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The Pope's Cologne

By admin Published: April 16, 2008

Pope cologne

The pope in this case is Pius IX, but the fragrance has gotten a boost from the current pope's visit to America. Info after the jump.

I've spent part of the morning researching the Pope's Cologne after a co-worker pointed me at a New York Daily News story on papal products. The story notes that the cologne is being sold through Monastery Greetings, a company based in Cleveland; I went searching for a local angle, but the cologne is actually made by a California company.

Still, I became fascinated by the marketing of the cologne. Here's some of what the cologne site says about it:

We have followed this complex, exclusive formula meticulously, using the same essential oils that his perfumers used 150 years ago. We believe that we have succeeded in capturing the same fragrance that he and those around him enjoyed so long ago. This is a truly extraordinary cologne with surprising freshness and notes of violet and citrus.

There's even more at the Scented Salamander, an online ''journal about the scented life & society." Including a review of the fragrance. One excerpt:

Judging from the cologne itself, it shows a man of refined taste who obviously valued subtlety, elegance, and even the rare. The scent has an ancient charm about it, especially when the floral notes start being felt, that is quite remarkable. It is a perfume recipe made in a time when flowers in masculine colognes were felt to be perfectly natural hence an absolute lack of showiness and complete sense of maturity and naturalness about the floral notes in this composition. Being a cologne meant to be worn by the Pope, it had to be restrained in principle and it is in fact; there is no unexpected flamboyance or hidden coquetry pointing its nose. Naturally, the animalic notes are extremely discreet. Perhaps we can also imagine that a certain ethereal quality, a lightness and freshness were cultivated as befitting the pope’s image. The citruses and lemon verbena are invigorating, a definite plus for a man in a public function. The fragrance is that of a man of patrician or aristocratic tastes.

As for those of you wondering about Monastery Greetings, this is from a company press release:

Monastery Greetings is a "one-stop-shop" service that brings together hundreds of monastic products, including gifts, music, books, soap and body care items, and, of course, delicious foods -- from abbeys, convents, monasteries and hermitages throughout the United States and the world over. Monastery Greetings helps them support themselves.

Monasteries are famous for their Old World recipes made with whole ingredients. Examples include creamy fudge from Brigittine monks, melt-in-your-mouth pralines from Benedictine nuns in Texas, whiskey cakes from Trappist monks, chocolate and candy from Trappistine nuns in Massachusetts, and Nun Better Cookies from the Sisters of the Holy Spirit in Cleveland, Ohio. Monastery Greetings also handles mail order of Trappist Preserves (28 different jams, jellies and preserves made by Trappist monks in Spencer, Massachusetts) and has the largest selection of Trappist Fruitcake anywhere.

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