Back in 2006 in the early days of perfume blogging and the year the fragrance blogosphere took off, when I wrote the utopian post My National Parfum about the idea of a country which would use perfume to construct its own identity, it was just a day-dream, a projection into the future, a mere conceptual vaccuum in the continuum of reality that might, potentially, get filled.
4 1/2 years later, it's become not only an experiment but a genre, apparently. After Korea and its Great Korea Fragrance, England and its pean to the joys of touring the nation with the scents of By George! it is now the republic of Lithuania which has embarked on a textbook case of national identity construction project based on and symbolised by perfume...
The French house of Galimard est. 1747 created the Lithuanian national perfume which has been sent to foreign ambassadors in Vilnius and Lithuanian soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. The trickle down, binding and bonding effect of perfume will be further consolidated with larger distribution to embassy quarters, hotels and airports.
It is, interestingly, and hopefully - for the Lithuanian government - the reverse effect of the segmentary approach cultivated by confidential brands called "niche" perfumeries which prefer to put the accent on the separate distinctiveness and social distinction of the individual. It moreover, for the record, makes a dent, at the global level, in the anti-perfume-crusade-movement mentality which has been particularly buoyant in North America.
Certainly, to be continued.
So, how does it smell?
"The perfume "Lithuania" is a blend of sandalwood, cedar and musk intended to connote the Indo-European origins of the Lithuanian language as well as Lithuanian strength of character, its designer says.
"For Lithuanians to identify themselves with this perfume, we've added the smell of wood fires that can be associated with pagan rituals, as well as moss and wildflowers," Stongvilas said."
Read more Lithuania Launches National Perfume....