Effect of Smell in Space Perception:- Analyzing the Waiting Experience in a Room under Lavender and Orange Scents -




Waiting is an inevitable part of life and the spaces in which we wait can contribute to either improve or worsen the experience. This paper covers the process and results of “The waiting room”, analyzing if the presence of specific smells has a significant impact in how the room and the waiting experience are perceived. Two different odorants were selected, lavender (relaxing) and orange (stimulating); 63 participants from 32 different countries were assigned into three groups (between-groups approach): Control (unscented), Orange and Lavender. Results show that both scents affected the room and waiting experience evaluation in different ways and overall increased the surrounding space perception compared to the unscented condition. Participants exposed to lavender scent were inclined to rate higher the ‘psychological’ properties of the room such as pleasantness and warmth; in addition the lavender-evoked memories were emotion based. Participants exposed to orange scent tended to rate higher the ‘physical’ properties of the room such as brightness and height; orange-evoked memories were object based. Lavender scent had a stronger influence in space perception than orange, suggesting the relevance of congruence and coherence between scent and physical environment when incorporating it as a tangible design tool in architecture.


  • International Journal of Affective Engineering

    International Journal of Affective Engineering 14(3), 175-182, 2015