Most New Yorkers' experience with "environmental fragrance" or "aromatherapy" probably is limited to taxis with bottles of florid scent on the --board. Usually these are the same taxis that have "no smoking" written in 18 places in the cab.
But stand by. At a luncheon of the Fashion Group International, an organization of female fashion and cosmetic executives, the topic was "The Coming Age of Aroma-chology," or the effect of fragrance on behavior. Studies were cited, including one showing increased productivity at a Japanese construction company that introduced fragrance into the workplace and an experiment to increase sales at department stores by releasing a fragrance that is supposed to make shoppers more alert.
Of course, when scent is the topic, there's commerce in the air. The new "aroma technology" is expected to translate into enormous sales of cosmetics. Should it be taken seriously, however, until something is developed for use in subway entrances?