Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Ambi Pur: Waft of Life - My Smelly to Smiley Air Story :)

Fresh welcome to my Smelly Air to Smiley Air Story!  

Ambi Pur is now my Waft of Life

Ambi Pur has become the 'Waft of My Life' by making my cherished 'way of life' an everyday reality.  Wonder how? Read on ..

I have always been allergic to strong perfumes and scents - the operative word though is 'strong'.  I have been fine with mild, gentle and lingering fragrances. Over the years, this contributed to psychologically steering me away from air fresheners.  

I never understood the science behind either my allergy or the gamut of fragrances and fresheners, nor was I ever particularly interested in researching or understanding.

Then, quite incidentally (yes, 'serendipity' is my middle name :) I gained a great deal of understanding in my tryst with Ambi Pur in the Ambi Pur IndiBlogger Chennai Meet in the last week of May this year (2013).  I learnt & understood the difference between mere fragrances (as emitted by scores of fresheners available in the market) and 'freshness' - 'freshness' is a result of odor being eliminated, not suppressed or countered by stronger scents (which mess is what accentuated my allergy with a cocktail of scents).  

You might want to read my earlier post for a perspective on Ambi Pur's research & odor management methodology.  I came away quite impressed and with the Ambi Pur Car Mini Vent Clip - the random flavor I brought along was 'Lavender Comfort'.

  
After using it in my car for almost a month, I quite liked the freshness I felt so it gave me the confidence to experiment with Ambi Pur for my home.  And, as serendipity would have it, IndiBlogger and Ambi Pur provided a 'Get A Sample' facility around the same time; members of IndiBlogger could request for the sample of their choice through the respective page on IndiBlogger.  

For my home use, I could choose a sample from two categories, primarily:

1. Air Effects:


2. Set & Refresh:


Years of keeping away from the fresheners in the market meant I still was slow to adapt to the spray type that 'Air Effects' appeared to be.  So, scored a safe goal by requisitioning 'Set & Refresh' from IndiBlogger :)

I was immensely happy with the 'Lavender Comfort' flavor for my car earlier, so I was only too happy to receive 'Lavender Vanilla & Comfort' this time around; soon enough, my sample arrived aesthetically:




You can reach Ambi Pur on Facebook and learn about the various flavors available in each category; well, you can also buy them online, right from the comfort of your home, through their Facebook 'Buy Online' Link.

My true story begins here :)

Wonder why I wanted to experiment? No, this opportunity to share the story came much later.  After attending the Ambi Pur IndiBlogger Chennai MeetI wanted to see if Ambi Pur would help me in living a way of life that held much nostalgia and comfort for me, but one I was nevertheless largely unable to practise in its true form for lack of odor / smell management empowerment, until then.

See how Ambi Pur has now solved this dilemma for me - one by one:

1.  Food For the Soul - Light A Lamp & Pray to Feed the Faith & Strengthen the Soul:

Born in Chennai, though I have been raised diversely & have traveled far and wide, at the very heart of my life is the values I derive from my hometown, my grandparents and my parents.  I am inseparable from them.

One of these values is 'belief in Nature' - a natural way of life, belief in karma, belief in the law of Nature, that good begets good, that we reap what we sow.  I am also very deeply musically inclined and a firm believer in the positive energy prayer, especially through music, infuses.

My earliest memories of growing up include attending my grandmother's puja (prayer) every evening.  She lit a carefully maintained silver lamp fueled by either sesame oil (everyday) or ghee (special occasions like festivals) and lit by cotton wicks:

  

Well, science says capillary action makes oil travel up the wick to light up the lamp.  My nostalgia says the family togetherness, the musical harmony make my faith and soul travel quite a few notches up the belief chain :)

I'm contemporary, not religious but deeply spiritual.  I don't believe in rituals for the sake of rituals.  But, I'm discerning enough to decipher which of our traditions (by the way, I have figured out, most are - just that our ancestors didn't market it as effectively and communicate it as we do) hold the key to spiritual enrichment.  For me, lighting a lamp - the way my grandmother used to and the way my Mom does now - and collecting fresh flowers from our garden - then and now, praying together, reciting some carnatic music based songs - is number one in that list.  I can almost see me do it with my grandchild someday :)  Remember the old adage: 'a family that prays together stays together'.  Even if that means eating and praying together only in the weekends and on holidays.  

My grandparents lived in a sprawling vintage mansion even though they lived in the heart of this dear city Chennai - there was so much fresh air from the garden and the puja room was a dedicated large room, very spacious and well ventilated - never once did the pungent smell emanating from the lamp & oil vapors the lamp emitted - bother me. 

Growing up and now living in urban spaces in this same dear city Chennai, so typical of our times, we yearn for fresh air & more natural light.  To be fair to my parents, Dad built our home with very old age architecture - there are more windows than walls and there is ample cross ventilation.  The ceilings are extra tall.  But, as Chennai residents will tell you, for almost a decade and more, we have been plagued by mosquitoes and that means after 6 p.m., almost all windows remain shut - even if they are open, they have intense mosquito nets permanently affixed on them :( Which leaves only so much scope for fresh air to pass through!

This has meant, when Mom lights the lamp, the pungency from the silver lamp - emitting oil vapors - lit with sesame oil or ghee and cotton wick - is so bothersome that I don't manage to stay put there for more than a minute, at the maximum.  The pungency is particularly severe when the lamp wick extinguishes.  To make matters worse, our puja room / area is integrated with the living room, as is the case with much of Chennai these days:



So, as a solution, my caring parents subscribed to Chennai's intellectual entrepreneurship - traditional lamps fitted with mini bulbs and plugs - so they could be electrically lit - thereby no oil or ghee, no cotton wick, no oil vapors, no pungent smell :)

Sample two of my prized possessions - traditional lamps with mini bulbs and electric plugs:



This is how I used to pray until Ambi Pur wafted in to my life recently.  

I set the 'Lavender & Vanilla Comfort' Set & Refresh in my Puja Area :) 

'Set & Refresh' key features:

Its a product designed to continuously eliminate odors & provide a wonderful scent.

Once set, provides long-lasting freshness.  It actually packs even more odor-eliminating power to remove extra-tough odors and is suitable for small or medium sized spaces.  It can last up to months and refill cartridges are available.

Inserting the cartridge and pushing firmly until it clicks, activates it.  Should you at a given point in time require increased freshness, hold the sides and pull firmly down on base - lo and behold, you are releasing more awesomeness :)

The rest, they say, is history (or her story, in my case).  I now can peacefully and freshly light a traditional silver lamp, filled with sesame oil or ghee, lit with cotton wicks and yet be safe from the pungent smell emanated by the oil vapors and the extinguished wick.  There is a huge difference in the practice as compared to merely switching on an electrical lamp & praying - the former is natural whilst the latter is, if you allow me to say so, rather plastic. 

Thank you Ambi Pur for wafting in to my life to return me to a way of life I cherish as a legacy from ancestors and would want to pass on to posterity.

Thank you IndiBlogger for playing the bridge in my meeting with Ambi Pur.

2.  Food For Thought - What's Being Chopped? Ah, well, the Odor ..

Buoyed by the success with my Puja, I quickly bought 'Set & Refresh' in Sweet Citrus & Zest flavor.  For the kitchen. 

The kitchen, as you will agree is as central to our well-being as the Puja area - the former serving our physical well-being and the latter our emotional.

Now, the famous kitchen chimney only absorbs fumes when cooking.  My dilemma has always been ahead of that stage - the chopping, yeah, vegetable cutting.  Being pure vegetarians, our kitchen witnesses much vegetable and fruit action.

We are ardent consumers of Bell Peppers, especially Green Capsicum, Cabbage and mild consumers of Onions - and, I am only naming the culprits, if you will.

Bell Peppers, especially 'Green Capsicum':




Well, I love bell peppers. They go so well with Indian or Italian cuisine. They almost represent a traffic light effect on me - I stop the red because i find it very hot and spicy; I indulge the yellow, its gentle and soft.  I love the green for its glorious flavor.  With magnesium and fiber benefits, its only natural they are a constant part of our cuisine.  Leave a comment for me and I will give you some superb recipes :)

The main problem I used to face is with the green capsicum.  Try chopping / cutting one.  It will fill the home with its very strong flavor.  And like all things good, too much of anything - even if good - is good for nothing!  

Cabbage:

Cabbage is almost an insurance policy to consume - a very significant part of Chinese cuisine, celebrated for its health benefits.  But, try chopping it and you had it.  Your entire household, if not neighborhood will know what you are up to :)  

Onions:


An indispensable part of cooking, onions of course serve up tears by the truck loads.  Ah ah, we are smarter than that so never chop onions with a board and knife anyways.  We triumph over it with an electric chopper :)


While the chopper largely takes care of the tears, it does nothing about the strong onion smell.  Nor does the chimney.  The moment the chopper is opened after chopping, uff, the smell engulfs the house - even a duplex architecture doesn't help (I think smoke and smells, rather, travel up much faster)!

Now, I have fitted the 'Set & Refresh' in Sweet Citrus & Zest flavor in the Kitchen and of course, promptly release more of the awesomeness as soon as any of these culprits have been in action.  If you are wondering why I particularly chose the Sweet Citrus flavor, it holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Ask me how?

My mom loves watching the Discovery, Animal Planet channels and cookery shows on BBC, TLC etc.  When I was growing up, the only international cookery shows she watched were on BBC.  I was so fascinated and sat by her side as she ardently watched them.  Both of us used to be so fascinated by that host washing hands with lemon juice after dealing with difficult ingredients :) 

So, Mom and I now have our very own version of that.  Thank you Ambi Pur for empowering me to lead the way of life that appeals to me - vegetarianism. Thank you IndiBlogger for bridging me with my Waft of Life.


3. No more Monsoon Muddle - I have my 'mudguard' now:

This is again a deeply nostalgic personal experience for me.  The rains and the garden mud.  


As a very little kid, probably 7 years old, grandfather introduced me to gardening.  He spoke to his plants everyday, trust me. My mom and I inherited green fingers, so to speak.

We have a modest garden, grow lots of fresh flowers and pride ourselves in offering them to every temple in Chennai and its vicinity, on a turn basis. We consider it a blessed privilege and are oh so grateful to Nature.  


I love the rains.  When the raindrops hit the garden, the smell of wet mud is not always pleasant though.  Very often, its very overwhelming - all the more for family, friends and neighbors who don't share that kind of passion for gardening.  For them, after a grueling city day, they want a fresh night at home.  

After years of putting up with this, the solution I now have come up with is to fit 'Set & Refresh' in Blossoms & Breeze Flavor - right in our portico, sit-out overlooking our garden :)  I have noticed it definitely helps when people step in and out of the home, during rains.  Further, since the wet mud smell seems to be handled outside, there is almost none of it travelling indoor to irritate :) I am sure my neighbor appreciates it as well.  



It did rain significantly last fortnight in Chennai and our plants had company dancing in the rain - me ;) 



With that, we come to the fairy tale end of this story.  How Ambi Pur became what I have now uniquely coined as my 'Waft of Life'.  In fact, I think just like we don't search any more - but we Google and we don't photocopy ever - we only Xerox, Ambi Pur could and should become synonymous with 'freshness'.

Can we infuse some much needed Ambi Pur in to our public life and politicians please? 

Please take note, when you start using the Ambi Pur 'Set & Refresh' range, you first have to get a 'Starter Kit' and for subsequent refreshing, only a 'Refill' which is a cartridge.  

Thank You Ambi Pur and Thank You IndiBlogger for this opportunity.  

I have already won over odors and pungent smells; winning this story contest would only be crowning glory :)  As they say, participation is mightier than winning.  And that I hope I did, Ambi Pur style - fresh, authentic, well researched, aesthetically served :)

Cheers :)