Scents and the City

What would you say is the best way to promote a city and the numerous activities and experiences that can be enjoyed during a visit there?

A beautiful guidebook maybe? Certainly, a guidebook is a really practical and simple idea that is resourceful and using lovely pictures can really show off a city.

However, the city of York  have taken one ingenious step further and integrated aromas into their latest guidebook ‘Smell York’ – providing a sensory journey into the heart of the city, without even setting foot there!

The scent-infused pages of the York guidebook take you on a year’s worth of possible activities that can be enjoyed throughout York and the surrounding areas.

Under the guidance of The Aroma Company’s sensory experts, Cow PR and their client Visit York (the driving force of the city’s tourism industry) were able to create the UK’s first scented travel guidebook to replicate the aromatic experience of twelve popular destinations and events.

As well as the scents, The Aroma Company also produced the final guidebook, which utilises their Touch to Smell technology. Gently rubbing or touching the scented pages releases a generous amount of fragrance to sample.

The reason this guidebook has really struck a cord with people (the press coverage and public interest in this guidebook has been fabulous), is that smell is a evocative sense; it creates emotional connections and engagement, and builds lasting memories through it’s direct connection to the limbic system, which is responsible for our emotions.

Indeed, 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.”

Val Lord from The Aroma Company, said “We associate so many places for their aromatic landscapes and whole cities and towns can be defined by their scent (good or bad). Here’s to tourists following their noses to York and engaging in all the sensory experiences that the city has to offer!”.

See tourist’s reactions to the guidebook here (ITV player).

Using the five sense headings of: Touch, Smell, See, Hear and Taste, new visitors to York are also offered fifty ideas for their first visit to the city via Visit York’s website.

All press and media enquiries regarding the guidebooks should be directed to or Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 9150. Guidebooks can be requested via

Do you have a PR idea that The Aroma Company can assist you with? Speak to us about promoting the aroma of your client’s product, discuss your event requirements or talk about your communication objectives. Contact or Tel: +44 (0)1491 835510