With the program of Fort & Manlé I am now about two-thirds done and recognize certain patterns: Mr. Fort loves food (fruit is never wrong, now and then you treat yourself to a calorie bomb). His favourite flower is definitely the rose. And he likes to surprise us with the names of the fragrances: imaginative scents in the style of "Mr. Mitsubishi likes to yodel on his motorbike in pink socks" stand next to waters that are quite unpretentiously named after the great men of world history. Like this one.
Don Juan has already reported something about Sultan Mehmed II, called Fatih ("the Conqueror") in the Preliminary Commentary. I'll start from the fact that he was one of the great rulers of world history. During his long reign, he brought the Ottoman Empire under his rule to a heyday in all areas, culturally, architecturally, economically, as a great legislator - and militarily. Although there were sultans after him who achieved even greater territorial expansions, he also conquered Serbia and Bosnia in particular. And of course Constantinople (more on this in a moment), for which he was posthumously given the epithet "the conqueror". In his rank as ruler he is certainly not inferior to Julius Caesar or Charlemagne, and if no one in this country knows him - like other non-European rulers of the first rank, such as the very likeable Indian Emperor Ashoka - (except, as can be assumed, in the community of Turkish immigrants), then this says something about our Europe-centric ignorance.
But knowing him does not necessarily mean liking him. I'm afraid I don't like him at all. There is at least one more "subjective" and one more "objective" reason for this.
The subjective one is that Mehmed conquered Constantinople in 1453 - immediately after his accession to the throne. For many centuries, the old Eastern Roman Empire had only shrunk and at last consisted basically only of its capital on the Bosporus, which, however, was still a legend: despite its decline, it was still incredibly beautiful, incredibly rich and with incredibly powerful, huge fortress walls. And still (and still today, 2020) the spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity worldwide. The newly crowned Sultan saw this, not without good reason, as a challenge and an opportunity. He had a counsellor, who tried to talk him out of the matter as too risky, bumped him off on the (perhaps not false) grounds that he was paid by the Eastern Roman emperor and ordered the siege and the storm. What happened then can be read, for example, in the classic "The Conquest of Constantinople" by Steven Runciman. It is a story of heroic but hopeless defence; Emperor Constantine XI himself fell fighting at the gates of the city. It is a story of betrayal and indifference, for Venice and the other Western powers sent the promised support far too late and in ridiculously small amounts. For the friends of Tolkien: The whole thing was a bit like the Battle of Helm's Deep, only that in the end neither the Elves nor the Ents came. If I am bad-mouthed about Mehmed for this reason, it is not because of the hardly imaginable violence against civilians: after the storm there was a merry massacre; the girls and women were raped, and what was alive afterwards was led into slavery. These excesses were nothing special at the time and there was no law to prohibit them (nobody thought of the Hague Land Warfare Convention and the Geneva Conventions). My resentment is not moral, but strictly partisan: my sympathies are with the brave last emperor and I weep with the last Byzantines (and Romans) over their sad fate. Not because they were "better" than the Ottomans, but because I take the liberty of feeling like a Roman.
Objectively, however, I am angry with Mehmed, because he did not invent a barbaric institution - even by the standards of the time - and made it law (some claim so, others contradict), but at least he made it socially acceptable and the de facto norm: dynastic fratricide: Since the Ottoman laws did not give a clear priority to the first-born son of the chief wife, all sons of the ruler were potential heirs to the throne, so Mehmed considered it wise to have (at least) one (still childish) brother suffocate in bed after his accession to the throne. Thus it became the standard for the next 200 years: in short, the sultans begat sons and raised them princely until it was certain that at least one was worthy of the throne. If one succeeded in becoming a successor, all others were routinely strangled with the bowstring. If not, then the somewhat more orderly variant, the father took matters into his own hands and had all the surplus sons strangled himself, in order to spare the intended successor from getting his hands dirty.
I wonder what this horrible kind of reason of state has done to people: What kind of rulers were those who, before being enthroned, first had to experience being nurtured to a potential successor at the same time and having to live with the risk of being strangled the next morning. And then as a second experience that they had to start their government business with a Brothers massacre? I can't think of anything more repulsive. If you are interested in more details, perhaps you can reach for the "Zeitschrift für Balkanologie" (does really exist), volume 2019, page 53 ff. and read Murat Caglayan's article "Fratricide in the Ottoman Empire". I haven't done it yet. In any case, it is certain that compared to Prince Harry, he cannot complain that he now has to do charity work with the beautiful Meghan Markle on Vancouver Island without holding the title "Royal Highness"
Are we allowed to name a fragrance after Mehmed II? Sure. Even if it would be a reason for me not to buy it, purely subjective. But what one must not do is to let a ruler's fragrance smell so lukewarm. I almost laughed out loud after I applied it. Nice sweet fruitiness to start with, then a bit towards soft tobacco leaves, a harmless game of spicy nodules, then a woody, firm, stable but somewhat meaningless finish. Fratricide in jogging pants, world conqueror while nibbling on fruit compote.
Addendum: Mehmed II ruled for 30 years (and died of obesity); this fragrance fades early. The real Sultan expanded his empire and made it shine, the perfume named after him is of rather puny projection.