let me try and find something for you it has been a long time since i read anything on the subject. as i recall, even that which i read was NOT what i would call real authoritative. i've heard the same various sources, even from a co-worker whose b-in-law, who is a professional guide and professional mountaineer (both here in the USA and known in the Himalayas), and who told my co-worker this.
at this point, i'd say it is more anecdotal and perhaps(???) apocryphal (a "not-so-"urban-legend, or a rural-legend in this case). i only pass it on, not to be contentious because a bear encounter while sleeping may not always come off too good for the sleeper. also, NO, you definitely didn't come off as either "flippant" or "confrontational" - to me at least. i feel that you did raise a good point in your reply to me. i should have been clearer about this before. thanks, for "calling me", so to speak, on this.
i've read the same about capsicum, but never from a truly authoritative website. i've seen dogs lick residue from a capsicum spray. i would think, having sprayed capsicum quite a number of times (to halt actual dog attacks from other illegally unrestrained dogs), that it is only after a new can has been discharged that the scent would become readily apparent, but that's just a guess on my part. my dogs have never showed any real, prolonged interest in a new can of either dog or bear spray. btw, my dogs have been my standby for testing my odor-proofing of my food.
i haven't mentioned this in a couple of years (AND i have NO experience with bears), but, depending upon what we consume, hours later the odor of certain chemicals in the food are still exuded in our exhaled breath and body odor (also, in a mother's milk) - some we can smell (e.g. garlic); others we can't. i gotta' believe that this alone can serve as a bear attractant. bears have ~3x the nasal surface area as a bloodhound and a larger percentage of their brain devoted to olfactory than do dogs. i know what dogs can do, having trained dogs for tracking (as part of Shutzhund training). i believe bears would do as well or better in following a scent corridor.
JR is right. i've seen on TV, tigers rubbing up against bags of catnip. so, i'd say 'yes' to your query.