SENSENET can assess and compare the odour of different paint formulas using different sensory test methods.

The challenge

  • Our client was developing a new enamel paint

formulation and needed to assess its odour profile

compared to other products and competitor


  • The client wanted to test the paints in the lab in

conditions that simulate real life application scenarios.

Our strategy

  • The test combined dynamic olfactometry analysis

with a trained panel, to determine odour

concentrations (according to EN 13725), with intensity

and hedonic tone assessments (following VDI 3882)

using a naïve panel and also a painter panel.

  • Samples were evaluated in two situations: the odour of

the enamel paint applied to wooden surfaces and the

odour of the paint when opening the can.

The following protocol was developed for the study:

  • The paint cans were properly identified, however without information on their content, thus ensuring the impartiality of the results obtained.
  • Each of the 5 enamel paints was applied to a wooden board (pine) with the same dimensions for all tests. Once the paint was applied, each wooden board was inserted into a nalophan bag, an inert material to odour, and the bag was then filled with clean and filtered air. The area ratio of the plate / volume of the bag is approximately the same as that of a standard room provided with a door and window of commercial dimensions.
  • This test was carried out with the three groups of people, that is, trained panel, painters and untrained panel, applying the same methodology in the question of sample preparation with application of paints and their analysis of intensity and hedonic tone. In addition, the same preparation was made for the concentration analysis, which, however, was performed only by the trained panel.

  • For odour sampling right after opening the can, a can of each paint was inserted into a nalophan bag where its lid was removed and the bag filled with clean, filtered air, and closed. This can contained half of its ink content, as it was necessary to create this “headspace” of air between the ink and the lid, to guarantee the evaluation. It was waited a standardized time to allow the product to interact with the air inside the bag, so that the sample could then be analyzed. • This test was performed only with the painter’s panel, for analysis of intensity and hedonic tone.


The sensorial analysis allowed us to compare the odour of the tested enamel paints considering odour concentration, odour intensity and hedonic tone through 3 different panels: trained, naive and painters.

The positive results of paints A and E, as well as the negative results of paint B helped the client to decide about marketing its launching product. Additionally, the difference in the results of the 3 different panels will help the client to differentiate campaigns for opinion makers and the general public.

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