An authentic breath of Welsh air - and it's only £24 a bottle

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The Independent Online

Expats missing the wondrous whiff of the Welsh hills can now buy atmosphere captured in Snowdonia or the Brecon Beacons - the only catch being that it retails for £24. The Cardiff businessman John Gronow - a civil servant during office hours - today launches walesinabottle.com to flog fresh air across the globe.

"It honestly isn't a gimmick," the 58-year-old said yesterday, fighting off doubting Thomases. "It sounds ridiculous but it's not a Mickey Mouse product. We're not trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes.

"It is the genuine article collected from the hills and presented in a very nice, perfume-type bottle with an etched dragon and inscriptions in Welsh and English ... a unique piece of someone's childhood to put in the living room cabinet."

It might seem costly, but the air does come with a certificate of authenticity guaranteeing its point of origin and postage and packing to anywhere on earth. "What we're aiming for is people who left Wales some time ago and want a reminder of their early lives," he said. "The more discerning the Welsh exile is, the more they'll be prepared to pay."

He has received business advice from Prime Cymru, a business agency for the over-50s whose president is the Prince of Wales.

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