Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Monell Chemical Senses Center has published new research suggesting that “simply believing that an odor is potentially harmful can increase airway inflammation in asthmatics for at least 24 hours following exposure.” Jaén Cristina & Pamela Dalton, “Asthma and odors: The role of risk perception in asthma exacerbation,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, July 2014. The goal of the study, involving 17 subjects characterized as moderate asthmatics, was to “investigate how beliefs about an odor’s relationship to asthmatic symptoms could affect the physiological and psychological responses of asthmatics.” Those told that the odor to which they would be exposed was potentially harmful “rated it as more irritating and annoying as compared to those who thought it might be therapeutic.” Airway inflammation apparently increased immediately among those believing it to be harmful and remained elevated for 24 hours. Conversely, the Monell researchers found “[t]here was no increase of inflammation when the odor was characterized as therapeutic, even in individuals who described themselves as sensitive to perfumes and other odors.” The odor used was phenylethyl alcohol, often described as rose-smelling, but deemed a “pure” oderant because it has no associated physiological irritant qualities. See Monell Chemical Senses Center News Release, July 22, 2014.