Liu and colleagues evaluated the implications of scenting office spaces. They studied the “effects of ambient bergamot scent on the stress levels of office workers by exposing them to the scent while stressors persisted as the workers continued to work on the office tasks. . . . The change in heart rate variability revealed that bergamot scent increased stress among males but not for females. The reported pleasantness and comfort followed the same trend. Compared to the control groups, females in the scent group thought the office smelled pleasant and felt more comfortable, but males in the scent group reported the opposite. . . . compared to the control groups, both males and females exposed to the bergamot scent self-reported decreasing stress levels.” Other research has shown that “males consider androstenone (musky or urine), isoamyl acetate (fruity), and mercaptans (foul) scents to be more pleasant than do females, whereas females rate eugenol (spicy) and rose (floral) scents to be more pleasant than do males.” Bergamot is a citrus fruit.
Ruying Liu, Mohamad Awada, Burcin Gerber, Gale Lucas, and Shawn Roll. “Gender Moderates the Effects of Ambient Bergamot Scent on Stress Restoration in Offices.” Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2023.102135