Researchers from Wheeling Jesuit University found that the smell of peppermint improved performance and the speed at which tedious clerical tasks were accomplished. Their results suggest that peppermint increases general alertness. These findings are consistent with the results of previous studies indicating that the smell of peppermint improved accuracy and attention during a tedious visual task, and increased performance and reduced apparent effort during a tedious athletic task.
Barker, Shannon, Pamela Grayhem, Jerrod Koon, Jessica Perkins, Allison Whalen and Bryan Raudenbush. 2003. Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor. Peppermint and Motor Skills, vol. 97, pp. 1007-10.