On the scent of victory

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

paris bureau

I’m writing from my temporary Parisian bureau at Charles de Gaulle’s Pullman Hotel, where I’m awaiting the big launch of Paco Rabanne’s new male fragrance, Invictus.

Parent company Puig has high hopes for what it believes will be a new pillar product. It’s being pre-launched exclusively with Aelia beginning today, before being rolled out across the global travel retail channel.

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I flew in last night from Dublin after a glorious weekend at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. As always the hospitality, both at the K Club (below) and the racetrack, was superb and the occasion spectacular.

k club

Alas The Moodie Tipster’s predictions came a little unstuck. The warm favourite may have been called Ruler of the World but he certainly didn’t rule the big face, coming in a struggling fifth, a long way behind the winner, Trading Leather (below).

trading leather

The Tipster is apparently claiming some kudos, pointing out to me that he wrote the following about the winner:  “A winner at the Curragh earlier this month, this likely-looking colt looks good value at 5/1. What’s in a name? Plenty. Few travel retailers trade more leathergoods than Dubai Duty Free. A strong upset chance.”

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An upset it was to be sure, to be sure. Only one reader in The Moodie Report’s competition to win a ticket in Dubai Duty Free’s ‘Finest Surprise’ luxury car raffle followed the advice above – industry consultant Jess Howells. Congratulations Jess, you could be driving around the streets of the UK in a very nice motor vehicle any day now.

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[From left: Isobel Spillane; Martin Moodie; David Spillane; Barry Geogeghan and Michelle Lovett]

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[Trainer and jockey celebrate the big win at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby]

Back to the job at hand – Invictus. In about 3 hours, Puig management will meet with senior executives from Aeroports de Paris and Aelia to celebrate the big launch. The Moodie Report is representing the travel retail media, an honour as always and we plan to do full multi-media justice to the occasion.

Invictus stands for unconquered in Latin, and has been chosen for the fragrance to represent an image of an invincible hero. I, like, many, associate it (in my case very reluctantly) with the movie of the same name, about South Africa’s Rugby World Cup victory in 1995 over my beloved All Blacks, an event rendered famous for the appearance of then President Nelson Mandela wearing the number 6 jersey (the same number as team Francois Pienaar) before and after the match.

That match has come to stand as an enduring symbol of the end of the apartheid era (rugby until then had been very much a white sport in South Africa). What chance ultimately did the All Blacks have with two such great men wearing the number 6?

Like the sporting All Blacks supporter I am, I never watched a replay of the match nor even the Hollywood film starring Matt Damon based on the 95 World Cup, called, you guessed it, Invictus. Why remind oneself of such a sporting blow against our arch rivals I always figured?

Today though is different. Not only will the name evoke a male fragrance but it is also a reminder of the desperately frail health of the man who more than any other was responsible for breaking down the hideous concept called apartheid. At 94, Nelson Mandela is clinging to life, an amazing man who fought injustice and incarceration to bring about profound change in his country.

Whether or not he wins his current battle against old age and illness, Mr Mandela will always remain unconquered in the eyes of the world. Invictus.

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