York launches UK's first scratch-and-sniff travel guide for tourists



Tourists visiting York can now get a 'scents of the city' with the UK's first-ever scratch-and-sniff travel guidebook.

Olfactory experts have infused complementary aromas into 12 iconic images of York, including steam trains, a day at the races, afternoon tea, and moorland heather.

Some of the scents, however, are slightly less pleasant, including the smell of the city's most famous ghost, which is said to resemble rotten eggs.

Commissioned by Visit York, the free, quirky guidebook aims to entice new tourists to York by giving readers the chance to embark on an "olfactory odyssey" into the heart of the iconic historic city and its surrounding countryside.


As well being infused with the supernatural scents of bad eggs and roses (associated with two of York's most fragrant phantoms) the guidebook contains the evocative aromas of coal, steam and oil from the golden age of York's railways, the smells of horses galloping to the finish line at York Racecourse and the fresh fragrance of wild heather growing on the world-famous North York Moors.

Other sweet 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 city's abundant daffodils, soon to be in full bloom.

The scented 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 and applying them to the photographs in the guidebook.


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 Smell York olfactory guidebook will be available from Monday 10 March at the Visit York Visitor Centre, 1 Museum Street, York and can be requested for free on a first come, first served basis by contacting info@visityork.org.

Each photograph features a combination of scents to reflect the range of aromas the scene depicts. The full list of scents infused into the Smell York guidebook is:

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: a nostalgic 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 (the backdrop to many films and television programmes, including Harry Potter), the grasslands of the Yorkshire Dales and fresh country air

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: the guidebook has been infused with strong smells of sulphur and roses that are frequently associated with two of York's eternally restless spirits

11. Guy Fawkes' legacy: York is the birthplace of the notorious Guy Fawkes, a man who is now forever associated with the smells of gunpowder, fireworks and burning wood and straw

12. Seasonal scents: a traditional Christmas aroma of burning frankincense, mince pies and Advent candles in Britain's Christmas Capital.

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