Roberta Sellaro and her fellow researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands investigated whether the calming olfactory fragrance of lavender has a positive effect on mutual trust.
    
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.
    
A trustor was given 5 euros and was free to decide how much of that money he would give to a trustee in each round of the game.
    
The trustor would then receive extra money, but only if the trustee gave him enough money in return. The money transferred to the trustee by the trustor served as an indicator of mutual trust.
    
Test persons gave significantly more money to the other person when they were exposed to the aroma of lavender, compared to persons who had been exposed to the fragrance of peppermint, researchers found.
    
The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

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