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Want an unusual gift for your Valentine? Try a bottle of Lithuania

Lithuania, the southernmost Baltic state, must be desperate for attention — or at least male attention. The country’s foreign ministry has launched the very first national perfume, appropriately called Lithuania. It features fragrances of moss and wildflowers and — here’s the kicker — wood fires.
There’s a good reason for the smoky smell.
“For Lithuanians to identify themselves with this perfume, we’ve added the smell of wood fires that can be associated with pagan rituals, as well as moss and wildflowers,” said Mindaugas Stongvilas, an expert in emotional communication.
(I’m not sure what emotional communication means, but I imagine the expert, in addition to scents, knows a lot about crying and throwing things.)
Can’t you just picture some Lithuanian dude snuggling up to his wife, who has just splashed her neck and wrists with an ample dose of Lithuania?
“Honey,” he says, “I thought we might turn in early tonight, but all of a sudden I feel like going outside and pitching a tent. We could build a fire and roast some marshmallows. By the way, do you smell something burning?”
But, hey, I don’t know what turns Lithuanians on. A wood fire might be the thing. And, if it works, other countries surely will want to develop their own national perfumes. Nobody asked me, but here are some potential scents:
People’s Republic of China: The scent of cheap trinkets mixed with slight aromas of dyed cloth, plastic toys, electric motors and practically everything else sold in America.
Greenland: The gentle scent of a female polar bear in mating season. (Warning on bottle: Do not use outdoors.)
Venezuela: The subtle but expensive smell of the crude oil that built fabulous mansions of the filthy rich — all friends of America-hating President Hugo Chávez. Perfume also called Ripoff.
Australia: The warm, nostalgic scent of a snuggly koala eating eucalyptus leaves. (Warning: Not recommended for women using Vicks VapoRub ointment.)
Antarctica: In this continent of howling winds, where the temperature can range from minus-60 to minus-70, the scent would be twice the strength of ammonia to awaken the man pursued and the olfactory nerves of his frozen nose.
Cuba: A mixture of sugar cane and citrus fruit. Kowtowing to the demands of Communist dictator Fidel Castro, the perfume maker would add the odor of a good cigar.
Colombia: Smells like rich, fresh-brewed coffee. Tends to cause male suitor to order ham and eggs for dinner.
New Zealand: A mixture of the three types of Kiwi: the fruit, the bird and the shoe polish.
Finland: Comes with a phosphorescent ingredient that causes the wearer to glow in the dark. Popular in the wintertime, when darkness settles in and women are harder to find.
The latest scented product from Lithuania, by the way, is a candle called “Feeling Lithuania.” For you romantics who aren’t into the perfumy smell of wood fires, the candles go on sale this month, just in time for Lithuanian Valentine’s Day.

Phil Hudgins’ column is published in many newspapers around the Southeast.