You’ve got the thick matted beard, the broadsword, the mail shirt and the metal helmet (with no horns!) but your Viking reenactment outfit is still missing one crucial element – the smell. Fortunately, there’s no need to roll around at the dog park to get that authentic 10th century odor anymore.
In honor of its 30th anniversary, researchers at the JORVIK Viking Centre in York, England, have identified the smells of the Vikings and put them in a body spray called Norse Power. While the label says Norse Power Deodorant for Men, it’s really more of an odorant as it contains the aromas a Viking would pick up during a hard day of trading, raiding, rowing, looting, pillaging and fighting in close quarters with other men doing the same thing.
The spray was developed by scent scientists working with Viking experts at JORVIK, which is renowned for its accurate depictions of all aspects of Viking life. The list of ingredients brings tears to the eyes just by reading it: mead, blood, gore, smoke, seawater, mud, sweat, animal meat, fruit, nuts and a little fresh pine from the trips to Britain. This was not just the occasional smell of a Viking since they never bathed more than once a week, generally on a Saturday, known in Norse as ‘Laugardagr’ or Laundry Day.
York has a strong attachment to its Viking history. Then part of what was known as Northumbria, it was first attacked on November 1, 866, by Halfdan and Ivar the Boneless. The Vikings returned in 876 and, after destroying it, eventually rebuilt the city of York. The JORVIK center is built on the site where over 40,000 archeological items of the Viking era have been found.
While the spray may not make you popular with the maidens, at least the non-Viking ones, it might be just the thing to keep annoying passengers from sitting next to you on your next long flight.