Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Piece of Fresh Air from the French Countryside: Air de Montquc

Scented marketing reaches new heights and the inventiveness of a young Frenchman crashes the meters of ingenuity. Are you having writer's block, a lack of creativity in your everyday life, an obstacle in the flow of the elixir vitae in your system? Don't worry, fresh air (but not just ANY fresh air, mind you) will take care of all those ailments. How would you like to literally buy the fresh air of the French countryside? Without putting a foot on French soil, that is? It's all possible, now. Someone has bottled the air of their small town and sells it by the quarter of a liter!

That someone is called Antoine and is a student of Communications who has lived in Montcuq for 7 years. He recounts his story on this link.
Montcuq is a small town in a region of France close to the Iberian peninsula, close to the Pyrenees. But the product doesn't make concessions: since it's air (well…) it has to be "consumed" all at once and you are not supposed to leave the box open, lest it evaporates too soon! The dedicated site is as bold as to claim "in order not to evacuate Montcuq of its fresh air, we limit our harvest at 10 litres of air per week". (Epic!)

The Facebook page has already amassed so many Likes that "the inventor" is promising a surprise when they reach 2000 Likes, proving that in the age of technology it suffices to ripple the pond for the ripples to reach unexpected lengths or that people have an astounding sense of humor (or desperation, take it how you will).

So for the advantageous price of 5€ you can now own 250ml of fresh Montcuq air! Or if you want the more "luxurious" Gold Edition (albeit only in packaging, as the air is…funnily enough…the same) for 12€! By the time I got to actually write this post the limited edition of 50 boxes of the Gold Edition are gone, which makes me laugh uncontrollably. Ain't life grand!

The "product" is shipped to the European Union, Switzerland, USA and Canada and anyone else can email to ask for specifics.

The box bears the distinctive disclaimer "Mise en boite a Montcuq" as if to guarantee its authenticity. Its' now literally possible to buy "hot air". To revert the famous line from Asterix "Ils sont fous ces Gaulois".

What's next? To get inspired by the pun-y name of the village itself, L'Air de Mon Cul, freshly gathered from my toilet. I bet there will be a few people actually buying it. Now, let me think of a business model…


  1. He, he, he, I can guess that is people that actually buying this stuff. He is going to make a fortune.

  2. Zazie20:10

    Well, well, the idea is as old as the world...;)
    I have a couple of "aria di Guastalla" cans at home - a gift from my mother dating several years back, with the naive illustrations that are so traditional in my hometown (home to the painter ligabue)...
    But yes, the idea is fun, and often exploited! ;)

  3. Indeed, I might have been one of those inspired by the pun. A quick google search reveals that in occitan(apparently the dialect spoken there until recently) one did say the final k (monkuk), which would have destroyed the joke. Also, apparently the town was featured already in French TV comedy-as expected.


  4. In fact, you need to speak French to understand the joke, who is not particularly light. It's playing on words : Moncuq is pronounced as "mon cul", literally "my ass" !
    French expression meaning "bullshit",too.
    So that is a gallic bawdy joke.
    The drawing on the box is for that matter explicit.
    The village of Moncuq became famous thanks a TV show of the 70's.
    France is not only the country of great wines, perfumes, art, fashion and lovers ....

  5. Miss Heliotrope05:35

    Goodness me - actually, one could do with buying things like this for the annoyingly pretentious as Christmas presents. I wouldnt be surprised if this is happening - for those people who seem to exist around the world who think that Frenchiness is somehow better in every way that anything else. The "logo," coupled with the pun...

  6. One of Best Beloved's favourite sayings is that the smoke got out (ie, it's well and truly broken). One of the boys at work found an image of a jar labelled Genuine Chrysler Smoke and emailed it to our little team, which caused much merriment.

  7. Anonymous08:17

    Elena kalimera!
    ULTRA LOL! Another suggestion for you: Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" on empty CDs he he! Sophia

  8. SS,

    I suppose people have a sense of humor, buying hot air for 5 euros apiece :-)
    He asked for funding for his project, if you can believe it! (In this day and age with campaigns for funding, everything is possible)

  9. Zazie,

    funny and interesting story there!!! I had heard about it being joked about (locally too) but hadn't come across the commercialized product!

  10. C,

    I'm not proficient in Occitan, therefore the pun leaps to the ear, LOL!!
    How ironic that he exports to the US where it will go unnoticed for the most part.

    Also didn;t know the old TV parody. Fun!!

  11. Magnan,

    vraiment, ma foi! :-D
    This is why I said I will bottle some air fresh from my toilet, it does make one smile. Apparently as Cacio says, in Ocvcitan the final "Q" is pronounced (cute, to avoid the pun I suppose).
    I was completely unaware of the French comedy though, so thanks!!

  12. MH,

    it's the sort of thing that begs for a Nelson Mandela-Morgan Freeman tweet :-D

  13. Erika,

    I can well believe it did!! Fun story. Reminds me of the Demeter scents concept.

  14. Sophia,

    ha ha, good one, bur that's been already done!

    See link below:

  15. Maria06:43

    Have you read Edgar Poe's 'Raising the Wind or Diddling Considered As One of the Exact Sciences'? Looks like this inventor took a lesson or two from my all-time favorite short story. Try it if you haven't, it's epic fun!

  16. Anonymous10:33

    Well it is obvious that John Cage "stole it from my subconscious! He stole my dreams!" [sic] ha ha ha Merry Christmas Elena dearest!! -Sophia

  17. Fiordiligi20:29

    Funnily enough we used to own a house quite close to Montcuq....! I know it well. Popular with the expat community, I have to say.

  18. Maria,

    even though Poe is among my most favorite writers, I must have skipped that one. I now have it on my reading list for the weekend. Thanks for mentioning!!

  19. Sophia,

    very clever!! ;-)

    Καλά Χριστούγεννα καλή μου! Ό,τι επιθυμείς!!

  20. D,

    funny story!
    And I'm now tempted to mention that even the word "expat" references toilet humor to my no doubt dirty mind. ("Pat-os" being synonymous with…ahem…butthole in Greek).

    The thread has really degenerated into dirty jokes, LOL!


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