Can the daughter of a dictator come up smelling of roses?

 

The fragrance is called mysterieuse, and combines hints of Moroccan roses with sensual notes of jasmine and ylang-ylang. It does not feature playful allusions to torture or subtle hints of prisoners being boiled alive, but perhaps it should.

Created by a leading French perfumier, the scent is meant to be the olfactory embodiment of Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the ruthless dictator of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.

Uzbekistan under Mr Karimov is one of the world's most repressive countries, with torture endemic and a widespread atmosphere of fear. Schoolchildren are used as forced labour to pick cotton for several months every year, and the majority of people live in extreme poverty.

Not so Ms Karimova, the president's socialite "first daughter", who lives a gilded life flitting between parties and junkets in Tashkent, Moscow and Geneva. A close confidante of her father, Ms Karimova has in recent years reinventing herself, first as a fashion and jewellery designer, and more recently as pop singer Googoosha, using her father's pet name for her.

Her latest vanity project, perfume, was launched at a lavish party in a Tashkent nightclub last week. The fragrance was created by leading French perfumier Bertrand Duchaufour, who has masterminded scents for a number of leading brands including Christian Dior and Givenchy. "Through the 'Mysterieuse' fragrance I tried to convey the image of Gulnara, her femininity and sensuality," he said, according to local news reports from the event. "The women's fragrance has notes of every flower that can be found in the Orient."

"I am perhaps the first man in the history of perfumery who has tried to link France and Uzbekistan through perfume," continued Mr Duchaufour, getting into his stride. He did not respond to an emailed request from The Independent for comment, and has not clarified how much he was paid to immortalise Ms Karimova in a spray, but he would not be the first to benefit financially from Ms Karimova's lucrative vanity projects. The singer Sting was criticised for appearing at Tashkent Fashion Week and sitting next to the dictator's daughter in 2010, for an alleged seven-figure fee, while former Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari was briefly made the highest paid football manager in the world when he took over at Bunyodkor, a Tashkent football club with reported links to Ms Karimova. Described by US diplomats in cables released by Wikileaks as a "robber baron" and "the single most hated person in the country", Ms Karimova has always denied links to corrupt business practices and extortion.

Those who gathered in Tashkent to toast Ms Karimova's new fragrance last week were given a number of extra treats, with displays of her new season fashion collection and jewellery designs, and a premier of the video of her new single. The professionally produced clip shows Ms Karimova in a flowing golden dress, pouting seductively and singing floaty lyrics, in English, over an industrial beat. Using her alter-ego Googoosha, Ms Karimova has embarked on a widespread advertising campaign in the US, where posters dub her an "exotic Uzbek beauty" and do not mention her parentage.

Her new single, perhaps somewhat appropriately, is entitled "How Dare?" Many Uzbeks might wish to ask her the same question.

Sport
formula oneLive lap-by-lap coverage of championship decider
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin