British businessman says he has made nearly £16,000 selling bottles of fresh-air to China for a breath-taking £80 a bottle. Leo De Watts, aged 27, claims Britain boasts the “ Louis Vuitton ” of finest fresh air.
The smog-plagued elite in Beijing and Shanghai have already snapped up early
200 of his 580ml decanters of British air in just a few weeks.
Leo sends friends and relatives out into the countryside – as far away from pollution as possible – to bottle fresh air.
His team of air-gricultural workers carry the bottles in adapted fishing nets – which are held aloft as they stride through muddy fields to harvest fresh air.
The bottles are left open for up to 10 minutes to capture the full fresh-air aroma – and ensure no grass or bugs get into the “organic” product.
Leo has been exporting bottles of fresh air from Dorset, Somerset, Wales, Wiltshire and Yorkshire to the Far East.
When customers open the bottle, the “experience” of inhaling the fresh-air lasts just a few seconds.
But some Chinese are also buying the air-tight bottles as novelty gifts that will never be opened.
Leo, from Gillingham, Dorset, claims each area of Britain has its own unique air aroma.
“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 it’s way through much more flora, so the scent captures the subtle tones of the surrounding fields, giving different qualities to the collection.
“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.”
A firm in Canada sells bottled Rocky Mountain air to China but Leo is leading the British charge.
“I saw a few reports of people importing bottles of air and thought it was a bit ridiculous myself, and then I thought about it.
“When someone bottled water everyone thought it was ridiculous, now you have Evian and Volvic – why not bottle air?
“We are priced as a luxury item – it is not for every-day customers. If they want something that is cheaper they can buy it.
“Think of us as being the equivalent of Louis Vuitton or Gucci, we are not likely to appeal to a mass market.