A sensory 3-D map of the odor description space derived from a comparison of numeric odor profile databases

Autores UPV
Revista Chemical Senses


Many authors have proposed different schemes of odor classification, which are useful to aid the complex task of describing smells. However, reaching a consensus on a particular classification seems difficult because our psychophysical space of odor description is a continuum and is not clustered into well-defined categories. An alternative approach is to describe the perceptual space of odors as a low-dimensional coordinate system. This idea was first proposed by Crocker and Henderson in 1927, who suggested using numeric profiles based on 4 dimensions: ¿fragrant,¿ ¿acid,¿ ¿burnt,¿ and ¿caprylic.¿ In the present work, the odor profiles of 144 aroma chemicals were compared by means of statistical regression with comparable numeric odor profiles obtained from 2 databases, enabling a plausible interpretation of the 4 dimensions. Based on the results and taking into account comparable 2D sensory maps of odor descriptors from the literature, a 3D sensory map (odor cube) has been drawn up to improve understanding of the similarities and dissimilarities of the odor descriptors most frequently used in fragrance chemistry.