Scented Guidebook Creates A Visceral Experience For Tourists

Scented Guidebook Creates A Visceral Experience For Tourists

The city of York has recently released a scratch-and-sniff tour guide to help people discover the city in a new way.

Kristen Nozell
  • 7 may 2014

Scent branding has become a hot topic recently, with hotels and retail spaces tempting customers with their unique fragrances. The city of York has taken the olfactory trend in another direction, by creating Smell York, a guidebook that captures the city’s scents, ranging from the good to the bad and the downright ugly.


As reported in the York Press, Kate McMullen of Visit York says that the guidebook was commissioned by the city to give tourists a way to preserve lasting memories from their visit to the historic city. Smell York is not the first scented guidebook; New York, Phew York! was published in 2011 and offers a scratch-and-sniff tour of the Big Apple.

The guidebook contains twelve scents, including York’s Antiquities (‘a musty infusion of leather, old books, gold, silver, wood and dust’), Afternoon Tea (‘the appetising aromas of loose leaf teas, spices and cakes’), Railway heritage (‘a nostalgic infusion of coal, steam, engine oil and iron to represent York’s rich railway history’), and Rural Yorkshire (‘the scent of fresh wild heather as it grows on the North York Moors, the grasslands of the Yorkshire Dales and fresh country air’). Perhaps most unique, however, is Spooky Scents (‘the strong smells of sulphur and roses that are frequently associated with two of York’s eternally restless spirits’).

If you are keen to get a whiff of the historic city, t
he book is available at no charge at the Visit York Visiting Centre while supplies last. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by emailing

Smell York
[h/t] Daily Mail, York Press

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