This must be one of the most hilarious interviews on perfume we have ever had the pleasure of reading. Moskovskie Novosti interviewed Aleksandr Korotenko, the founder of fragrance company Parade of Stars. No, this is not a celebrity perfume venture but rather a company which looks at Russian social reality with unblinking eyes. What they see is that criminals and gangsters sell as they represent a national obsession. The "chanson" genre expresses that fascination in songs of the underworld and the "urban under class"; one social media is worth bottling, VKontakte, but not Facebook; they also explain why there won't be a Pussy Riot perfume, nor a Kremlin fragrance...
"Among the fragrances on the perfumery’s shelves is a scent called “Vladimir Central,” which is the name of a notorious prison for violent criminals and a legendary song of underground fame. The scent itself is surprisingly pleasant – the first impressions are of earth and moss. Maybe there are overtones of tobacco, wet wood, and something rotten. Parade of Stars manager Aleksandr Korotenko explains the market strategies behind the success of his unusual and gritty fragrances."
About the founder,
"Once he understood why some brands fail and others succeed, he decided to open his own company. He fixed his hopes on those who lived from paycheck to paycheck – in other words, on 95 percent of the Russian population. The decision has been paying off for Korotenko ever since."
Read more at Russia's Working Class Fascinated with Unlikely Fragrances -- here in Russian.
You can watch a video clip featuring the song sung by Mikhail Krug,