The influence of odors on creative thinking

There have been a variety of studies examining how psychoactive drugs affect behavior and creative output. But could smells also have a psychoactive effect? That was the question posed in a 1958 experiment conducted by scientist Leo H. Narodny — published in an obscure trade journal, The Perfumery & Essential Oil Record. Narodny wrote: "It may be possible, by inhaling certain odours, to influence creative imagination without endangering the whole brain by an excessive dosage of drugs."

He used a textile designer as his test subject. Every day, for two weeks, he had her draw a design while breathing unscented air. Then, after breathing in air saturated with an odorous essential oil (such as bergamot, vanilla, peppermint, or cedarwood), she drew a second design. Some of the results are below.

It was hard to draw conclusions based on such a small sample size, but Narodny felt that the designer tended to draw more abstract patterns when exposed to the essential oils.

Nadia Berenstein offers more details about the experiment on her "Flavor Added" blog.
     Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 25, 2023
     Category: Art | Experiments | Psychology | Smells and Odors

In the Nadia Berenstein blog, it sounds like the textile designer got hooked on vanilla.
The blog also discusses an oPhone, if anyone needs one of those.

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 03/25/23 at 05:44 AM
I'm a guy, so the only essential oil in my life is WD-40.

I have to think there is something in the basic idea. I don't know how the aroma of spices might affect someone, but I know I'm much more creative when there are herbals in the air.
Posted by Phideaux on 03/25/23 at 11:21 AM
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