Smells Influence Perceived Pleasantness but Not Memorization of a Visual Virtual Environment.

Sabiniewicz A., Schaefer E., Cagdas G., Manesse C., Bensafi M., Krasteva N., ...More

i-Perception, vol.12, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/2041669521989731
  • Journal Name: i-Perception
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: immersion, multisensorial, nose, odor memory, smell, virtual reality
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


The present study aimed to investigate whether the perception of still scenes in a virtual environment in congruent versus incongruent condition can be influenced by odors. Ninety healthy participants were divided into three groups, including two experimental virtual reality (VR) environments: a rose garden, an orange basket, and a control condition. In each VR condition, participants were exposed to a rose odor, an orange odor, or no odor, resulting in congruent, incongruent, and control conditions. Participants were asked to describe (a) the content of the VR scene and rate its overall pleasantness and (b) the smell and to rate its intensity and pleasantness. For each condition, participants were tested twice. During the second test, participants provided ratings and descriptions of the content of the VR scenes without being exposed to odors or VR environments. Virtual scenarios tended to be remembered as more pleasant when presented with congruent odors. Furthermore, participants used more descriptors in congruent scenarios than in incongruent scenarios. Eventually, rose odor appeared to be remembered as more pleasant when presented within congruent scenarios. These findings show that olfactory stimuli in congruent versus incongruent conditions can possibly modulate the perception of the pleasantness of visual scenes but not the memorization.