Essential Oil Olfactory Test: Comparison of Affordable Rapid Olfaction Measurement Array (AROMA) to Sniffin’ Sticks 12

Jennifer Li, Gracie Palmer, Suraj Shankar, Mark R. Villwock, Alexander G. Chiu, Kevin J. Sykes, Jennifer A. Villwock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: To further demonstrate the validity of Affordable Rapid Olfaction Measurement Array (AROMA), an essential oil−based smell test, and compare it to the Sniffin’ Sticks 12 Test (SST12). Study Design: Prospective cross-sectional study. Setting: Academic medical center. Methods: Fifty healthy individuals without sinonasal disease were recruited to the study. AROMA has been previously validated against the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. The current study tests 2 additional higher concentrations to increase the ability to detect olfactory reserve. Healthy participants completed AROMA, SST12, Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22), and Questionnaire of Olfactory Disorders (QoD). Spearman correlations were used to evaluate AROMA, SST, SNOT-22, and QoD. Results: AROMA demonstrated strong test-retest reliability (r = 0.757, P <.01). AROMA showed a moderate correlation to SST12 (ρ = 0.412, P <.01). Age and SNOT-22 were significantly correlated (P <.05) with AROMA (ρ = −0.547, −0.331, respectively), and age was weakly correlated with SST (ρ = −0.377, P <.01). Median percent correct scores were as follows: SST12 identification, 92%; AROMA detection, 90%; and AROMA identification, 81%. Median correct odor identification of AROMA concentrations at 1×, 2×, 4×, and 8× were 64%, 75%, 92%, and 92%, respectively. Conclusion: AROMA has a moderate correlation with SST12. AROMA is more strongly correlated than SST12 to age and SNOT-22. AROMA’s stronger correlation with subjective olfactory status, low cost, and adaptability may help remove barriers to routine olfactory testing in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOTO Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • anosmia
  • aromatherapy
  • essential oil
  • olfaction
  • olfactory dysfunction
  • olfactory test
  • smell test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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