A NEW guide to York has gone a step further in a bid to lure tourists by capturing the look, attractions and even the smell of the city.

The Smell York book is the UK’s first scented travel guide, aimed at tempting travellers to the city and the surrounding countryside by teasing their noses with smells including York Racecourse, “a combination of horse hair, hoof oil, grass and fruit punch”, as well as the area’s culinary offering with a strong Yorkshire cheese.

The free guide from Visit York also claims to capture the smell of the city’s ghosts from beyond the grave – a scent of roses and sulphur belonging to two York ghosts.

Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said of the guidebook’s launch: “Countless scientific studies prove that the human sense of smell is one of the key facets in forming strong memories.

“We commissioned this scented guidebook to give potential newcomers to York a fun flavour of the many lasting memories that a trip to our historic city could provide.

“Indeed, whether you’ve got a soft spot for the scents of the supernatural or a craving for the nostril-nourishing aromas of the world’s greatest countryside, York has something for every nasal persuasion.”

The fragrant travel guidebook was created by a team of scent engineers who analysed a range of smells associated with York before recreating those aromas in a laboratory setting and applying them to the 12 photographs in the guidebook, Visit York said.

Other smells infused into the olfactory guidebook include luxurious chocolate, representing the city’s chocolate-making heritage, an afternoon tea of cream cakes and scones and the York’s daffodils.

The guidebook was welcomed by Sarah Topping who wrote to Visit York from Virginia, USA, yesterday, saying: “I would gladly pay for it and, of course, for shipping.

“I honestly think it’s a brilliant marketing idea – I’ve never heard of anything like it.

“I’ve never considered York for a destination and it’s now captured my interest.”

The book is available at Visit York Visitor Centre or by emailing contactinginfo@visityork.org.

12 scents of York

1. York’s Antiquities: a musty infusion of leather, old books, gold, silver, wood and dust

2. York in blossom: floral scents, including daffodils and roses

3. Afternoon Tea: the appetising aromas of loose leaf teas, spices and cakes

4. Chocolate heritage: the indulgent scents of cocoa, butter, sugar and nuts to represent York’s status as Britain’s Home of Chocolate

5. Railway heritage: an infusion of coal, steam, engine oil and iron to represent York’s rich railway history

6. Rural Yorkshire: the scent of fresh wild heather as it grows on the North York Moors

7. Gardens of York: the relaxing scent of York and Yorkshire’s lavender gardens

8. York Racecourse: a combination of horse hair, hoof oil, grass and fruit punch

9. Foodies favourite: a mature smell of strong Yorkshire cheese

10. Spooky scents: Strong smells of sulphur and roses that are frequently associated with spirits

11. Guy Fawkes’ legacy: Gunpowder, fireworks and burning wood and straw

12. Seasonal scents: a traditional Christmas aroma of burning frankincense, mince pies and Advent candles