You Could Smell Like A Viking

York has come up with a new tourism stunt: smell like a Viking

DAN CHUNG/X00814/Reuters/Corbis

The city of York has a history with Vikings. It's been 1,148 years since the Vikings first invaded the Northumbrian settlement, decided that, actually, York was a pretty nice place to live and set up shop on the banks of the Ouse.

Even though more than a millennium has passed since the invasion, York holds its Viking heritage dear. The city’s Jorvik Viking Center has attracted over 17 million tourists in the past 30 years, with archaeological displays and reenactments. Now, they’re taking their exploration of history one step further and letting visitors see what it’s like to smell like a Viking—with a brand new Viking body spray. 

From Visit York’s Press Release

Created in the 30th anniversary year of York’s JORVIK Viking Centre, the new body spray was commissioned by Visit York to give the groomed 21st century male an understanding of the aromas that abounded in the days of longships, long swords and even longer beards. Indeed, in Britain, as well as across the pond, facial hair has made a startling comeback, with the ‘hipster beard’ (or ‘Viking beard’ as it was originally known) now sported by men from all walks of life. And if they’re going for the look, they might as well embrace the smell too.

The body spray was developed by a team of scent scientists in consultation with York’s Viking experts at JORVIK, renowned for its accurate research of smells of the period. Equipped with this unrivalled Norse knowledge, and a superior sense of smell, they set about concocting a formula that would give a nasal insight into the types of aromas a Viking raider would have been exposed to on his daily conquests.

Those aromas featured in the aptly named "Norse Power" scent range from the relatively pleasant (fresh pine, seawater, fruits and nuts) to the unabashedly gross (blood and gore, mud, smoke from burning settlements).  

With so many odors, it remains unclear whether this new scent could technically be classed as a deodorant, but it certainly makes a change from the scents on the market today. The scent was made available on May 17 and 18 at the York visitor center as part of a marketing campaign encouraging visitors to experience York with all five senses, including smell

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