Building 42 Wrest Park Silsoe BEDFORD Bedfordshire MK45 4HP
01525 860222

Odour Testing


At Silsoe Odours, we operate a leading independent odour laboratory, based in Bedfordshire. Our laboratory was the first in the UK to achieve UKAS accreditation. We continue to uphold these industry-leading quality standards. Our range of odour testing services is designed to help you understand nuisance odours, with both quantitative and qualitative services available. Our goal is to provide you with the scientific data you need to differentiate odour sources and understand the impact they have on the local environment.


Odour panellist in lab


Our team of odour specialists not only provide a fully integrated odour service, but also a lab-only standalone service. So, regardless of your in-house capabilities, we can support your odour assessment and management requirements at every level. This means that you can commission us for a complete odour assessment, sampling and testing assignment, as well as simply sending us your odour samples for testing.
If you are in the business of taking odour samples in-house, it’s important that you comply with the requirements of European Standard BSEN13725. Providing your sampling methodology complies with the relevant olfactometry standards, we can analyse your samples.



Our most popular test is for odour concentration. The olfactory organ (the human nose) is the only sensor of odour. We use the process of olfactometry to harness this sense in an objective way. The olfactometer is a device that dilutes an odorous sample to a known concentration, for presentation to our specialist odour panel.

The Silsoe Odours odour panel comprises six specially selected, screened and trained odour assessors. They take part in a ‘forced choice’ progression of odour assessment, until a resulting odour concentration is established. This concentration is expressed in European Odour Unit per cubic meter (ouE/m3). This is extremely useful in the calculation of emissions.

All our odour assessors are selected and continually efficacy-checked according to the requirements of European Standard BSEN13725. What’s more, our odour concentration measurements also fully comply with the European Standard BSEN13725.


At Silsoe Odours, we use a process of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) to analyse the chemical structure of an odour sample. This type of odour testing provides our customers with an objective scientific result. It details the individual compounds contained within the odour sample, as well as its concentration levels. This information can be used to identify which odours are problematic for an operator, and in the creation of an effective odour management plan.


By testing the odour detection threshold of a compound, we are able to give a numerical value to its odour. This is often useful for odour abatement equipment manufacturers. By understanding the odour detection threshold of each compound in a given process, you can easily exclude emissions of compounds which fall below that threshold when designing new odour abatement equipment. As with all our testing, we conduct odour detection threshold testing according to the European Standard EN13725 in our UKAS-accredited odour laboratory.



One of our most popular odour testing services is hedonic tone assessment. This is where we measure the level of pleasure, or displeasure, that specific odours create once brought into contact with the human nose. It is a subjective testing process, which allows us to give a ‘score’ to an odour. We use our panel of trained odour assessors to generate these scores. The perceived hedonic tone scores range from very pleasant (+4)) to very unpleasant (-4). Knowing how odour can affect local communities allows for effective odour management, and is helpful for ‘safe zone’ planning.


Odour intensity testing is an olfactometric testing service which provides a qualitative scale to rank the perceived strength of an odour; from very faint to extremely strong. Odour samples are presented to and assessed by our human panel of odour assessors. The odour panel comprises six specially selected, screened and trained odour assessors, who are continually tested and calibrated to ensure an objective result. Our customers often find the results of odour intensity testing useful for safe space planning and validating the results of dispersion modelling.


Odour characterisation is a subjective odour testing service, which provides a description of an odour at just above the odour detection level. As with odour intensity testing, odour characterisation is completed by the Silsoe Odours odour panel. Odour characterisation is often helpful for operators receiving odour complaints, to confirm the validity of those complaints. It is also useful in the development of odour management planning and in satisfying the regulator

Client testimonials

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what our clients say:

The team at Silsoe Odours are knowledgeable and friendly, and the laboratory services they provide are second-to-none. I cannot recommend them enough for their understanding of our business needs, flexibility and efficiency. Their odour specialists are also a valued source of helpful, prompt advice.

Kate Lister


RSK’s specialist Air Quality and Odour team carries out odour assessment and monitoring and expert witness services for clients from all sectors, and all these are underpinned by robust odour sampling and laboratory intensity determination.

We have worked with Silsoe odours for many years, and have always been impressed with their friendly practical approach, technical expertise and flexibility. We look forward to working with Silsoe Odours again in the future and would not hesitate to recommend their services.

Will Franklin


Silsoe Odours are invaluable to me as a partner for testing odour samples. I use their laboratory services, on average, several times each month, for many of my clients. They are a great source of expertise and allow me to offer clients an integrated odour consultancy experience, without the associated overhead and resourcing costs of operating my own laboratory. They understand both my needs as an independent environmental consultant, and those of my clients – whether utilities or multi-national operators. The flexibility and ease of working with Silsoe Odours is hugely valuable. I don’t hesitate to recommend their services.

Matthew Houseman

H&M Environmental Ltd

If you require odour analysis and lab testing services, call our team on 01525 860222.