Last modified by Iris Spruit on 2024/03/15 15:17


Research involving scent can be carried out in many different ways. A number of options are mentioned below. It is important to have a discussion with the lab coordinator and SOLO before the start of the study to establish whether the type of study planned is suitable in the lab. Smells that linger in the lab could compromise subsequent studies.

Availability, support and advice

SOLO does not have any scent devices available. 


Automatic scent diffuser

If the aim is to fill the room with a smell, an automatic scent diffuser can be used. This can be filled with essential oil or aroma oil. The diffuser can be place out of sight of the participant in order to diffuse a smell without their knowledge. Switch the diffuser on well before the participant arrives, to ensure the smell has spread throughout the room. After every participant, you should clean the diffuser and refresh the water.

Scent inhaler

Another method is to give the participant something to actively smell. This can be done with a scent inhaler. As there is contact between the equipment and the participant in this method, it is important for hygiene regulations to be followed. Clean the inhaler thoroughly after each participant and ensure that the parts that the participant came in contact with are disinfected.


  • BIOPAC offers a modular scent delivery system: SDS200-SYS, which allows olfactory stimulation with up to 8 scents and includes an extraction filter. The FSW currently does not own any SDS200-SYS systems. Note that to use the system, AcqKnowledge version 5.0.7 or higher is required. A webinar on the SDS200-SYS can be viewed here.
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