The Effects of the Exposure to an Aromatic Environment on Students During University Engineering Final Exam – A Pilot Study

  • Gabriela G. Reyes-ZárateEmail author
  • Miguel X. Rodríguez-Paz
  • Jorge A. González-Mendívil
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1211)


During the final exams some students feel some emotional pressure to solve it. The purpose of this study was to make a preliminary comparison in two groups of an engineering exam at the end of the semester that contains numerical procedures and uses Canvas as a Source of Learning Management System. For this study, 59 students participated, 29 constituted the study group, and 30 were the control group. In the study, lavender hydrolate was used as an aromatic environment, which was applied to the tables prior to the exam. Hydrolate has the same activity as essential oil, only it has soft smell. Both exams had the same number of questions, although different contexts. In addition to this study, an evaluation of smell was made in students using the Barcelona Smell Test-24, which is a good and reliable method to determine the detection, recognition and identification of different odors. From the results obtained from the control group, 61% felt stressed. The average time to solve the exam was 110 min. For the group to which hydrolate was applied at the desks, in the middle of the exam, 25% felt stressed. The average time to complete the exam was 93 min. The results of the olfaction test for the students were normal according to the BAST-24: 99% (detection), 78% (recognition/memory) and 72% (identification). Students who were in a lavender odor environment reported significantly an improvement in their well-being, and the time used to solve the exam was less than the control group. This is a pilot study of a didactic experience. The results showed that there is a decrease in the time to solve an exam of the study group compared with the control group for this research work. Future studies of the work environments should continue to be investigated at other activities during the semester as a useful alternative to the wellbeing of the students.


Aromatic environment Olfaction Wellbeing Educational innovation Higher education 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of Writing Lab, TecLabs, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, in the production of this work.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela G. Reyes-Zárate
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miguel X. Rodríguez-Paz
    • 1
  • Jorge A. González-Mendívil
    • 1
  1. 1.Escuela de Ingeniería y Ciencias Tecnológico de MonterreyPueblaMexico

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