12 smells of York captured in new scented guidebook

Testing the Smell York book in Bettys

Testing the Smell York book on the North York Moors

Trying out the the Smell York book at the National Railway Museum

The Yorkshire aromas being created in a laboratory

A page from the Smell York guidebook

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

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

Comments (19)

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9:55am Sat 8 Mar 14

sheps lad says...

What about the smell of shop doorways and alleys on Friday and Saturday nights?
What about the smell of shop doorways and alleys on Friday and Saturday nights? sheps lad
  • Score: 22

11:03am Sat 8 Mar 14

pedalling paul says...

.............or the delightful aroma of bicycle chain oil?
.............or the delightful aroma of bicycle chain oil? pedalling paul
  • Score: 15

11:17am Sat 8 Mar 14

RingoStarr says...

pedalling paul wrote:
.............or the delightful aroma of bicycle chain oil?
This stinks.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: .............or the delightful aroma of bicycle chain oil?[/p][/quote]This stinks. RingoStarr
  • Score: -12

11:38am Sat 8 Mar 14

Older Sometimes Wiser says...

I wont be long now before the warmer weather will rekindle the aroma of new & ancient sewers from Spurriergate to Lendal !
I wont be long now before the warmer weather will rekindle the aroma of new & ancient sewers from Spurriergate to Lendal ! Older Sometimes Wiser
  • Score: 13

11:46am Sat 8 Mar 14

Ninja9 says...

This sound OK until the strong cheese thing - EWWWWW sweaty socks?
No thanks.
This sound OK until the strong cheese thing - EWWWWW sweaty socks? No thanks. Ninja9
  • Score: 4

12:31pm Sat 8 Mar 14

TheTruthHurts says...

I'm glad that they left the smell of rawcliffe off the list
I'm glad that they left the smell of rawcliffe off the list TheTruthHurts
  • Score: 6

12:37pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Daisy75 says...

I've already pre-ordered one hundred copies!
I've already pre-ordered one hundred copies! Daisy75
  • Score: 1

12:49pm Sat 8 Mar 14

beermeup says...

What about the late night bogs by Bootham Bar and Exhibition Square?
What about the late night bogs by Bootham Bar and Exhibition Square? beermeup
  • Score: 8

2:47pm Sat 8 Mar 14

amykathleen2005 says...

That email is not right. It bounces back.
That email is not right. It bounces back. amykathleen2005
  • Score: 0

4:21pm Sat 8 Mar 14

bolero says...

Just spent an enjoyable and pleasant day in Northallerton. Parked for three hours for £1.50. A good market in the main street where it should be. Did quite a bit of shopping from foodstuffs to clothing and housewares and got everything we wanted served to us by pleasant and interested asssistants. A nice restuarant for a good meal. Well worth the trip and sure to return.
Just spent an enjoyable and pleasant day in Northallerton. Parked for three hours for £1.50. A good market in the main street where it should be. Did quite a bit of shopping from foodstuffs to clothing and housewares and got everything we wanted served to us by pleasant and interested asssistants. A nice restuarant for a good meal. Well worth the trip and sure to return. bolero
  • Score: 8

5:20pm Sat 8 Mar 14

malonemalone says...

bolero wrote:
Just spent an enjoyable and pleasant day in Northallerton. Parked for three hours for £1.50. A good market in the main street where it should be. Did quite a bit of shopping from foodstuffs to clothing and housewares and got everything we wanted served to us by pleasant and interested asssistants. A nice restuarant for a good meal. Well worth the trip and sure to return.
yeah bit it's Northallerton
[quote][p][bold]bolero[/bold] wrote: Just spent an enjoyable and pleasant day in Northallerton. Parked for three hours for £1.50. A good market in the main street where it should be. Did quite a bit of shopping from foodstuffs to clothing and housewares and got everything we wanted served to us by pleasant and interested asssistants. A nice restuarant for a good meal. Well worth the trip and sure to return.[/p][/quote]yeah bit it's Northallerton malonemalone
  • Score: 1

7:14pm Sat 8 Mar 14

bolero says...

malonemalone wrote:
bolero wrote:
Just spent an enjoyable and pleasant day in Northallerton. Parked for three hours for £1.50. A good market in the main street where it should be. Did quite a bit of shopping from foodstuffs to clothing and housewares and got everything we wanted served to us by pleasant and interested asssistants. A nice restuarant for a good meal. Well worth the trip and sure to return.
yeah bit it's Northallerton
Is this code or York gobbledegook?
[quote][p][bold]malonemalone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bolero[/bold] wrote: Just spent an enjoyable and pleasant day in Northallerton. Parked for three hours for £1.50. A good market in the main street where it should be. Did quite a bit of shopping from foodstuffs to clothing and housewares and got everything we wanted served to us by pleasant and interested asssistants. A nice restuarant for a good meal. Well worth the trip and sure to return.[/p][/quote]yeah bit it's Northallerton[/p][/quote]Is this code or York gobbledegook? bolero
  • Score: 3

7:47pm Sat 8 Mar 14

eeoodares says...

When I was a kid I used to like walking past the cocoa warehouse in Skeldergate, the smell was great..until you hit the Kebab shop.
When I was a kid I used to like walking past the cocoa warehouse in Skeldergate, the smell was great..until you hit the Kebab shop. eeoodares
  • Score: 1

4:55am Sun 9 Mar 14

Magicman! says...

... what about that smell of poop that drifts over the city every now and then during the summer?
... what about that smell of poop that drifts over the city every now and then during the summer? Magicman!
  • Score: 1

9:50am Sun 9 Mar 14

ZachCohen says...

The smell of sewers/ rear end waste as you enter mickle gate bar....
Fantastic advert to most people visiting the city.
The smell of sewers/ rear end waste as you enter mickle gate bar.... Fantastic advert to most people visiting the city. ZachCohen
  • Score: 1

4:35pm Sun 9 Mar 14

MouseHouse says...

Good luck with this but this just looks like a PR puff with no substance. A bit of fun, but not a serious attempt to attract visitors.
Good luck with this but this just looks like a PR puff with no substance. A bit of fun, but not a serious attempt to attract visitors. MouseHouse
  • Score: 2

6:55pm Sun 9 Mar 14

aitch11 says...

The smell of sh**e from the drain in the middle of Blossom Street,you know the one it was "repaired" a couple of years ago!!
The smell of sh**e from the drain in the middle of Blossom Street,you know the one it was "repaired" a couple of years ago!! aitch11
  • Score: 2

7:02pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Alf Garnett says...

Daisy75 wrote:
I've already pre-ordered one hundred copies!
But when will you order them ?
[quote][p][bold]Daisy75[/bold] wrote: I've already pre-ordered one hundred copies![/p][/quote]But when will you order them ? Alf Garnett
  • Score: 1

6:14pm Mon 10 Mar 14

long distance depressive says...

Strong smell of BS eminates from the Council Offices on a regular basis.
Strong smell of BS eminates from the Council Offices on a regular basis. long distance depressive
  • Score: 1

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