How does the scent of lavender make you feel? And could its distinctive scent increase trustworthiness?
Recent findings published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology suggest that the odour of this flowering plant can promote relaxation - a theory that most us us will be familiar with. But what the study also found is that this, in turn, might help to promote mutual trust.
"Mutual trust is the social glue of society," One of the researchers, Roberta Sellaro said in a news release, "Interpersonal trust is an essential element for social co-operation bargaining and negotiation."
For the study, researchers exposed one group of participants to the scent of lavender and another to the scent of peppermint. Following exposure, participants were asked to play a trust game involving money. Those given the trust role received five Euros and were free to decide how much of the money to give to the trustee participants during each round. The study showed that the "trustor" would receive extra money, but only if the "trustee" returned a certain amount back. Study results revealed that "trustor" participants gave significantly more when they were exposed to the scent of lavender as opposed to peppermint.
So next time you're on your way to negotiate the purchase of a new car, be super-aware of any sales person who appears to smell strongly of our 'Lavender' Cologne!