Mel Brooks fans might remember this scene from the movie "Spaceballs" where Brooks' character opens up a can of air and takes a whiff. Now Czech artist Kirill Rudenko is taking that idea and running with it, reports The Atlantic. He is selling canned air taken from many of the world's major cities, including New York, Paris, Singapore, Prague and Berlin.
Rudenko claims that each can of air has the ability to "relieve stress, cure homesickness, and help fight nostalgia." Given that smell is the sense most tied to memory, he might actually be on to something. But does the air inside these cans really smell like where it's from?
You'll probably have to purchase a can from Rudenko's page on Etsy to know for sure. Each can sells for $9.99, which doesn't sound like too much until you remember that you're buying a can of air.
To Rudenko's credit, the cans do seem to be rather meticulously labeled, so you'll know exactly what you'll be breathing. Take, for instance, the can full of air from Paris. It apparently contains the delectable mix of 25 percent air from the Eiffel Tower, 20 percent from The Louvre, 20 percent from Notre Dame, 15 percent from Musée d'Orsay, 10 percent from Champs-Elysées and 10 percent from Sacre Coeur.
Think you can parse out the different locations from a single whiff? Perhaps someday, if Rudenko's idea catches on, there will be as many air-smelling connoisseurs as there are sommeliers. Shall we call them 'sommeli-airs'?
The cans are also labeled as "100 percent Bio"— though it's not clear exactly what that means. Presumably the air couldn't be labeled as "fresh," seeing as all the samplings currently available come from urban environments. Note that Rudenko has not yet offered any cans of air from such asthma-inducing cities as Los Angeles, Houston or Beijing.
The idea is either pure genius, or just full of hot ... ahem ... air. At the very least, the cans ought to make for some unique souvenirs.
View a short video report about Rudenko's canned air by Buzz60 here: