7 perfumes with Russian scents: Inspired by winter, Cheburashka, Chekmate and more

Russia Beyond (Sergey Karpukhin/TASS, biblioteka.shop, Legion Media, amazon.com)

The aroma of birch trees, Soviet cartoons and a new fighter jet are all featured in this Russia themed fragrance set.

  1. The perfume of GUM — “Ciel de Gum” by Francis Kurkdjian

French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, during a visit to Moscow, was impressed by the architecture of the legendary Moscow department store in Red Square. In 2013, on the occasion of GUM’s 120th anniversary, he launched the perfume “Ciel de Gum” dedicated to the historic building. According to the main concept, the amber notes are intended to recall the aroma of expensive boutiques; the cinnamon and red pepper accords to evoke the Gastronom store n°1; while the woody and floral scents tend to immerse the senses in the New Year’s atmosphere of the historic center of the city.

Where to buy: Randewoo, 32,106 rubles ($428) for 70ml.

  1. The scent of birch sap from Ladanika

Spring, first green leaves and birch sap – this is how the creative perfume project, Ladanika, describes the new fragrance of perfumer Elena Markova released in March 2021. The composition includes white musk, aldehydes, as well as tar and grass, which promise to invigorate you with “the invigorating energy of early spring” all year round.

Where to buy: Ladanika, 3,950 rubles ($53) for 15ml.

  1. The scent of Soviet cartoons from Soyuzmultfilm

The aroma of honey and caramelized milk (think Winnie the Pooh) and raspberry jam buns (think Karlsson-on-the-Roof, Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s fairy tale).

The watery, earthy aroma with a hint of juniper twigs comes from Yuri Norshtein’s cult Soviet cartoon Hedgehog in the Fog; while the scent of oranges is inspired by Cheburashka, another popular Soviet cartoon character. These are colognes released by the Soyuzmultfilm studio on the occasion of its 85th anniversary. Perfumes are designed to recreate the atmosphere of a Soviet childhood and popular cartoons of that time.

Where to buy: Library of Aromas, 1,950 rubles ($26) for 30ml.

  1. The scent of Siberian winter — “Russian Leather” by Memo Paris

A winter at -50°C, a snow-covered pine forest, a herd of reindeer, the rays of the winter sun and the snowflakes that melt on the skin, these are the associations evoked by the “Cuir de Russie” collection of French perfumery. MemoParis. Mint, rosemary and cedarwood form the base of this eau de toilette, followed by the fiery notes of tonka bean, patchouli and sage. The fragrance also contains a new accord, which perfumers called “fougère gelée” (“frozen fern”), reminiscent of the winter forests of Siberia.

Where to buy: Memo Paris, $300 for 75 ml.

  1. The scent of young Moscow — Gosha Rubchinskiy and Comme des Garçons

This fragrance from famous Russian designer and Japanese fashion house CDG is based on angelica root and buchu plant extract. Notes of mandarin, chamomile, styrax, vetiver and patchouli are also present. According to its creators, it recalls the smell of “youth and freedom” of Moscow parks, while the bottle, bearing the name of Rubchinskiy in Cyrillic, recalls the design of the Soviet cult perfume, Krasnaya Moskva (Red Moscow).

Where to buy: DSML E-Shop, £65 ($73) for 100ml.

  1. The scent of tea — “Russian Tea” by Masque

Summer evening, campfire, smell of wild herbs, raspberries and hot black tea from the thermos: the Italian creators of the perfume were inspired by hikes in the Russian forest and warm encounters around the campfire under the starry sky . The composition is based on raspberries, black pepper, mint, black tea, magnolia, as well as birch, leather and incense.

Where to buy: Amazon, $153 for 35ml.

  1. The smell of a Russian fighter plane — Su-75 Checkmate

Glass, metal, engine and cockpit form the basis of this perfume which has the scent of the fifth generation Russian fighter, Checkmate, which was developed by the state-owned company Rostec and the Guild of Perfumers of Russia.

The release of the fragrance is timed to coincide with the international premiere of the prototype aircraft at the Dubai Airshow 2021. It contains elements of metal alloys, glass and cockpit leather trim, combined with notes of juniper , patchouli and oak moss.

Alas, the perfume is currently only available in a limited edition and is not available over the counter.

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Sarah C. Figueiredo