Because hospital wards may be associated with smells, such as chemicals, food, and people and their produce, essential oils in burners were considered a way of improving the ward atmosphere for staff. A study was conducted in three parts. A questionnaire covering a period of 1 month; lavender oil in burners for a 3-month period; and a second questionnaire. A significant number of respondents (88%) indicated in the first questionnaire their belief that the use of essential oil would have a positive effect on the workplace. Eighty-five per cent of respondents to the second questionnaire believed that there had been an improvement in the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.