Scent of Che? Revolutionary perfumes hit the stores

What do late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, the Catholic Church and rappers Jay-Z and P-Diddy have in common? They have all got their own cologne.

Cuban business group Labiofam have immortalised the Latin American revolutionary icons in a new perfume. Now ardent fans can purchase "Ernesto" which is said to have a woodsy, citric scent with hints of talcum powder. There's also an apparently fruity fragrance called "Hugo" that has a touch of mango and papaya.

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John MacDougall | AFP | Getty Images

Now, the pair will join a whole of celebrities who have launched their own perfume lines. This includes pop princesses Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Cheryl Cole. Rap superstar P-Diddy's fragrance is called "Unforgiveable" and fellow artist Jay-Z has one entitled "Gold".

Pope Benedict XVI also has his own fragrance, fashioned by Italian boutique perfume maker Silvana Casoli, but it isn't available to the public.

"They will be very attractive colognes, but the names also mean a lot to us," Isbel Gonzalez, who is vice president for research and development for the company behind the Ernesto and Hugo scents told the BBC.

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Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013, was one of Latin America's most notorious leaders. He used the country's vast oil wealth to institute social programs, called "las misiones" or missions", to raise health and education standards. Both poverty and inequality levels significantly fell while he was in power, according to the World Bank.

"We didn't want to create propaganda, but rather pay homage to them and help their names endure," said Mario Valdes, the biochemist who led the fragrance's design team told the BBC.

Che Guevara is one of the world's most revered - and reviled - figures. In the 1950's he helped Fidel Castro orchestrate the Cuban revolution, after sailing there abroad a yacht called Granma, and waging a guerrilla campaign.

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