Since a while back, I am owner of a bottle of Krasnaya Moskva/Red Moscow (manufactured by Novaya Zarya), I think the name speak for itself. Yes, this i the fragrance, that -more or less-perfumed the Soviet Union. It isn´t really cleared when and by whom the perfume first was made. Some say it´s the perfume Le Bouquet Préféré de l'Impératrice (created 1913, before the revolution) that only has been given a new name, other says it was created 1925, after the revolution. No matter what is correct, Red Moscow become the perfume that was absolutly most popular during the Soviet-era. A lot of younger people in todays Russia remember that this was how there grannies used to smell.
As the revolutionary romantic I am, it´s of course cool to have an own bottle of Red Moscow. For me it is, a small but still important, historic artefact. At the same time Red Moscow is critiqued. Why swoon about something that can be a symbol for repression, tyranny and communism? People also say it is of low quality and that the formula today has little to do with the original (but on the other hand what western perfume classics hasn´t been re-formulated?).
For me, the Soviet Union is dead and buried. Of course there is still people left that has suffer under it´s rule, and I do hope that that kind of controlling and ruling is forever gone, but to reject a perfume because of that? I understand that citizens in the former eastern block want to tear down statues of Lenin and change -back- the names of streets. But a statue of lenin still has a historical value. In Kungsträdgården (King´s Garden, Stockholm) there is a statue of Carl XII, I guess he wouldn´t be so popular as a leader today? But to tear down his statue?
Well, Red Moscow as a perfume, does it work? Honestly, it isn´t a perfume that I will wear that often, it starts off with very strong aldehydes, and it really smells red! Red carnation is a symbol for communism and left wing socialism, so I think it´s suitably that it is the dominant flower in Red Moscow. But after the strongest aldehydic clouds has dried in the basenotes are really pleasant, comfy, powdery and warmth from tonka bean, vanilla and iris. Worth waiting for if you ask me, maybe not super unique, but very nice and cozy. It has really good longvity and a few drops (it´s a splash bottle) goes a long way, it dosn´t feel that cheap at all. Really worth trying if you have the chanse, or even better, get yourself an own bottle of Red Moscow.
But, but... perfumes and politics? Isn´t that as bad to combine as sports and politics? Who want´s the time back when atleths couldn´t participate in the Olympic Games because it was the "wrong" country hosting them? Should I boycott perfumes from arabic/muslim countries? Or if I am against the US interference in Iraq, shouldn´t I buy american fragrances then? If available, some old stash of perfumes, from the Nazi-era in Germany, should they be burned? Or would they become cult-objects among perfumistas, raving about their sparse and elegant bottle design and the pureness of the perfume?
Quite uncomfortable to think about, but maybe we should? Or... girls just wanna have fun?