Deola Paul-Inyang truly understands the art of blending scents. A walk into her perfumery studio located on Lagos Mainland tells of a woman with a unique olfactory. Wafts of fragrances pervaded the air; my skin was wrapped in their cosy embrace.
ÀbélàTM by Scents of Africa® is an African-grown Luxury Home Fragrance and Aromatherapy brand handcrafted in Lagos. Its comprehensive range of on-shelf and bespoke fine fragrance and aromatherapy products are for use in the home, office, spas, hotels and personal care.
Its collections include home fragrance diffusers, perfume candles, luxury room sprays, travel candles, aroma burner oils, aroma clays and potpourri, scented pods/sachets, insect repellent candles, purifying beeswax candles, aromatherapy candles, aromatherapy bath salts, cars scents, aromatherapy linen and pillow sprays.
The brand was conceived in December 2015 and it was born in the home of its brand creator, Paul-Inyang. Inspired by exotic scents, Paul-Inyang desired to create a sensational brand of cosmic proportions inspiring a fusion of African creativity and its global influence.
ÀbélàTM was created from this passion and a throwback memory of happy moments in Paul-Inyang’s childhood where her grandmother would light up candles all over the house to usher in a new year. Indicative of lighting their lives for a glorious new year, her grandmother would say: “e lo tan Àbélà” –Yoruba sentence meaning “Go and light up the candles.”
At Scents of Africa, Paul-Inyang says she interprets her world through scents. “We are fundamentally a fragrance creation house, inspired by scents and the psychology behind it. The ÀbélàTM brand is a creation and expression of all things inspired by the nature of scents; from aromatic distillation to composition and its creative expression.”
Furthermore, her fragrances are an extraction of natural and compounded aromatic oils with the love for purity in her mind. “Life itself is a bouquet of spectacular aroma compounds which inspires our choice of fragrance to be created in our products. We are conscious about using sustainable resources, aroma oils and waxes extracted from natural botanical sources primarily from the soils of Africa. The African continent is incredibly blessed with Nature’s best, and we’d be hard boiled not to embrace its gift and beauty.”
The Fragrance & Aromatherapy collection is inspired by her inner creativity, her sense of environment. It’s the sights, sound and smell of nature that inspire her products and their names. She says she is on an evolution to express in deeper terms her idea of her world and the scents it delivers.
“Every piece of the ÀbélàTM brand is a product of refined thought. Every product is unique. Each piece is specially handcrafted by the brand creator herself; essentially giving ÀbélàTM by Scents of AfricaTM its unique, euphoric and therapeutic effect,” she explains.
Her products are packaged in cases with carefully designed art-motifs by an artist she sourced from Yaba College of Technology. “After consuming the content, the cases can actually be used as jewellery boxes,” she observes.
With her brand’s penetration picking up gradually in Nigeria, her products are affordable and are fairly competitive with brands of international standard. Most of her fragrances come in limited editions and available only for a limited time.
“For our brand, the creative expression of fragrance is at our core, but safety and optimal indoor air quality is critical, which is our unique selling point. Phthalates (known carcinogens and chemicals that may affect hormones and reproductive development) in most air care products has raised concerns about safety. We are deliberate about creating our products with indoor air safety and quality in mind and this starts with how our products are compounded.”
A relatively private individual, she would rather have people feel her than see her. She prefers not to be labelled by achievements but by her essence. “My passion for life and its essence epitomises everything I do. I am a deep lover of God, and attribute all that I am to his influence over my perspectives. Time and space often doesn’t define my pattern of thought. So, if you met me for the first time, you’d probably think “Oh my goodness! She’s an enigma. How do you cope with her?”
In addition to her brand, she has a Fragrance Academy offering short courses on nurturing the craft of artisan perfumery in Nigeria. “ÀbélàTM Fragrance Academy is pioneering the conscious growth of creative perfumers and aromatherapists in Nigeria. We have brand extensions that helps others open up a vista and discover the expressive power of nature.” You can experience her products on www.abelaworld.com.