If you want to increase trust between yourself and anohther, aromatherpy may hold the key.

In a small study researchers from  Leiden University, in the Netherlands found that individuals gave significantly more money to  another person in a test environment when they were exposed to the aroma of lavender.

According to the scientists this is the first such study to investigate whether the calming olfactory fragrance of lavender has a positive effect on mutual trust.

Aromatherapists already known that aromatic compounds can alter one’s mood, cognitive, psychological, or physical wellbeing. “Mutual trust is the social glue of society”, says lead researchers Roberta Sellaro. “Interpersonal trust is an essential element for social co-operation bargaining and negotiation.”

Sellaro and colleagues work appears in the journals Frontiers in Psychology.

Boosting trust naturally

To determine the effect of fragrances, the researchers exposed one group of test persons to the aroma of lavender, while a second group to the aroma of peppermint. Subsequently, the test persons played a trust game, a task that is often used to measure how much one test person trusts the other.


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