Country Sells Its Smell In Bottles

You may have heard of salesmen trying to sell stars, bits of the moon, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty to gullible consumers. Well, now a country is trying to sell it’s smell!

Three entrepreneurs have created a national fragrance of what they say represents the Baltic state of Lithuania.

Dainius Rutkauskas and two other friends are marketing the Lietuvos Kvapas fragrance as a reminder to people of their homeland. The scent costs around $40 a bottle and are being snapped up by countrymen around the globe.

The scent is a mix of bergamot, wild flowers, ginger, raspberry and grapefruit.It is added with base notes of amber, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli and “tree moss and tree smoke”.

The majority of the product has been sold to local tourist offices and businessmen keen to improve Lithuania’s image abroad

An accompanying range of scented candles have just come on the market with a retail price of €15 for a big candle and €8  for a set of tea lights. Soaps and other toiletries are in the pipline.

Far from being a gimmick, the businessmen are certain their fragrance of home will be a sure fire winner. “If I said chocolate and watches to you, what do you think? Switzerland. If I say Guinness and Leprechauns? Ireland. Fish and chips? England.

“But here in Lithuania we don’t have an internationally recognised symbol of our identity. Yet.

“The fragrance is a marketing tool. It’s a way of promoting Lithuania as a modern country rather than an old Soviet satellite state. To many people in the west, Lithuania has a bad image.

“We are a modern country with technological know-how and we want to communicate this to the rest of the world. The perfume is unusual. It’s a way of starting a conversation.”