The Smell of Scotland: History, Heritage, and Practice

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


The project explores Scotland’s olfactory history and heritage. From the sweet scents of yellow gorse to the exquisite aromas of whisky, from the pungent stench of the medieval Old Town of Edinburgh to the industrial smells of Glasgow, the smellscapes of Scotland are rich and diverse. Bringing together academics, perfumers, heritage experts, tourism officers, artists, and the general public, this project charts the ways in which Scottish smells are entangled with history, identity making, and biodiversity. Focusing on smellscapes and environments, food culture, and animals and botanical species, we will organise workshops and smell-walks in order to produce a journal special issue, a report to relevant stakeholders on smell’s heritage and cultural values, and further grant applications. We argue that scents are an essential component of Scotland’s culture and economy; unveiling, preserving, and making use of this heritage is imperative.
Degree of recognitionNational
Granting OrganisationsRoyal Society of Edinburgh


  • smell
  • Scotland