Abel founder Frances Shoemack on her new clean, vegan, cruelty-free room sprays

When we think of styling our homes, it’s our senses of sight and touch that are typically the priority, yet it’s the finishing touches that can make all the difference to the way we feel. Paying attention to our senses of smell and hearing can add character and a feeling of completeness to the overall ambience of a space.
I love using scent in the home I share with my husband and children. I avoid plastic whenever I can, and synthetic scents are much the same for me — I just don’t want them in the air we breathe. Almost all home fragrances use synthetic perfumes and things like paraffin and formaldehyde in their formulas, so until we launched our 100% natural room spray collection, the only fragrances I’d used at home for many years were essential oils in oil burners. I love essential oils for their therapeutic value as well as their scent profiles, so alongside the latest biotechnology, we really tried to harness that in our first foray into home fragrance.

MAIN IMAGE Frances at home in Ōwhiro Bay, Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington. ABOVE Abel Scene 01 has palate-cleansing notes of green tea and yuzu, Scene 02 is replete with fig and cedarwood, and Scene 03 conveys sophisticated leather and tonka.

I love the ritual aspect of room sprays and the intentional way in which they’re used, as opposed to clouding a space with a consistent and potentially overwhelming fragrance. Abel’s Scene 01 is Japanese-inspired, vibrant and fresh; I use it when I get home from work or after cooking. Scene 02 is soft and luminous; I’ve been using it on our linen, and in the bedroom before bed. Scene 03 is beautifully refined; I love spraying it before guests arrive for an air of quiet luxury.
With a direct neural pathway to our subconscious, scent triggers memories and emotions, and in the home, this has so much meaning. Our children and pets recognise the smell of our house and embrace it. Our friends come to connect it with our friendship.
There are no rules for exploring fragrance in your home, except to be aware of over-scenting. I’d encourage you to experiment with scents that make you feel wonderful and set the scene for the kind of home or room you wish to create.

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