Altering the radiation intensity in controlled environments can influence volatile organic compound (VOC) biosynthetic pathways, including those of terpenoids and phenylpropanoids. In turn, the concentrations of these compounds can have a profound effect on flavor and sensory attributes. Because sweet basil ( Ocimum basilicum ) is a popular culinary herb, our objectives were to (1) determine the extent radiation intensity and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) concentration influence seedling terpenoid and phenylpropanoid concentrations; (2) determine if differences in phenylpropanoid and terpenoid concentrations influence consumer preference; and (3) characterize consumer preferences to better inform production and marketing strategies. “Nufar” sweet basil was grown with CO 2 concentrations of 500 or 1,000 μmol ⋅ mol –1 under sole-source radiation intensities of 100, 200, 400, or 600 μmol ⋅ m –2 ⋅ s –1 with a 16 h photoperiod to create daily light integrals of 6, 12, 23, and 35 mol ⋅ m –2 ⋅ d –1 . After 2 weeks, concentrations of the terpenoids 1,8 cineole and linalool and the phenylpropanoids eugenol and methyl chavicol were quantified, and consumer sensory panel evaluations were conducted to quantify preferences. Overall, increasing radiation intensity from 100 to 600 μmol ⋅ m –2 ⋅ s –1 increased 1,8 cineole, linalool, and eugenol concentrations 2. 4-, 8. 8-, and 3.3-fold, respectively, whereas CO 2 concentration did not influence VOCs. Contrary to our hypothesis, increased VOC concentrations were not correlated with consumer preference. However, overall liking was correlated with aftertaste and flavor. The conclusion that consumer preference is dependent on flavor can be drawn. However, increasing VOC concentrations to increase flavor did not improve flavor preference. Many consumer sensory preference characteristics (favorable preference for aftertaste, bitterness/sweetness, color, flavor, overall liking, and texture) were correlated with basil grown under a radiation intensity of 200 μmol ⋅ m –2 ⋅ s –1 . This led us to determine that consumers prefer to detect the characteristic basil flavor made up of 1,8 cineole, eugenol, and linalool, which was not as prevalent in basil grown under 100 μmol ⋅ m –2 ⋅ s –1 , but too high in basil grown under 400 and 600 μmol ⋅ m –2 ⋅ s –1 , which led to lower consumer preference.