The Impact of Odors

M. V. Jokl


The odor microclimate is formed by gaseous airborne components perceived either as an unpleasant smell or as a pleasant smell. Smells enter the building interior partly from outdoors (exhaust fumes - flower fragrance) and partly from indoors (building materials, smoking cigarettes - cosmetics, dishes). They affect the human organism through the olfactory center which is connected to the part of brain that is responsible for controlling people’s emotions and sexual feelings: smells therefore participate to a high level in mood formation. The sense of smell diminishes slowly in people over the age of 60, but all female age categories have a better sense of smell than males. Smell is extremely sensitive, e.g., during pregnancy, or if an illness is coming. Bad smells cause a decrease in human performance, loss of concentration, and loss of taste. Sweet smells have a positive impact on human feelings and on human performance. Criteria for odor microclimate appraisal are presented (concentration limits of CO2 , TVOC, plf, decipol, decicarbdiox, decitvoc).


odors; microenvironment; hygiene; indoor air quality; microclimate

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague