The Odor of Sanctity


Fr Tim Finegan links to a site that sells the Pope’s Cologne.

I thought the Pope’s Cologne was one of B16’s German cathedral cities, but it seems a California perfumier has resurrected a formula for a papal perfume. This adds a whole new dimension to ‘smells and bells’. I wonder if there is a special way to apply the stuff. Ring a little bell, dip your finger in the cologne, then make the sign of the cross on each wrist and behind your ears?

With the Italian heat and all those robes, I’m sure the body odor factor gets pretty high in the Vatican. If the cologne sells well maybe they will come out with a whole range of high class men’s toiletries. I can see fast paced TV ads featuring handsome seminarians splashing on the after shave. Will there be shower gel, underarm spray, shaving cream and a new range of razors patterned after the Swiss guards’ halberd?

Speaking of the odor of sanctity, I recently bought a new rosary supposedly made from rose petals. I think it has been soaked in rose oil and my study now smells heavily of cheap perfume.

I’m only a convert. Can someone tell me whether I am supposed to:

a.) like this, and thank the Lord that I now belong to a religion that is not ashamed of the physical aspects of worship.

b.) put up with it as a penance

c.) soak the thing in bleach to get rid of the smell

d.) not tell anyone, so they think when they enter my study it is permeated with the odor of sanctity and they are in the presence of a living saint.

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  • Dear Fatherhow about a, b and d? You will have noticed before you came over to Rome that Catholics have no infallible gift of good taste. You also realise that there is a sermon (or at least a blog post) in everything that God’s creatures are capable of. You already knew that God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform: you now have a rather wider class of mysterious ways to interpret. Just don’t destroy: somebody somewhere thought that somebody else somewhere else might actually be able to pray more reverently because of what to you or me might be a cheap scent, but what to them might be as oil of spikenard. We should never judge the manner in which God chooses to approach other people: they might judge the way He approaches us! And you were over here for long enough to have been cured of Noah’s spelling: write the word “Odour” 100 times as your New Year’s resolution.With prayers and best wishes for what, I sincerely hope, is going to be the best year (yet!) of your life.

  • Odor or odour? I have tried to adapt to relate to the natives…Today I said ‘tom-aye-duh’ for that delicious red and juicy vegetable fruit…thanks for your warm good wishes.

  • Hooray for converts. And from Anglicanism, and before that the pre-mill fundamentalist american evangelicalism as well. Hey, me too. Except I never went to Bob Jones. WEIRDO. :-)Cheers.Warren

  • I`ve been a rosary maker for a while but I`ve never made one with a scent. Think maybe I`ll keep it that way:-)Brad

  • As far as rosaries go, I really love the one I got from my parish priest when I was in fifth grade. The beads are plastic, but the crucifix has one of the best renditions of Jesus suffering I’ve ever seen. Perhaps its sentimentality since it’s my own rosary, but He truly looks like someone just impaled him a few times with sharp things.As for the rose rosary, I’ve seen that, but eh… There is this cook picture of a rosary in my calendar from my parish. I’d like to find that someday.

  • jeron

    i have the rose petal rosary made by carmelite nuns in spain from this link: absolutely love it & pray with it unashamedly at mass / home / wherever & let the smell permeate wherever i am.

  • I say leave the odor, and tell folks who ask “It’s my odor of sanctity, I died a while back and went to Heaven…”

  • The Pope’s Cologne is not some kind of a gag product. It is serious, interesting, historic link to one of the most important pontificates in the history of the Roman Church. Made from the same essential oils used by the perfumers of Blessed Pius IX 150 years ago, it has been described as “…a fresh, new fragrance from the past!” You can view images of Pope Pius IX at website