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Odour testing of products and materials

Product optimisation and material testing


Do your products have the smell of success? Our odour analysis services can tell you!

We can assess how your product is perceived by consumers in terms of odour, using trained or naive sensory panels, depending on your desired test set-up and related questions. Perceptions, of course, are hard to quantify or explain, but we use molecular odour analysis to find the reasons behind them.

Better still, we’ve got some great ideas about optimising product performance, identifying off-odours, supporting quality control, and to scientifically substantiate product claims. So, whatever sensory or molecular odour aspects you want to test, we can give you the answers!

The process behind a successful odour study

Product optimisation and material testing have almost endless possibilities and we’ll make sure to create an odour study that will provide relevant, valuable information for you.

Odour studies that provide relevant, valuable answers for you

All our sensory or molecular odour tests help to answer certain questions, such as:

  • How is the odour of my product perceived?
  • Is there an odour problem?
  • How does my product perform over time?
  • Does my product enhance odour perception?
  • Does my product reduce or mask malodour?
  • How does my product perform in a benchmark test?
  • How can I prove that my product works?

From odour data to odour knowledge

Once we know what questions you need answered, we can identify the most appropriate techniques, which include:

  • odour and aroma profiling
  • off-odour identification
  • efficacy testing
  • cross-tests of product variants
  • longevity testing of fragrances
  • assessment of masking quality
  • calculation of odour reduction rate
  • odour related claim support
  • bespoke test designs
  • real location tests
  • molecular screening
  • in vitro and in vivo studies
  • and many more approaches

The right sampling method based on your requirements

Olfasense ensures best possible analysis results by combining standardised measurement – for traceable and reproducible results – with individualised sampling to achieve conditions that are as ‘real’ as possible and tailor-made to the product or material to be tested.

Our advanced sampling infrastructure includes:

  • certified nalophan gas sample bags
  • standard chambers with and without air flow
  • CLIMPAQ (Chamber for Laboratory Investigations of Materials, Pollution and Air Quality) climate chambers
  • the Olfasense Scent Sampler to take standardized samples directly from the skin and other surfaces
  • a twin room facility, to explore indoor behaviours of products and for comparative testing of products
  • the Olfasense LiGaVa system, to vaporise any kind of liquid into the gas phase in order to understand the vapour phase's perception and
  • sampling devices, test benches and hygiene boxes

Assessing and optimising the sensory attributes of products and materials

The processes, methods and target parameters of our sensory odour analysis are diverse:

  • accredited odour concentration analysis (ouE/m3) according to EN 13725, the European Standard for Olfactometry
  • accredited odour evaluation of materials of the automotive interior according to VDA 270
  • hedonic tone and odour intensity measurement according to VDI 3882
  • perceived odour intensity Π (pi) measurement according to ISO 16000- 28
  • odour character and acceptance measurement
  • odour quality determinations
  • odour threshold determination of pure substances and odour mixtures

Adding a molecular perspective to odour testing

Olfasense is in a unique position to have both sensory and molecular odour analysis capabilities in-house. We use molecular analysis, like high-resolution GC-MS and GC-Sniffing, to find the reasons behind certain sensory attributes of products and materials. This is particularly useful for off-flavours, understanding odours, and the evaluation of air treatment and indoor air quality.

Examples of services offered in the field of molecular odour evaluation are:

  • High-resolution GCMS, to know the molecular composition of an odour sample
  • GC Sniffing, to identify compound(s) responsible for a specific odour in a sample
  • Gas chromatography coupled with ion-mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS), a very fast method to detect various substances within a couple of minutes, and to analyse the evolution of VOC profiles over time

Relying on well-trained human assessors

Odour measurement requires the human nose as tester. This means that one of the biggest challenges is getting valid test results with high repeatability.

And the solution?

The accurate selection, training and monitoring of the noses in question! Our high-quality odour laboratories are accredited according to EN ISO/IEC 17025 and all our odour panellists are selected and trained to meet the stringent requirements of odour analyses.

Whatever we do, we’ll make sure you get the best possible analysis quality.

We have more to offer

We routinely assist our clients with a number of our services to supplement any of our odour studies.

The Olfasense quality seal enables manufacturers to demonstrate the olfactory performance of their products

The Olfasense quality seal with combined permanent quality assurance process enables manufacturers to highlight unique or particular olfactory properties of their products and have this confirmed by an independent body. That way consumers are supported in their purchasing decision by letting them rely on the independent judgment of a neutral expert. Below you find the award criteria for the Olfasense quality seal. Talk to us today to develop the right test design to prove your product claim!

Award criteria for the Olfasense quality seal

Product claim to be scientifically proven
Odour reduction performance of an anti-odour product compared to a standard product.

Sample preparation
Identical sample preparation of the anti-odour product and the standard product according to conditions that mimic the real-life usage as closely as possible.

Sample evaluation
Human sensory odour measurement of the anti-odour product and the standard product with odour panellists that were selected and trained according to EN 13725.

Awarding of the Olfasense quality seal
The Olfasense quality  seal is only awarded if the differences in odour reduction performance between the anti-odour product and the standard product is significant. Significance is achieved in the significance test with a confidence interval of at least 95% (p-value <5%).

As a permanent quality assurance process, the above described procedure will be repeated annually, or as soon as significant changes are made in the production process of the anti-odour product.

If you have further questions regarding the Olfasense quality seal and its award criteria, please send us a message via

Specialist odour training in product and material testing

If you need to be on top form in any aspect of odour assessment and control, you’ll want Olfasense’s specialist expertise at your fingertips.

By investing in one of our bespoke odour training courses, you’ll not only have the opportunity to learn from the experts, but you’ll also get invaluable, tailored advice.

With a range of group and individual packages, we offer specialist training that really delivers.

We also organize regular odour workshops. To find out more, please visit

Our customised studies help you get to know your consumers

Don’t expect your consumers to think like product developers.

That is why our consumer studies can be an essential cornerstone of product development. Not sure how your panel group should be composed?

We can offer advice on that too. With plenty of experience in setting up sociodemographic panels, we can organise them to meet specific criteria.

Depending on the product and test design, panel groups can be run in:

  • domestic settings
  • studio design
  • hospitals and nursing homes
  • schools and universities
  • gyms
  • hotels

Raw data is the key to engaging with your consumers

Whatever your business and odour analysis needs, and whoever your consumers, you can benefit from Olfasense’s experience in communication and statistical evaluation.

Olfasense uses a range of methods to bring you closer to your consumer and help you optimise the odour characteristics of your product or material.

From group discussions to in-use tests, each data collection method offers certain advantages.

Target Industries