The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) sent two fire engines to St Andrew Square at 4.15pm on Saturday following reports of a suspected gas leak.
Guests were evacuated from a hotel on the square while investigations were carried out.
Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) went to the scene to investigate, but said there was not a gas leak.
The fire service left the scene just after 7.30pm and guests were allowed to return to the hotel once the area was declared safe.
SGN tweeted: “The environmental smell in Edinburgh is moving from EH15 to the town centre.
“We’re experiencing a high number of calls and our engineers are carrying out checks at various locations.
“The smell in the air isn’t being caused by gas, but if you have safety concerns call 0800 111 999.”
Earlier in the afternoon, SGN said that engineers were on site in the EH15 area of Edinburgh where there was an environmental smell in the air, but that the smell in the air was not caused by gas.
An SFRS spokesman said: “SFRS were alerted at 4.15pm on Saturday January 15 to reports of a smell of gas at commercial properties in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.
“Operations control mobilised two appliances to the scene.”