2000 Volume 19 Issue 1 Pages 35-42
The purpose of this study was to investigate EEG changes in subjects directly after inhalation of essential oils, and subsequently, to observe any effect on subjective evaluations. EEG and sensory evaluation were assessed in 13 healthy female subjects in four odor conditions. Four odor conditions (including lavender, chamomile, sandalwood and eugenol) were applied respectively for each subject in the experiment. The results were as follows. 1) Four basic factors were extracted from 22 adjective pairs by factor analysis of the sensory evaluation. The first factor was “comfortable feeling”, the second “cheerful feeling”, the third “natural feeling” and the fourth “feminine feeling”. In the score of the first factor (comfortable feeling), the odors in order of high contribution are lavender, eugenol, chamomile and sandalwood. 2) Alpha 1 (8-10 Hz) of EEG at parietal and posterior temporal regions significantly decreased soon after the onset of inhalation of lavender oil (p<0.01). Significant changes of alpha 1 were also observed after inhalation of eugenol or chamomile. The change after inhalation of sandalwood was not significant. These results showed that alpha 1 activity significantly decreased under odor conditions in which subjects felt comfortable, and showed no significant change under odor conditions in which subjects felt uncomfortable. These results suggest a possible correlation between alpha 1 activity and subjective evaluation.