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What Joe Camel Splashes On

Up Front


TOBACCO USERS ARE LEPERS lately. Laws forbid smoking the golden leaf in restaurants, airplanes, and workplaces. Cigarette advertising is under new assaults from crusaders who are outraged at the selling of a product linked to cancer. How odd, then, that a bunch of new men's fragrances have a tobacco scent, whether from the actual plant or from artificial ingredients.

The latest is Havana cologne by Aramis, slated for a national rollout in January. It employs the aroma of both American and Cuban tobacco. "It's a unique fragrance," says David Nap, Aramis' vice-president for marketing. The company is so confident that Havana will sell that it is inaugurating a category for a whole line of tobacco scents, called Fougere Tabac.

A competitor is Donna Karan, which earlier this year launched cig-scented DK Men. Company President Stephan Weiss chose the smell after a visit to a tobacco shop. He says that the finished product recalls "powerful, masculine" scents he encountered while racing automobiles. The tobacco fragrance, he says, adds a feeling "of warmth and security similar to a fireplace."

But cologne makers are aware of the public crusades against cigarettes, so they are quick to say they don't endorse smoking. Says Donna Karan's Weiss of his product: "I couldn't imagine a more healthy use of the scent of tobacco."Antonio Fins

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