This year, several people around the world have found themselves stuck far away from home due to ever-changing COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Over in the UK, a fast-spreading new coronavirus variant has led to several countries around the world imposing bans and restrictions on travel to the nation. This means that a large number of residents currently abroad will not be able to return any time soon.
Relocation website My Baggage, however, has dreamed up a special gift that is quite literally a breath of fresh air for homesick people. The company is currently selling bottles of “authentic” air from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to provide UK residents overseas with the scent of home.
The 500 milliliter bottle is priced at about $33 and comes with a cork stopper, so the user can continue to open it up and take in the fragrance anytime they need a pick-me-up.
The company will also take on special orders for any other particular UK locations, apart from the four UK countries, and say they have recently fulfilled an order from a Welshman who ordered a sample of air from the Snowdonia mountain area in northwestern Wales.
In the meantime, special limited edition bottles are also available with air taken from the London Underground or a Norfolk fish and chip store.
Smell and memories
The team at My Baggage, who deal with international removals for Brits who are relocating, say they were inspired to launch the bottled air range after conducting research that linked the human sense of smell with emotional memories.
“We wanted to help them [UK residents living abroad] reconnect with home and we know from published research that our sense of smell is very evocative when it comes to emotions,” says a spokesperson for the company. “By allowing recipients to take a deep breath of the air from their home country we’re hoping to ease homesickness and help them settle into their new life, wherever that may be.”
The vast majority of orders come from those who are purchasing the bottles as presents for friends or relatives living abroad, according to My Baggage.
The launch of the UK bottled air range comes over four years after air farming company Aethaer began selling 580 ml bottles of British country air to buyers from polluted Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai for $115.
Meanwhile, the Canadian company Vitality Air is offering fresh air canisters from the Rocky Mountains to Chinese customers, with prices starting at $52.99 per pack of two 8-liter bottles, while the Swiss company Swissbreeze is selling air for less than $20 per 8-liter bottle from the mountain regions of the Central European country.