In Gaza, a Rocket-Themed Perfume that Smells Like Victory

It's not exactly napalm in the morning, but sales of a perfume named after a Hamas missile are (ahem) exploding in Gaza.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Abed Rahim Khatib / Demotix / Corbis

A young Palestinian girl holds a M75 perfume bottle in a shop in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.

It’s not exactly napalm in the morning, but sales of a perfume named after a Hamas missile have gone “through the roof” in Gaza following November’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a local salesman told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

As the territory begins to recover from eight turbulent days of fighting last month at least one businessman is eager to capitalize on the tentative ceasefire. The conflict, which killed up to 10 Israelis and as many as 170 Palestinians, has been declared a victory by both sides, reports Reuters, but “many in Gaza take pride in militants having shot a rocket as far as Tel Aviv, the longest-range aerial strike by the Palestinians so far.”

(MORE: Who Won in Gaza? Body Language and the Cease-Fire)

Rajaey Odwan, director of Gaza’s Continental Style perfume company, is one of the distributors of a new fragrance named “M-75” after a missile used by Hamas, the paramilitary organization that rules Gaza, in air-strikes against Israel. The perfume would give customers a chance to smell victory and “turn it into a perfume,” Odwan told Haaretz.

“I hope the smell is strong enough for them to whiff in Tel Aviv and remind the Jews of the Palestinian victory,” said an Egyptian customer who bought 60 vials of the perfume as souvenirs, according to Reuters. The black-and-green 2 oz-bottles sell for $13 each — about 10 percent of the average monthly income in Gaza.

The perfume is produced with orange, lemon and herbal scents native from Gaza. “The fragrance is pleasant and attractive, like the missiles of the Palestinian resistance, and especially the M-75,” the producer of the perfume, Shadi Adwan, told Al-Resalah. With unemployment four times higher in Gaza than in neighboring Israel, the M-75 rocket has become a rare symbol of Palestinian pride. Hamas forces fired hundreds of the rockets into Israeli settlements during the hostilities in November. When Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal gave his first speech in Gaza ever on Dec. 8, he stepped out of a giant replica of the locally manufactured missile. Like the perfume’s packaging, it read “Made in Gaza.”

MORE: Hamas Leader Speaks on Violence, Negotiations and Peace