Scent of a Mayor

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MOSCOW: Once Michael Jordan started marketing his own designer scent, it was only a matter of time before a host of the powerful followed suit with vanity sniffs. Today's example: Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has launched Mer (Mayor) an eau de cologne meant to bring the olfactory essence of Luzkov to the masses, the English-language daily The Moscow Times reports. "Maybe after Russian women give their husbands this fragrance, it will inspire them to be more like Luzhkov, to get off the couch, take charge and make the lives of Russian women easier," gushes Nadezhda Petrukhina, head of product development at Novaya Zarya, the perfume factory which produced the cologne. With its solid square shape and silver cap, Mer's bottle symbolizes "the broad, masculine shoulders of a man" who's ready to shoulder responsibility, Petrukhina points out. But there's more than just smell and square lines to the politically ambitious Luzhkov, who makes no secret of desire to supplant Boris Yeltsin. The mayor was involved in every step of the design process, even rejecting Novaya Zarya's initial pick for the cologne box's color. His final choice? Red to represent the Kremlin walls.