Cuba: Hugo Chávez and Ernesto “Che” Guevara Perfumes


The heroism and bravery of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Argentina’s Ernesto “Che” Guevara will now be translated into two perfumes named in their honor: Hugo and Ernesto. Andrea Rodríguez (Associated Press) writes that Cuban chemical experts and fragrance designers hope to suggest these attributes to their buyers. The article explains that “Ernesto” is more woody and sweet with refreshing notes, while “Hugo” has a softer scent of tropical fruit and has a less penetrating fragrance. These fragrances should become quite popular, like the other wonderful Cuban-made perfume, which I love, “Alicia” (named after prima ballerina, Alicia Alonso).

Isbel González vice president of research and development for Labiofam says that “They will be very attractive perfumes” and that their name means a great deal to Cubans. Her dream is that one day, they will be able to package the perfumes in more strikingly elegant bottles and with eye-catching labels. For now, they have a simple printed label on very modest bottles (see above).

Labiofam is the largest Cuban laboratory specializing in natural products. “Hugo” and “Ernesto” are its first forays into fragrance lines for men.

The presentation of the fragrances was an important part of the Labiofam Congress 2014, which is taking place in Havana all week and is attended by foreign scientists interested in the Cuban experience in natural products.

Mario Valdés, the biochemist leading the design team, told AP that producing these perfumes was a huge challenge, adding that “These are essences obtained from natural products and processed by a commercial firm, Robertet in France” to which Cuba applied its own technology for the final product.

Valdés and his people worked for a year and a half to achieve these two scents—as well as two others for the women’s line, “Alba” and “Amalia.” Before naming them, they did a survey of 122 people to be completely sure that these names worked.

As the article highlights, this is not the first time that Cubans are inspired by well-known personalities for their perfumes. The distinguished ballerina Alicia Alonso, founder of the National Ballet, has one that is being sold since the 80’s and is currently produced by the local firm Suchel-Camacho. This perfume is a popular purchase among tourists traveling to the island.

Labiofam also developed a homeopathic product derived from scorpion venom, as a complement to cancer treatments, which is being used all over the world, as well as yogurts, dietary supplements, creams made from mango bark, and even biolarvicides.

Post based on original AP article (in Spanish):

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