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Auld Reekie
January 7, 2012 3:39 AM   Subscribe

Sensory Maps is an attempt by Kate Mclean to chart the Taste, Views and Touch of Edinburgh. More details in this post on Edible Geography.
In the Victorian era, Edinburgh earned the nickname “Auld Reekie,”for its smog. Now, according to McClean’s map, it “emits a plethora of scents and smells; some particular to Edinburgh, some ubiquitous city aromas.” Among the latter are fish and chip shops and vomit, while the peculiar smell of the Macfarlan Smith opiate factory, the fishy pong of the penguin enclosure at the zoo, and the ammoniac stench of the boys’ toilets at South Morningside primary school are more city-specific, as is the way that the prevailing south-westerly winds distribute these smell combinations.
Also related, the Sheffield Smellwalk.
posted by vacapinta (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mmmm. Beef dripping...

Also, this Macfarlan Smith place? Does anyone have a card for the factory shop? There are one or two of their products I'd like to sample, if possible.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:19 AM on January 7, 2012


Brewery malt fumes, oh yes. There are a couple of major production breweries in Edinburgh, and the smell of wort often permeates the city during the day. It's louder than the one o'clock gun, and part of the city's identity. I lived in Scotland for three years, and I think one of the reasons I love homebrewing so much is it makes my house (ok, street) smell like Edinburgh.
posted by oneironaut at 5:25 AM on January 7, 2012


Henderson's Relish is the best. On chips! On pie! In sauce!
posted by emilyw at 6:30 AM on January 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a Glaswegian, I endorse this post.
posted by scruss at 7:37 AM on January 7, 2012


Not exactly on topic, but every time I hear the epithet Auld Reekie think of this classic of anti-racism and public-on-police violence:
Ae nicht in Auld Reekie A walked doun the street
Whan a saucy big polis A chanced for tae meet
He glowert in ma face an he gied me some jaw
Sayin whan cam ye owre, bauld Erin-go-Bragh?

posted by Abiezer at 7:57 AM on January 7, 2012


scruss, did you go to the blog and see the requests for "Smells of Glasgow". Lorne Sausage is on it ( hopefully both the raw smell from butchers and the cooked smell )
posted by stuartmm at 8:25 AM on January 7, 2012


Ae nicht in Auld Reekie A walked doun the street
Whan a saucy big polis A chanced for tae meet
He glowert in ma face an he gied me some jaw
Sayin whan cam ye owre, bauld Erin yt -go-Bragh?


Very similar to a Liverpudlian folk song (by which I mean football chant) we used to sing as kids. Not quite as poetic, but it has the same sentiment of popular resistance to police control over public space.

"I was walking down Lime Street swinging my chain,
Along came a copper and he asked my name,
So I kicked him in the bollocks and I kicked him in the head,
Now that copper...
is dead!"
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:35 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, I didn't. Edinburgh is cold and smells bad.
posted by scruss at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2012


In The Foul and the Fragrant, Alan Corbin described a scholar who made a "scent map" of 18th century Paris. The Foul and the Fragrant is one of my top 10 favorite books.

Another sensory journey thru history is Hubbub: Filth, Noise, and Stench in England, 1600-1770,
posted by ohshenandoah at 6:03 PM on January 7, 2012


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