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From WW1 machine-gun pits to intimate bits: Rose of No Man’s Land perfume

Centenary marketing reaches a new low in the exploitation of human tragedy for profit, as Swedish fragrance brand launches its ‘Rose of No Man’s Land’.

Byredo announces its new Rose of No Man’s Land fragrance.

We thought we had become immune to the crassness of Great War centenary marketing – Woolworths, Raise-a-Glass, Camp Gallipoli, Lone Pine commemorative coasters, Audacity, Anzac Ted, Flanders poppy oven-mitts, soft porn commemorative t-shirts, on and on it goes – but this latest one possibly takes the biscuit. It comes from Sweden and it is coming to a body near you.

Wallpaper website announces that Byredo, ‘the painfully cool Swedish fragrance brand’, is bringing out a new fragrance called ‘Rose of No Man’s Land’ to mark the centenary of World War I. This pungent unguent, says Byredo, is a ‘fragrant tribute to the nurses (often referred to by soldiers as “rose of no-man’s land”) who saved thousands of lives on the front lines’.

We are promised ‘a rose fragrance, but a clean, modern, pared-down rose rather than a blowsy old-fashioned one’. In the mix there is Turkish rose, pink pepper and papyrus. It’s described as ‘a unisex scent’ though Wallpaper‘s scribe, obviously a man’s man, suggests ‘it’s probably too floral to appeal to most men, lacking, say, the woodiness that gives Serge Lutens’ wonderful Feminité du Bois its universal appeal. But for anyone who likes a fresh floral fragrance it would be an appealing daytime choice.’

Carolyn Holbrook, author of Anzac: the Unauthorised Biography, is unconvinced. ‘I wonder what it smells of – rotting human bodies (the most potent scent in no man’s land), open latrines, cordite?’ Holbrook describes Rose of No Man’s Land as the ‘latest and arguably most distasteful example of the exploitation of human tragedy for profit’. Holbrook is one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters.

The name of this ‘trench pong’ is, of course, taken from a famous Great War song, The Rose of No Man’s Land, which will probably bring a tear to your eye. We express no opinion on what the scent of the same name will do for its users. We hope it gives them warts.

Source: Honest History


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