COVID-19 Response

St. Croix Sensory remains open and committed to the success of your project needs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the safety of our clients and staff, we have outlined our “Best Practice Recommendations” for the use and care of the Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer, Odor Sensitivity Test Kit and odor sampling equipment.


Learn More

Welcome to the St. Croix Sensory Library
You can browse our library by selecting a subject below.

Please feel free to contact our offices directly with questions. We are happy to help.

1 (800) 879-9231 or 651-439-0177
About Odor Testing

Odor Parameters

Odors are quantified by five parameters that profile the human response. These parameters include:

  • odor threshold values
  • odor intensity
  • odor persistency
  • hedonic tone
  • odor characterization

The following document provides a brief explanation of these parameters of odors.

Odor Parameters (pdf)


We invite you to read our published papers and learn more about odors!

Check out papers in the four categories below.


Odor Assessor Performance to Reference and Non-Reference Odorants
McGinley, M.A., and McGinley, C.M.
WEF/A&WMA 2010 Odors and Air Pollutants Conference
Charlotte, NC: 21-24 March 2010

Chemical and Odor Evaluation of Various Potential Replacement Films for Sampling Bags
Fortune, A., Henningsen, S., Tuday, M., McGinley, M.A., and McGinley, C.M.
WEF/A&WMA 2012 Odors and Air Pollutants Conference
Louisville, KY: 15-18 April 2012

Olfactometry Precision and Real World Decision Making
McGinley, C.M. & McGinley, M.A.
International Water Association 5th International Conference on Odour & VOCs
San Francisco: 4-7 March 2013

Regulations - Odor Nuisance

International Odor Regulation

Department of Public Health and Environment
Regulation No. 2 (2013) Odor Emission

Department of Environmental Protection
Section 22a-174-23(2006) Control of Odors

Natural Resources & Environmental Control
Title 7, 1119 Control of Odorous Air Contaminants

Environmental Protection Agency
Chapter I, Part 245 Odors

Environmental Protection Agency
Title 401, Chapter 53:010 Ambient Air Quality Standards

Department of Natural Resources
Title 10, Division 10, Chapter 3.090 Restriction of Emission of Odors

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
NAC Chapter 445B.22087 Air Controls – Odors

North Dakota
Department of Health – Div. of Air Quality
Chapter 33-15-16 Restriction of Odorous Air Contaminants

West Virginia
Department of Environmental Protection
Chapter 2, Section 11  Ambient Standards for Odors

Department of Environmental Quality
Chapter 2 – Section 11 Air Quality Ambient Standards

Village of Hillside, Illinois
Chapter 42 Health and Sanitation
Section 42-15 Odor Nuisance

Des Moines, Iowa
Chapter 42 Environment
Article V – Odor Control (Sections 301-317)
Additional: Odor Hotline Information

Denver, Colorado
Chapter 4 Air Pollution Control
Section 4-10 – Nuisance
Additional: Guide to DEH Odor Regulations

Shreveport, Louisiana
Chapter 58 Nuisance
Section 58.2 – Emission of Odor Nuisance or Odorous Air Contaminants

San Luis Obispo, California
Title 8 Health and Safety
Chapter 8.22 Offensive Odors
Additional: April 1, 2015: SLO’s Odor Ordinance gets final approval

Denton, Texas
Chapter 17 Property Maintenance
Section 17.21 Odors

South St. Paul, Minnesota
Chapter 110 Environment
Article VIII – Odor Pollution
Additional: Submitting Odor Complaints

Sioux City, Iowa
Title 4 Business Regulations and Licensing
Chapter 4.78 – Odor Control

Sensory Standards

ASTM International Standards

A helpful list of existing sensory standards published by ASTM International.

Note: ASTM sensory standards are developed and published through the ASTM Committee E18 – Sensory Evaluation. These standards are published individually or as a complete volume: ASTM Volume 15.08 “Sensory Evaluation…”

ASTM E253-18 Standard Terminology Related to Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products

ASTM E1958-18 Standard Guide for Sensory Claim Substantiation

ASTM E1885-18 Standard Test Method for Sensory Analysis – Triangle Test

ASTM E1697-05 (2012) Standard Test Method for Unipolar Magnitude Estimation of Sensory Attributes

ASTM E1871-17 Standard Guide for Serving Protocol for Sensory Evaluation of Foods and Beverages

ASTM E2139-05(2018) Standard Test Method for Same-Difference Test

ASTM E2164-16 Standard Test Method for Directional Difference Test

ASTM E2262-03(2014) Standard Practice for Estimating Thurstonian Discriminal Distances

ASTM E2263-12(2018) Standard Test Method for Paired Preference Test

ASTM E2610-18 Standard Test Method for Sensory Analysis – Duo-Trio Test

ASTM E2943-15 Standard Guide for Two-Sample Acceptance and Preference Testing with Consumers

ASTM E679-04(2011) Standard Practice for Determination of Odor and Taste Thresholds by a Forced-Choice Ascending Concentration Series Method of Limits

ASTM E544-18 Standard Practice for Referencing Suprathreshold Odor Intensity

ASTM E1432-04(2011) Standard Practice for Defining and Calculating Individual and Group Sensory Thresholds from Forced-Choice Data Sets of Intermediate Size

Malodor Reduction Testing

ASTM E1593-13 Standard Guide for Assessing the Efficacy of Air Care Products in Reducing the Perception of Indoor Malodor

Testing of Waters

ASTM D1292-15 Standard Test Method for Odor in Water

ASTM E2892-15 Standard Test Method for Odor and Flavor Transfer from Materials in Contact with Municipal Drinking Water

Packaging Standards

ASTM E619-17 Standard Practice for Evaluation of Foreign Odors in Paper Packaging

ASTM E1870-11 Standard Test Method for Odor and Taste Transfer from Polymeric Packaging Film

ASTM E2609-08(2016) Standard Test Method for Odor or Flavor Transfer or Both from Rigid Polymeric Packaging

Personal Care Products

ASTM E1207-14 Standard Guide for Sensory Evaluation of Axillary Deodorancy

ASTM E1490-11 Standard Guide for Two Sensory Descriptive Analysis Approaches for Skin Creams and Lotions

ASTM E2049-12 Standard Guide for Quantitative Attribute Evaluation of Fragrance/Odors for Shampoos and Hair Conditioners by Trained Assessors

ASTM E2082-12 Standard Guide for Descriptive Analysis of Shampoo Performance

Building Materials

ASTM C1304-18 Standard Test Method for Assessing the Odor Emission of Thermal Insulation Materials

International Sensory Standards

A helpful list of existing sensory standards published by various international standards organizations.

VDI 3940-Part 4 Determination of the hedonic odour tone – Polarity profiles

CEN (Europe)

EN13725:2003 Air Quality – Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry

Australia/New Zealand

AS/NZS4323.3:2001(2014) Stationary Source Emissions – Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry


GB/T 14675 Air Quality. Determination of odor. Triangle odour bag method


VDI 3882-Part 1 Olfactometry: Determination of odour intensity

VDI 3882-Part 2 Olfactometry: Determination of hedonic odour tone

Packaging Standards

EN10955:2004 Sensory analysis – Testing of packaging materials and packages for food stuffs

EN1230-1:2009 Paper and board intended to come into contact with food stuffs. Sensory Analysis. Odour

EN1230-2:2009 Paper and board intended to come into contact with food stuffs. Sensory analysis. Off-flavour (taint)

Building Materials

VDI 4302 Part 1 Sensory testing of indoor air and determination of odour emissions from building products – Strategy for sensory testing of indoor air

VDI 4302 Part 2 Sensory testing of indoor air and determination of odour emissions from building products – Strategy for sensory testing of indoor air

ISO Standards

St. Croix Sensory is accredited to
ISO/IEC 17025:2005, General Requirements for the competency of testing and calibration laboratories.
(Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, Inc., Accreditation No. 81047)

Below is a helpful list of other existing ISO sensory standards.

ISO 4120:2004 Sensory analysis – – Methodology – – Triangle Test (2012)

ISO 5495:2005 Sensory analysis – – Methodology – – Paired Comparison Test (2018)

ISO 5496:2006 Sensory analysis – – Methodology – – Initiation and training of assessors in detection and recognition of odours (2016)

ISO 8586:2012 Sensory analysis – – General guidelines for the selection, training and monitoring of selected assessors and expert sensory assessors

ISO 11035:1994 Sensory analysis – – Identification and selection of descriptors for establishing a sensory profile by a multidimensional approach (2015)

ISO 11056:1999 Sensory analysis – – Methodology – – Magnitude Estimation Method (2010)

ISO 13301:2018 Sensory analysis – – Methodology – – General guidance for measuring odour, flavour and taste detection thresholds by a three-alternative forced-choice (3-AFC) procedure

ISO 8589:2007 Sensory analysis – – General guidance for the design of test rooms (2017)

ISO 13302:2003 Sensory analysis – – Methods for assessing modifications to the flavour of foodstuffs due to packaging (2017)

ISO 16000-28:2012 Indoor Air – – Part 28: Determination of odour emissions from building products using test chambers

ISO 16000-30:2014 Indoor Air – – Part 30: Sensory testing of indoor air

Sensory Books

A list of helpful sensory books.

Sensory Evaluation of Food: Principles and Practices – 2nd Edition
H.T. Lawless and H. Heyman
Springer (2010)

Sensory Evaluation Techniques – 5th Edition
M.C. Meilgaard, B.T. Carr, and G. Vance Civille
CRC Press (2015)

Sensory Evaluation Practices – 3rd Edition
H. Stone and J.L. Sidel
Elsevier (2004)

ASTM Manual 26 – Sensory Testing Methods – 2nd Edition
E. Chambers and M.B. Wolf Editors
ASTM International (1996)
Note: 3rd edition is in review as of Fall 2018

Discrimination Testing in Sensory Science –
A Practical Handbook
L. Rogers Editor
Woodhead Publishing / Elsevier (2017)

ASTM Manual 13 – Manual on Descriptive Analysis Testing for Sensory Evaluation
R.C. Hootman
ASTM International (1992)

ASTM Manual 14 – The Role of Sensory Analysis in Quality Control
J.E. Yantis
ASTM International (1992)

ASTM DS-61 Atlas of Odor Character Profiles
A. Dravnieks
ASTM International (1992)

ASTM DS72 Lexicon for Sensory Evaluation:
Aroma, Flavor, Texture, and Appearance – 2nd Edition

Committee E18 (on-line publication)
ASTM International (2011)

ASTM Manual 60 – Physical Requirement Guidelines for Sensory Evaluation Laboratories – 2nd Edition
C. Kuesten and L. Kruse Editors
ASTM International (2009)

Product and Material Odor Testing

Methods for Odor Evaluation of Textiles and other Materials
McGinley, M.A. and McGinley, C.M.
AATCC International Conference
American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
Wilmington, North Carolina: 28-30 March 2017

Performance Verification of Air Freshener Products and Odor Control Devices for Indoor Air Quality Malodors
McGinley, M.A. and McGinley, C.M.
University Kassel – 8th Workshop on Odour and Emissions of Plastic Materials
Kassel, Germany: 27-28 March 2006

History Channel (H2) – Modern Marvels (S16 E13)

Odor Testing at St. Croix Sensory

Nasal Ranger Media

Nasal Mask Care

Comfort Seals

Odor-Filter Cartridges

Vice Media

16 November 2013
NBC News
“Is that pot I smell? The ‘Nasal Ranger’ nose for sure!”
Marc Lallanilla, LiveScience Staff Reporter

13 November 2013
“‘Nasal Ranger’ patrols for pot odor in Denver”
FOX31 Denver

5 April 2013
“City of Portland Hires Odor Enforcer”

WFMY News2 Portland

Here are a collection of fun web news outlets talking about
the Nasal Ranger after multiple press reports of its use in Denver.

Huffington Post Live


Mind Blown


May-June 2011
Crops & Soils Magazine
American Society of Agronomy
“Quantifying Odor Reduction of Manure Incorporation Methods”

17 February 2011
New Scientist (Issue 2799)
“Sniffing Out Stench”
West Side Industrial District, Chicago
Christopher Weber

26 August 2010
St. Paul Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN)
“South St. Paul company has plans to reduce odors”
Danielle Cabot, Staff Reporter

29 May 2010
St. Paul Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN)
“Stockyards are gone, but South St. Paul may monitor remaining odors”
Nick Ferraro, Staff Reporter

4 May 2010
Grand Island Independent
“Odor ordinance couldn’t hurt”
Tracy Overstreet, Staff Reporter

3 May 2010
Grand Island Independent
“Grand Island considering odor ordinance”
Tracy Overstreet, Staff Reporter

17 February 2006
Grand Island Independent
“The Nasal Ranger has Arrived”
Tracy Overstreet, Staff Reporter


21 October 2007 
USA Today
“Something smells rotten in this California town”
William M. Welch, USA Today Staff Writer

8 October 2007
Los Angeles Times
“California town fails the smell test”
John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer

June 2007
Study of Odors at Long-Term Storage Sites
A Case Study
Environmental Land Management, Inc.
Ray DeLong and Cindy Douglas

May 2006
Iowa Pork Producer Magazine
“Recent Odor Studies Produce Encouraging Results”
Staff Reporters

March 2006
Biocycle Journal of Composting & Organics Recycling
“Neighbor-friendly Odor Management”
Nora Goldstein, Biocycle Staff Reporters

14 May 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Minneapolis Garbage Burner Passes Smell Test”
Bill McAuliffe, Staff Reporter

May 2005
Biocycle Journal of Composting & Organics Recycling
“Controlling Odors at Composting Facilities”
Jerome Goldstein & Nora Goldstein, Biocycle Staff Reporters

January 2005
Dairy Herd Magazine
“Can you smell it”
Thomas Quaife, Staff Reporter

October 2004
Biocycle Journal of Composting & Organics Recycling
“Odor Management Strategy Meets Neighbor Approval”
Leland Myers, Central Davis Sewer District (Kaysville, UT)

3 November 2003
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)
“Meet the Nasal Ranger”
Future Tense – News Program

3 November 2003
CBC Radio
“Iowa Trains Sniffers” – Audio (approx. 5min 30sec)
As it Happens – News Program

30 October 2003
Los Angeles Times
“It came from a Pig Lagoon”
Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Reporter

February 2003
McIivaine Company
Air Pollution Monitoring & Sampling Newsletter
“Odor Sampling”

October 2002
McIivaine Company
Air Pollution Monitoring & Sampling Newsletter
“New Olfactometer – Nasal Ranger”

21 December 2002
The World Premier of the Nasal Ranger on TV
Environmental Journal – TV Segment produced in Minnesota
– This is a fun blast from the past.  Unfortunately, the video quality is poor. But the introductory story is excellent!

Protocols for Reliable Field Olfactometry Odor Evaluations
R.C. Brandt, M.A.A. Adviento-Borbe, H.A. Elliott, E.F. Wheeler
Pennsylvania State University
Applied Engineering in Agriculture
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
March 2011

Field Olfactometry Assessment of Dairy Manure Land Application Methods
R.C. Brandt, H.A. Elliott, M.A.A. Adviento-Borbe, E.F. Wheeler, P.J.A. Kleinman, and D.B. Beegle
Pennsylvania State University
Journal of Environmental Quality
March/April 2011

Use of Trained Odour Assessors to Monitor Odour Intensity, Duration and Offensiveness Downwind of Manure Application Sites
J. Agnew, P. Loran, S. karmakar, C. Reid, C. Laguë
University of Saskatchewan
Published at Inter Sectional Meeting of
The Canadian Society for Bioengineering and the
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
October 2006

Odor Monitoring and Mitigation at the Hennepin County Waste to Energy Facility
Jake M. Smith,Hennepin County Environmental Services
A&WMA 2005 Annual Conference – Minneapolis, MN
June 2005

Comparison of Methods Used to Measure Odour at Wastewater Treatment Plant Fencelines
Jay R. Witherspoon & Jennifer L. Barnes, CH2M Hill, Inc.
VDI Environmental Odour Management Conference – Cologne, Germany
November 2004

A Nasal Chemosensory Performance Test for Odor Inspectors
A.M. Lay,& C.M. McGinley
WEF/AWMA Odors and Air Emissions Conference – Bellevue, WA
April 2004

Land Application Odor Control Case Study
K.C. Hamel, L. Walters, C. Sulerud, & M.A. McGinley
Pre-print for the WEF Residuals and Biosolids Management Conference – Salt Lake City, UT
February 2004

Comparison of Field Olfactometers in a Controlled Chamber Using Hydrogen Sulfide as the Test Odorant
M.A. McGinley & C.M. McGinley
presented at the IWA 2nd International Odour Conference – Singapore
September 2003

History Channel (H2) – Modern Marvels (S16 E13)
How the Nasal Ranger Works

History Channel (H2) – Modern Marvels (S16 E13)
Managing Agricultural Odors

Discovery Channel Canada – Daily Planet
Measuring Odors (March 2004)

CNN – March 11, 2014
‘Nasal Ranger’ sniffs out skunky weed


History Channel (H2) – Modern Marvels (S16 E13)
Quantifying odors with the Nasal Ranger

Denver ABC7 News – Sept. 24, 2013
Nasal Ranger Sniffs Out Marijuana Odors

Syracuse Post-Standard – Aug 23, 2008
Adventures of the Nasal Ranger at the N.Y. State Fair

Portland KOIN6 News – May 1, 2013
Nasal Ranger enforcement officer at work


Q: What is ASTM E679?
ASTM E679 is an ASTM International standard method for determination of odor thresholds by a triangular forced-choice testing method.  This standard was first published in 1979 as E679-79, when it replaced the static threshold “Syringe Method”, ASTM D1391. In 1991, minor revisions were made and the standard was renumbered E679-91.  In 2004, additional examples were added to the standard and the newest revision is published as E679-04.  This standard was reapproved in 2011.

Q: What is EN13725?
EN13725 is a Committee European Normalisation (CEN) standard method for “Determination of odour threshold by dynamic olfactometry.”  EN13725 exceeds the requirements of ASTM E679 with additional QA/QC and assessor selection requirements.

Q: What type of olfactometer does St. Croix Sensory use?
At St. Croix Sensory, we utilize the AC’SCENT Olfactometer.  We developed this olfactometer in the 1990’s to meet the newest requirements of ASTM E679 and EN13725.  We run this olfactometer operating in Triangular Forced-Choice mode with a 20-LPM presentation rate.  The AC’SCENT can also be operated in Binary Forced-Choice, Yes/No, or Direct Presentation testing modes.  The AC’SCENT can also be operated at flow rates of 3-LPM to 20-LPM.

Q: What are odor units?
Odor units are a pseudo-dimension applied to odor threshold testing results from testing with an olfactometer.  The olfactometer threshold result is a dimensionless dilution ratio.  Frequently, the units of “odors units” (O.U.) or “odor units per cubic meter” (O.U./m3) are applied to the result.
This dimensionless value refers to the average dilution ratio at the threshold or the number of dilutions needed to bring the odor to this threshold.

Q: What is Odor Intensity?
Odor intensity is determined following ASTM International E544, “Standard Practice for Referencing Suprathreshold Odor Intensity.”  It is a measure of the perceived strength of the odor.

Q: How long does it take to receive my results?
For environmental odor evaluations, St. Croix Sensory provides a detailed electronic report within 5-business days after evaluation.  In most cases, reports are received 2-3 days after evaluation.  Fast guarantee report turn-around can be provided at an additional charge.

Q: Where do I get odor sampling equipment?
St. Croix Sensory is a manufacturer and supplier of odor sampling equipment.  Equipment is available for both rental and purchase.  Please contact us for specific information about the equipment you may need.

Q: How do I ship samples to St. Croix Sensory?
All odor samples should be analyzed within an industry standard of 30-hours.  This requires samples to be shipped to St. Croix Sensory via priority overnight shipping (e.g. UPS or FedEx).  In some cases, early AM delivery may be necessary from some locations and depending on the time samples were collected.

St. Croix Sensory provides shipping boxes at no charge (charge for shipping).  These boxes can be sent directly to your sampling site for your convenience. Please contact us for specific information about shipping.

Vacuum Chambers

Q: Does the VAC’SCENT Vacuum Chamber comply with the EPA sampling methods?
Yes, EPA Method 18 – Measurement of Gaseous Organic Compound Emissions by Gas Chromatography and Method 0040 – Sampling of Principal Organic Hazardous Constituents from Combustion Sources Using Tedlar Bags.

Q: When I sample, how do I minimize contamination between samples?
Change or purge the Teflon sampling tubing after each sample collection.

Q: Do I need a pump with the VAC’SCENT?
No, the VAC’SCENT has a pump inside. However, if you need to collect a sample over a long period of time (10-minutes to 60-minutes) we recommend you use a variable speed personal sampling pump externally to create the vacuum inside the VAC’SCENT.

Q: What sample tubing should I use?
Teflon tubing should be used for collecting odor samples. St. Croix Sensory can provide 1/4″ Teflon tubing.

Q: What are the ports on the vacuum chamber?
There are four ports on the front of the chamber.  Ports A & B (front left) are the integral pump outlet and inlet.  Port C is a valved port for depressurizing the case. Port D is the sample inlet port.  Connecting Port B to Port C will evacuate the air in the case.  The sample will then flow into Port D, and then the sample bag, to balance the pressure.

Q: What size sample bags will fit in the VAC’SCENT?
The VAC’SCENT can be used to fill two 10-L sample bags at one time.  This allows for collection of true duplicates.  A 25-L bag can be used if the dimensions of the bag are appropriate.  Please contact us if you have specific needs. The VAC’SCENT can be built with cases of varying sizes.

Flux Chamber

Q: Does the AC’SCENT Flux Hood comply with EPA sampling methods?
Yes, see EPA document PB86-223161, “Measurement of Gaseous Emission Rates from Land Surfaces Using an Emission Isolation Flux Chamber.”

Q: When I use the Flux Hood, what flux gas/air do I use?
The protocol for your project may dictate zero-air or high-purity nitrogen (HPN) with or without a helium (He) component.

Q: What is the typical sweep gas (air) flow rate?
25-liters per minute per square meter is a typical sweep gas rate, which is 3.5-LPM for the 0.13-m2 under the AC’SCENT Flux Hood.

Q: What is the typical sample collection rate?
The Sample collection rate depends on your project protocol; a typical sample collection rate is 1 to 2 LPM.

Q: Where can I buy a Nasal Ranger?
The Nasal Ranger may be purchased by contacting St. Croix Sensory  directly, or contact an authorized Nasal Ranger representative.  Email us for contact information for our international representatives.

Q: What does the Nasal Ranger measure?
The Nasal Ranger Field Olfactometer quantifies the perceived odor level as dilutions-to-threshold (D/T).  This is determined as the number of dilution needed to make the ambient air odor just detectable.

Q: Who can use the Nasal Ranger?
Almost anyone can use the Nasal Ranger!  Commonly, air quality control managers, municipality managers and regulators, facility operators, and citizen groups are using the Nasal Ranger to quantify ambient odors.

Q: How often do I need to change the odor filter cartridges?
The life of the odor filter cartridge will depend on how often it is used and the strength of the odors that it is filtering.  A reasonable rule-of-thumb is to replace the cartridge after 200-hrs of field use.  Stronger odors may require more frequent replacement.  Please see this video for additional information and demonstration of filter replacement.

Q: What is the difference between Field Olfactometry and Laboratory Olfactometry?
Both threshold results are based on the dilution-to-threshold principle and are thus a similar measure.  Laboratory olfactometry, following ASTM E679 and EN13725, is best utilized when source odors are being measured (e.g. source stack emission).  Air dispersion modeling is then utilized to predict the impact of those source odors on the community.  Field Olfactometry is performed to quantify the odors in the community; therefore, it is a direct measure of the community impact at that specific moment in time.

Q: How frequently should my Nasal Ranger be calibrated?
The Nasal Ranger should be sent to St. Croix Sensory for annual calibration verification.

Top Notes from the Lab