 16 wines (8 French; 8 New Zealand) were conducted in Marlborough, New Zealand and in three regions of France, namely Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Sancerre/Loire region. Wine professionals (31 New Zealanders and 32 French professionals) characterised sensorially the 16 wines under three conditions, bouquet only (ortho-nasal olfaction), palate only (Nose-clip condition), and full tasting (Global condition: ortho-nasal olfaction, retronasal olfaction, taste, trigeminal stimulation). Sensory data from the Global condition only are reported in this article. Physical and chemical analyses conducted on all wines included wine standard parameters, elemental composition, volatile aroma composition, and measures of organic acids. Major results demonstrate that (i) on average French and New Zealand wines were perceived similarly in intensity of mineral character, although judgments to individual wines differed as a function of participant culture; (ii) French and NZ participants drew on different information to make their sensory judgments; and (iii) several aspects of wine composition associated positively with perception of mineral character while others associated negatively, the significant associations differing as a function of participant culture.
... When a wider range of food and beverage products is considered, domain-specific expertise has been shown to influence both hedonics (i.e. liking) (Distel et al. 1999) and intensity judgments (Dalton 2000). Hence, it is conceivable that perceived complexity in wine could be influenced by participant expertise. ...
Background and AimsComplexity is a multidimensional and poorly defined term that is frequently employed to characterise wine sensorially. The present study aimed to investigate the sensorial nature of perceived complexity in wine as a function of domain-specific expertise.Methods and ResultsEighty-seven French participants (16 wine professionals, 30 connoisseurs and 41 wine consumers) evaluated 13 Sauvignon Blanc wines. The wines were produced in New Zealand as part of a project aimed at increasing perceived complexity in Sauvignon wines. Participants evaluated the wines by free sorting and by judging complexity via a questionnaire. Sorting behaviour across groups was similar qualitatively, but significant differences were observed in variability between wine professionals and consumers. Complexity questionnaire data showed differences in ratings as a function of both participant expertise and wine.Conclusions The results are more in keeping with theories that perceived complexity is associated with aspects of harmony and wine balance, rather than with perceptual separability of wine components.Significance of the StudyThe current work reports innovative methodology and new information that furthers the field of sensory science, and specifically investigation of complexity in wine.
... The descriptive rating task involved participants rating intensity of selected, specific Sauvignon characteristics. Analytical tasks such as rating intensity of specific characteristics (e.g., passionfruit aroma; astringency ) are considered relatively data-driven (e.g., Dalton, 2000), encouraging a participant to focus on a specific property of the wine. An assumption underlying the method is that a wine's bouquet or taste is composed of separate, analysable sensory characteristics that participants can perceive separately. ...
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Wine expertise has a long and great tradition, but what is wine expertise? The question, asked 50 years ago by experimental psychologists J.J. Gibson and Eleanor Gibson (1955), remains largely unanswered today. Analytical sensory evaluation of wine involves employing a human observer as an analytical instrument to discriminate and to make judgments about the qualities of wine. Wine sensory evaluation is studied and practiced within the discipline of sensory science and its applied component, sensory evaluation. Despite a proliferation of sensory studies and sensory journals over the last few decades, we still know very little about the cognitive processes involved in both wine sensory evaluation and in wine expertise. The present chapter discusses historical aspects of the discipline of sensory evaluation that can be argued as factors in the neglect of human cognitive processes as an inherent component of wine evaluation behaviour. The chapter then reviews and synthesises recent research that has markedly advanced the field by application of methodology and theory from cognitive psychology. The most significant way in which advancement has occurred involves extension of the research field beyond consideration of the phenomena of sensation alone to systematic study of what is happening in the minds and brains attached to our sense organs. The chapter brings together recent research concerning processes of discrimination, perception, conceptualisation, memory, judgment and language relevant to sensory evaluation of wine conducted by key researchers in the field (e.g., Solomon, 1988; Morrot, Brochet, & Dubourdieu, 2001; Hughson & Boakes, 2002; Parr, Heatherbell, & White, 2002; Ballester, Dacremont, Le Fur, & Etievant, 2005). A particular focus is the concept of wine expertise, addressed by comparing behaviour of wine professionals with behaviour of less-experienced wine consumers, to identify and describe cognitive processes implicated in development of wine expertise. Theoretical and applied implications of recent research findings relevant to wine evaluative behaviour are discussed, along with future research directions.
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This chapter addresses how sensory evaluation has become a key element in defining the direction modern industry takes to tailor its products to optimize success in the market place. It provides an overview of how technology and such basic factors as age and gender are becoming important to provide new products focused on specific sectors of the general population. Chemosensory science of olfaction and taste, and the knowledge it produces are essential to the modern food and beverage industries. Understanding the sensory and non-sensory determinants of consumer behavior involving products is crucial to the economic success of companies within these industries. Brain scanning by PET, fMRI and other methods offer another level of analysis by which insights into human chemosensory perception will, in future, yield useful knowledge for industrial applications.
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Tested 20 elderly (aged 61–88 yrs) and 20 young (aged 19–33 yrs) persons for memory of chemically simulated odors minutes after inspecting them, 2–3 hrs later, and 1 wk later. Ss were also asked to identify the odors by name at the end of the experiment. Odor memory was poorer in elderly than in young Ss. Performance of the elderly fell to chance in 2–3 hrs. Over the moderate range used, intensity seemed to matter little to memory; however, intensity did play a significant, although relatively small, role in identification. On the average, the stronger the odor, the better the identification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Ten participants sought to detect four odorants: benzaldehyde, pyridine, and two alcohols, n-butyl and n-amyl alcohol, that smelled similar to each other. These were presented repeatedly on 3 successive days. The sequence of testing during a session made it possible to determine whether experience with one odorant would specifically facilitate the detectability of a similar-smelling odorant and whether any such facilitation would restrict itself to the nostril through which the experience was gained. Neither of these possibilities occurred. Instead, measured sensitivity increased rather uniformly both within and across days. Net gain from beginning to end exceeded an order of magnitude. Averaging across sessions gave a picture of smaller than usual individual differences, under 20 to 1, attributable mainly to general rather than odorant-specific differences in sensitivity. The results indicate that thresholds gathered in customary brief testing will underestimate olfactory sensitivity and overestimate individual differences. Incorporation of a reference odorant into threshold experiments should increase comparability among studies.
It goes without saying that any sense modality provides information to an organism so that environmental events may be perceived and acted upon. The sense of smell is no exception, and smells can influence behavior in many ways, some quite obvious. We smell burning food and change the setting on the oven. We smell mercaptans and call the gas company about a leak. A trained dairy judge smells methional, decides that a milk sample has been oxidized by light, concludes that the consumer will find this objectionable, and deducts an appropriate number of points from the grade. These are common examples of how humans use their noses as sources of useful information. Recently, the idea that odors can cause changes in emotional states or moods, and that such changes have physiological correlates, has been discussed in the literature on olfaction and perfumery.
The present study was designed to analyze the relationship between self-report and physiological expression of basic emotions (happiness, surprise, fear, sadness, disgust and anger) in response to odorants. 44 subjects inhaled five odorants: vanillin, menthol, eugenol, methyl methacrylate, and propionic acid. Six autonomic nervous system (ANS) parameters were simultaneously recorded in real time and without interference: Skin Potential (SP), Skin Resistance (SR), Skin Temperature (ST), Skin Blood Flow (SBF), Instantaneous Respiratory Frequency (IRF) and Instantaneous Heart Rate (IHR). At the end of the recording, subjects were instructed i) to identify the odorants roughly ii) to situate them on an 11-point hedonic scale from highly pleasant (0) to highly unpleasant (10); and iii) to define what type of basic emotion was evoked by each odorant. In this study, the expected affects were aroused in the subjects. Vanillin and menthol were rated pleasant, while methyl methacrylate and propionic acid were judged unpleasant. Eugenol was median in hedonic estimation. ANS evaluation (each autonomic pattern induced by an odorant was transcripted into a basic emotion) shows that pleasantly connoted odorants evoked mainly happiness and surprise, but that unpleasant ones induced mainly disgust and anger. Eugenol was associated with positive and negative affects. Comparison between conscious (verbal) and unconscious (ANS) emotions, reveals that these two estimations 1) were not significantly different as far as the two pleasant odorants were concerned, 2) showed a tendency to be significantly different for eugenol odorant which was variably scored on the hedonic axis, and 3) exhibited a significant difference for the two unpleasant odorants, for which the corresponding “verbal emotion” was mainly “disgust”, while the most frequent ANS emotion was “anger”. In conclusion, these results show quite a good correlation between verbal and ANS estimated basic emotions. The main difference concerns anger: while there is a high occurrence of this emotion revealed by the analysis of ANS responses, it does not appear to be easily expressed through the verbal channel.
Investigated the effect of odor masking in olfaction, using 33 adults. Results of testing with 2 component mixtures of vanillin and cinnamaldehyde show a release-from-odor-masking effect. After the Ss' adaptation to vanillin, the cinnamon component of the mixture increased in perceived intensity, relative to its partially masked intensity in the mixture. A similar increase was observed for vanillin in the mixture, after the Ss' adaptation to cinnamaldehyde. This effect is consistent with a central physiological mechanism for odor masking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the separate and combined effects of cue-controlled relaxation training and “aromatherapy” as treatments for reducing speech anxiety. Thirty-six speech anxious subjects were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: cue-controlled relaxation with a word cue, cue-controlled relaxation with an aroma cue, “aromatherapy” alone, and a wait list (i.e., control) group. Prior to treatment, subjects completed the Personal Report of Confidence as a Speaker, Fear of Negative Evaluation questionnaire, S-R Inventory of Anxiousness-Speech Form, Cognitive Somatic Anxiety Questionnaire, and Multiple Affect Adjective Check List; subjects also performed a speech which was rated for behavioral signs of anxiety. The assessment protocol was repeated following treatment, and at a two-month follow-up. Thirty-two of 36 subjects (89%) provided complete data at post-treatment, and 23 of 28 treated subjects (82%) provided complete data at follow-up. Results indicated that subjects in both cue-controlled relaxation conditions decreased their speech anxiety more than did the subjects in the aromatherapy or control conditions.