We electrophysiologically investigated the effect of some fragrant compounds in oolong tea on the response of ionotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (GABAA receptors) which were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Of the tested fragrances in oolong tea, cis-jasmone, jasmine lactone, linalool oxide and methyl jasmonate significantly potentiated the response. Among these, cis-jasmone and methyl jasmonate potently potentiated the response, having a respective dissociation constant of the compound (Kp) and maximum potentiation (Vm) of 0.49 mM and 322% for cis-jasmone, and 0.84 mM and 450% for methyl jasmonate. Inhalation of 0.1% cis-jasmone or methyl jasmonate significantly increased the sleeping time of mice induced by pentobarbital, suggesting that these fragrant compounds were absorbed by the brain and thereby potentiated the GABAA receptor response. Both of these compounds may therefore have a tranquillizing effect on the brain.