Exp Neurobiol.  2020 Oct;29(5):389-401. 10.5607/en20036.

EEG Revealed That Fragrances Positively Affect Menopausal Symptoms in Mid-life Women

  • 1Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Graduate School, Daegu Gyeungbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Daegu 42988, Korea
  • 2AMOREPACIFIC R&D Center, Yongin 17074, Korea
  • 3Convergence Research Advanced Centre for Olfaction, Daegu Gyeungbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Daegu 42988, Korea
  • 4Convergence Brain Research Department, Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI), Daegu 41062, Korea


During mid-life, women experienced not only physical but also neurological transition. Because of this, many women suffer from physiological and/or psychological menopausal symptoms. Although hormone therapy (HT) was broadly used to alleviate menopausal symptoms, HT showed inconsistent effects in case of psychological symptoms. Moreover, mid-life women’s brains have distinct characteristics than in other periods of life, it is needed to study psychological symptoms in shifted brain network of mid-life women. As an alternative, inhalation of fragrances may alleviate psychological menopausal symptoms. To characterize the alleviation mechanism by fragrances, we tested the effect of fragrances on menopausal symptoms using electroencephalographic (EEG) methods. We hypothesized that fragrance could restore mid-life women’s brain response to stressful situations. We tested six fragrance conditions, including no-odor condition (solvent only) in twenty-eight mid-life women (49.75 years±3.49). Our results showed that fragrances increased alpha power and decreased β/α ratio depending on the severity of menopausal symptoms in a stressful situation. Our study would be helpful in psychological menopausal symptom alleviation as well as fragrance screening for well-being in mid-life.


Fragrance; Middle aged; Female; EEG; Depressive symptoms; Anxiety
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