Thanks to ever-changing Covid-19 travel restrictions, many people around the world have found themselves stranded far away from home this year.
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, meaning a large number of residents currently abroad will not be able to return any time soon.
However, relocation website My Baggage has dreamed up a special gift for homesick residents that’s quite literally a breath of fresh air.
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.
Priced at £25 (around $33,) the 500 milliliter bottle comes with a cork stopper, so the recipient can keep opening it up and taking in the aroma whenever they need a pick-me-up.
Aside from the four UK countries, the company can also take on special requests for any other specific UK locations, and say they’ve recently fulfilled an order from a Welshman who requested a sample of air from the mountainous region of Snowdonia in northwestern Wales.
Meanwhile, special limited edition bottles featuring air taken from the London Underground or a fish and chip shop in Norfolk are also available.
Scent of home
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.”
According to My Baggage, the vast majority of orders come from those who are buying the bottles as gifts for friends or family living overseas.
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, Canadian company Vitality Air offers canisters of fresh air from the Rocky Mountains to Chinese buyers, with prices starting at $52.99 for a pack of two 8 liter bottles, while Swiss company Swissbreeze sells air from the mountain regions of the Central European country for under $20 for an 8 liter bottle.