Purpose: This study aims to investigate the effect of color temperature on consumption. Color is one of the most powerful elements of sensory marketing. However, how warm and cool colors drive consumer indulgence and interact with other visual cues is minimally understood. Design/methodology/approach: This research conducts six experiments to investigate the effect of eight warm and cool colors and the effect of warm/cool color’s interaction with reflectance on indulgent consumption/use in various retail environments. Findings: Studies 1a and 1b support the contrasting effects of warm vs cool colors on consumers’ indulgent consumption. Studies 2a and 2b establish the serial mediating role of arousal and self-reward focus in the color-indulgence relationship. Study 3a demonstrates the interactive effect of warm (vs cool) colors and glossy (vs matte) reflectance on consumer indulgence, and Study 3b confirms how glossy (vs matte) reflectance moderates the serial mediating effect of arousal and self-reward focus in the color-indulgence relationship. Research limitations/implications: This research contributes to the growing stream of research on the visual aspect of sensory marketing, especially color, and advances the theoretical knowledge of how color could be used effectively to influence consumer indulgence. Practical implications: This research provides actionable managerial implications on the effective use of warm and cool colors and glossy and matte reflectance to influence consumer indulgence. Originality/value: This research advances the theoretical and empirical knowledge of color’s interaction with other visual sensory cues and the underlying psychological processes shaping consumer indulgence.