"Sniffin' sticks": screening of olfactory performance

Rhinology. 1996 Dec;34(4):222-6.


"Sniffin' Sticks" is a new test of nasal chemosensory performance based on pen-like odour-dispensing devices. This portable test is suited for repetitive, inexpensive screening of odour identification. The test includes a forced odour-identification task for seven odours performed by means of a list of four items (multiple-choice). In 146 subjects the basic screening test was compared to a down-scaled version of the UPSIT (CC-SIT). Sniffin' Sticks exhibited a relatively higher coefficient of correlation with the subjects' age; they also demonstrated the women's superior olfactory sensitivity more pronounced when compared to men. In addition, the coefficient of correlation between age and olfactory performance was slightly higher when the sticks were used. Preliminary investigations in nine patients with impaired olfactory function (i.e., anosmic or hyposmic patients) revealed significantly lower scores in patients compared to healthy controls matched for age and sex (p < 0.001). It is concluded that Sniffin' Sticks may be useful in the routine clinical assessment of olfactory performance where both time and costs matter.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odorants*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Factors
  • Smell / physiology*