Cuba colognes pay homage to Chavez and Che

Bottles of the two scents, Hugo and Ernesto, being launched Image copyright AP
Image caption Chavez or Che? Comrades seeking a special scent will be spoilt for choice

The fastidious revolutionary-about-town will soon be able to splash on a powerful scent to enhance the image.

Cuban business group Labiofam has developed colognes named after revolutionary Che Guevara and the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

"Ernesto" promises to be a woodsy and refreshing citric scent with notes of talcum powder.

Alternatively, "Hugo" offers a softer, fruitier fragrance with hints of mango and papaya.

"They will be very attractive colognes, but the names also mean a lot to us," said Isbel Gonzalez, vice president for research and development for Labiofam, which also makes homeopathic, veterinary and cleaning products.

Image copyright AP

The scents are being presented at an industry conference this week in Havana.

The fragrances have been formulated by a French perfume company, Robertet, but are being produced in Cuba.

Labiofam is in the process of developing stylised bottles and labels before the products go on sale in Cuba and internationally.

Paying homage

"It was a great challenge," said Cuban biochemist Mario Valdes, who led the scent design team.

He said the families of Guevara and Chavez had been consulted over the use of the names.

"We didn't want to create propaganda, but rather pay homage to them and help their names endure," he said.

Che Guevara's image has been exploited for a range of products in the past. The face of the revolutionary who helped Fidel Castro take over in Cuba in 1959 has become an icon for the left, appearing on T-shirts and posters in student rooms around the world, and used to market everything from coffee mugs to cars.

Venezuela's former president, Hugo Chavez, won popularity in Cuba for providing cheap oil as the country struggled under an US embargo.

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