A Cuban company has developed two new colognes, one that celebrates the late Hugo Chávez and another one for Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. It looks like the next big thing in smell is socialism.
The Associated Press reports that Che’s smell, Ernesto, is “woodsy and refreshing with notes of Talcum powder.” The cologne is likely, and hopefully, being generous, since Guevara was known to have avoided bathing for most of his life.
As for Hugo Chavez’ cologne, known simply as Hugo, the smell is “softer and fruitier,” and contains hints of mango and papaya. It’s hard to say how the scent matches up to the real man, although he may not have wanted to be known as fruitier than his fellow Latin American socialist.
Cuban company Labiofam says it worked with the French scent maker Robertet for one and a half years to develop the two colognes.
Despite the political views of the two men, the scents are not meant to promote socialism.
As scent team leader Mario Valdes explained, “We didn’t want to create propaganda, but rather pay homage to them and help their names endure.”
Nevertheless, there are some political connections at play. Labiofam’s director is related to Raul and Fidel Castro. Che Guevara was a driving force in the Fidel Castro’s revolution, which overthrew Cuban president Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Likewise, Hugo Chavez was one of the Castro’s closest allies after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Chavez’ Venezuela delivered millions of barrels of low-priced oil and economic support to the struggling island nation.
Despite the connections, Labiofam officials says that the names were chosen from a poll of 122 people at various perfume and cologne conventions. Once selected, the company properly received permission from Hugo Chavez and Ernesto Guevara families to use their names.
No matter what the politics are behind the scenes, the colognes still deserve to be judged based on the merits of their smells.
Labiofam reports that reviews for their new products were largely positive.
“I’d probably be more likely to buy ‘Ernesto’ because the scent is a little more striking,” according to Reymundo Miranda.
Information about when, or if, Hugo and Ernesto would be available worldwide. Once they do hit the shelves, hipsters will finally have something else to buy instead of the classic Che t-shirt.
In any case, it will be ironic that Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara will be supporting after death what they fought so hard against in life: the capitalist system.
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]