By Victoria Weldon

When it comes to scents associated with Scotland, wild heather, whisky hops or salty sea air might come to mind.

However, according to data from the country’s local authorities, there are a few less pleasant smells filling our nostrils north of the border.

Councils have received almost 13,000 nuisance smell complaints over the last five years, with some of the more bizarre reports including a strong smell of cabbage in West Dunbartonshire, fumes from a nail bar in Stirling and Bitumen on clothing at a property in Renfrewshire.

Some of the complaints also included dead animals and a dead body in a flat.

Moray was the council area with the worst rate of smell complaints, with around one complaint per 172 residents.

The local authority claims any bad odours in the area’s “clean country air” will be more noticeable, giving rise to more complaints.

However, the data shows that Moray is well above the UK average of one complaint per 500 residents, placing 15th on the list of areas attracting the most complaints per capita.

Rich Quelch, global head of marketing at Lifestyle Packaging, who collected the data, said: “It’s really interesting to see where residents in Scotland complain the most about bad smells and the range of complaints councils receive every year.

“From a pet crematorium in West Lothian, fumes from a nail bar in Stirling, to a bad smell coming from Lundie Castle in Angus, the list of unusual smell complaints is endless.”

In Scotland, an odour nuisance is a smell which “affects people and their immediate environment or their ability to enjoy their property”.

Bad smells are also the third biggest turn-off for homebuyers, behind damp and the property being in a poor state of repair.

Angus came second in Scotland for smell complaints with one complaint for every 179 residents, followed by South Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross and Fife.

Residents in Angus were most likely to complain about domestic waste burning, while in South Ayrshire the top complaint was “domestic”, meaning residents are more likely to take offence at bad odours coming from their neighbours.

Overall, Glasgow City Council received the most official complaints in the study (1,726) in Scotland, but when its population is taken into account, it comes in 15th place.

At the other end of the table, the areas in Scotland with the fewest smell complaints per capita were the Scottish Borders, with just 51 complaints, Dumfries and Galloway with 69, East Dunbartonshire with 70, Eilean Siar with 80 and North Lanarkshire with 110 complaints.

Councils can issue an abatement notice to the person responsible for the odours, demanding they take steps to stop the smell nuisance.

Failure to comply with an abatement notice can lead to environmental health taking action to address the issue and charging you for the work, or you can be taken to court and face a maximum fine of £5000.

A spokesman for Moray Council, which refused to reveal the detail of the complaints it received, claimed the figures offered a “distorted analysis”.

He said: “We are victims of our success in tackling any form of pollution to keep this fabulous area as clean as it is, and our residents are vigorous in reporting any incidents that threaten Moray’s pristine environment.

“Because of this Moray has an enhanced Environmental Health team that investigates every complaint to ensure public health and a pleasant environment.

“Why else would thousands of visitors flock to this area every year?”

Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Graham Leadbitter, added: “I am confident that the residents of Moray know the truth, as do those that visit the area every year.”

Lifestyle Packaging has created an interactive map showing the complaints in different parts of the country.

This can be found here -