The ability to quantitatively and noninvasively detect nanoparticles nearby the skin surface has important implications on their development as an in vivo cancer diagnostic tool. The diffusion reflection (DR) method is a simple, noninvasive imaging technique which has been proven useful for the investigation of the optical parameters of the tissue. A new method is presented for the measurements of gold nanorod (GNR) concentration in tissue-like phantoms, based on DR measurement and intense light absorption of GNR. Monte Carlo simulations and tissue-like phantom measurements of the reflected light intensity are presented. The ability to extract optical properties of phantoms and their GNR concentrations from DR measurements is demonstrated, followed by a discussion about the best mathematical model for light propagation in tissues, based on the diffusion theory.