Color enhances orthonasal olfactory intensity and reduces retronasal olfactory intensity

Brian J. Koza, Anna Cilmi, Melissa Dolese, Debra A. Zellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The effect of color on orthonasal and retronasal odor intensities was investigated. When odorants were smelled orthonasally (i.e., through the nostrils), color enhanced odor intensity ratings, consistent with previous reports. However, when odorants were smelled retronasally (i.e., the odorous solution was put in the mouth), color reduced odor intensity ratings. These different effects of color on odor intensity (i.e., enhancement orthonasally and suppression retronasally) appear to be the result of route of olfactory stimulation rather than of any procedural artifact. This supports previous reports that retronasal and orthonasal odors are perceived differently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-649
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Multimodal interaction
  • Orthonasal odor
  • Retronasal odor


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