A businessman is selling bottled British air in China for 80 pounds each, and they are going like hot cakes. Demand for British countryside air among the elite in China’s smog-plagued cities, including Shanghai and Beijing has been surprisingly high.
Leo De Watts, 27, a businessman from Gillingham in Dorset, has a team of air-farmworkers placing bottles in adapted fishing nets – they then walk around muddy fields holding the nets up as the bottles fill up with country air. They make sure their product’s purity is not contaminated with bits of grass or other things that might blow about in the breeze.
Demand for British country air high
According to the Dorset Echo, within just a few weeks Mr. Watts has managed to sell more than 180 containers of countryside air from Dorset, Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Wales – each container can hold 580ml of ‘fresh air’.
In this New Year Special offer, customers can buy 15 containers for just £888 (HK$9,888). (Image: www.aethaer.com)
Apparently, Chinese consumers are either buying these bottles to inhale – an experience that can only last a couple of seconds – keeping them as collector’s items, or giving them to friends, family and business contacts as gifts.
Mr. Watts, who now runs an events company in Hong Kong, asks family and friends to go out into remote areas of the countryside, as far away from towns and cities as possible, to collect the air.
He describes his product as the Gucci or Louis Vuitton of fresh-air, with a range of ‘unique aromas’.
Regions have their own unique aromas
The Dorset Echo quoted him as saying:
“I would say on the whole that Dorset air seems to pick up a few more scents of the ocean, as the breeze flows up the Jurassic Coast and over the lush pastures.”
“Whereas air from the Yorkshire dales tends to filter its way through much more flora, so the scent captures the subtle tones of the surrounding fields, giving different qualities to the collection.”
These are the exact words used in the Aethaer online shop. (Image: www.aethaer.com)
“We go up to a hill top, for example, and collect all the products there which are all packaged and bottled up, sent to Dorset and then directly to China. Our customers all have high disposal incomes and want to buy gifts for someone or someone wants to use it.”
“There is a serious point to this though as Beijing, Zhuhai, and Shanghai are the major places where pollution is quite bad, whether it is the fault of the rest of the world or its China’s responsibility, we have a case of people living in smog.”
Mr. Watts sells the bottled air through a company he owns called AETHAER (pron: eath-air). The word comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘aether’ meaning ‘pure fresh air’. He also uses the word AETHAER as the brand name for the air on sale.
“According to legend, aether was only accessible to the gods, who inhaled it as a healthier and superior alternative to air available for mortal humans. Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Aether constitute the five elements, where Aether is a pure essence, found only in the clearest of skies.”
According to Aethaer, specially-developed methods are used to get the natural British air into the bottles. (Image: www.facebook.com/Aethaer)
Where has the air been before bottling?
According to Mr. Watt and his company, the air that is collected in his bottles is really special. It flows over a range of prime locations, from fertile lush pastures and wild virgin meadows, to wind-kissed hilltops and snow capped mountains.
He also says the following about this heavenly air:
“AETHAER is filtered organically by nature as it flows between the leaves of woodland trees, absorbs pristine water as it passes over babbling brooks and forest streams, and is lovingly caressed as it rolls over and between mineral rich rock formations, after which it is blown up over vistas of untouched beauty to where the AETHAER is collected and bottled.”
Imagine all that in a bottle of invisible air for just £80? I must feel lucky that I live in England and can breathe it all day.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, the average person takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day. So, if I take about 20,000 breaths each day, and it is all unbottled, natural British air, my daily intake is worth £1.6 million per day or £584 million per year. Wow – I am a fresh air multimillionaire!
Video – Bottled British air
This video shows what life is like behind the scenes in the world of bottling British air.