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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

From the Mouths of Husbands - Mr Colombina Strikes Down With Great Vengeance and Furious Anger

When I first heard there was new fragrance hitting the shelves called “Virtue” I thought perhaps it was another nouveau celeb scent, honoring Beryl Virtue and her daughters Sue and Deborah Virtue … producers of such British TV comedy classics as … Men Behaving Badly, Coupling, Mr. Bean, and The Vicar of Dibley. But as I read further, I found it was more a case of perfume businessmen behaving badly and flogging a scent for vicars and tarts … coupling prophets with profits.

IBI, a niche fragrance company in Orange, CA has just released “Virtue” …“the world’s first spiritual perfume.” It is “designed to be a reminder of God, Christ, spiritual self and soul.”

I can’t speak for how this smells because I find it too tacky to even consider acquiring. I thought SEX sells perfume! I mean apart from shouting his name of course, what possible relationship between God and sexual attraction could there be? My own sicko nun fetishes aside of course.

I personally feel that using God to sell perfume has about as much virtue as using Garry Glitter or Michael Jackson to sell kids underwear.

Slogan idea #1
Splash on a dab on your cheek. Then turn the other Cheek”

I am reminded of when years ago, I first saw the Guaranteed Overnight Delivery trucks on the road with the big letters … G.O.D. on the side of the semis thinking, what the f**k is that all about? God is delivering business parcels and eBay winnings now? Really they should have named the company JESUS since he was at least … a messenger.

I’m not a zealot by any means and I have a certain disdain for the religious far right. But this is flat out sacrilege. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. But these servants of the dark prince are charging top dollar for this. And as far as I’m aware, none of the proceeds are destined for charity.

According to the company’s press release, the “biblically inspired” ingredients of Virtue include: “top notes of apricot (the real “forbidden fruit”), pomegranate and fig that transition to a gentle heart of iris, warming to a golden base of rich, exotic woods of frankincense, myrrh, aloe, and spikenard.”

Myrrh? Myrrh? Really? Myrrh? Who the hell even knows what that is?

We all know that the last Magi dude simply forgot to bring a present to the manger and when he saw the other Magi dudes bringing presents, he stopped at a last minute Christmas present tent somewhere on the road to Bethlehem; where all they had left was some pine tree shaped air fresheners, some mildly melty Cadburys Milk Tray and a slightly damaged box of Myrrh.

I have to be honest here, and tell you that as a child … when I first heard the story of the three wise men (the magi), I thought the fellow who brought the gold was wise but that the other two were as clueless as gift givers as … well as I am. Ask Colombina. That is why she always provides me now with a list for gift buying.

I am the product of 12 years of Catholic education. I did my best to learn all the bible stuff I was being taught. But of course being only five or six years old … I used to drive the nuns crazy by referring to the magi as … “The Three Wise Guys.”

And of course, I honestly thought that they had said that the three gifts of the magi were: Gold, Frankenstein and Merv.

Slogan idea #2
“Thou Shalt not smell bad”

Perhaps IBI intends to olive branch out into ladies fashion accessories?

Maybe something like vestment vests and bible belts?

Will we soon see a joint marketing campaign from IBI with Martha Stewart …as they launch Shroud of Turin Percale Pillow Cases? I have long suspected Martha Stewart was in fact, the Anti-Christ. Teamed with IBI, she could unleash her wrath and launch an entire line of Lucifer Linens and Last Supper Table Cloths.

Perhaps there is a market for among the smellier-than-thou church ladies who put the P.U. in pew … from 8-hour-marathon Sunday services among the smug ultra-conservative bible thumpers. Perhaps it will be available in the holy water bowls at the entrance to Southern houses of God?

Slogan idea #3
“When you want to act like a sinner but smell like a saint.”

The makers of this Theo-illogical tripe have the audacity to claim they were divinely inspired by the bible in the creation of this shameful snake oil sham. They might as well have dipped their bottle directly into an underground well to the River Styx as far as I am concerned, and offered penance and indulgences with each purchase.

There are, of course, many biblical mentions of oils, perfumes, and fragrances. We could start in Exodus I suppose. The Jews of course where enslaved by the Egyptians. And it’s a well known fact that the ancient Egyptians used, or rather experimented with perfume-esque oils and fragrances, though they usually included such remarkable ingredients as bat’s piss and scorpion blood. You know … because when you’re pulling twenty ton slabs of rock on your back to the pyramid construction site, you want to smell your best.

Now I am not one to wish misfortune upon the souls at IBI, but I am reminded of Ecclesiastes, chapter 10, verse 1: “Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor.”

I would love to be present when the Vatican gets a whiff of this venture. Surely you’d have thought that they have a cardinal in charge of copyrighting God. But I guess not. Though initially conceived as a joke, I wish to revisit a cologne I devised called “Eau Holy Knight” and suggest that the Vatican get busy ASAP to counter the IBI minions and launch a legitimate parfum, endorsed by Rome, blessed by his Holiness, sold at a reasonable price, with proceeds going to a good cause … like upkeep of the Pope-Mobile, Denouncing Dan Brown campaigns, or providing top-shelf wine at communion.

I remind the makers of Virtue, that it is easier to put a needle through a camel’s eye, than for a rich man to get into heaven. Or something like that. The only Christian who should be in the perfume industry is named Dior. And the only saint we need is Saint Laurent. Thank you very much.


Blogger tmp00 said...

The County (which is forever and the more the way that we refer to it) is suddenly the arbiter of sin? Riiiight. Okay, there is the Crysatl Catherdral, but still.

Never mind "Real Housewives of the O.C." or even "The O.C." way back in the 50's "Female on the Beach" was there to warn us that there is nothing resembling virtue in Orange County. It's a den of botox, tans and lechery that happens to vote Republican. Not to mention terminal cluelessness: the big gossip of one of the beach towns in the late 90's was my best friend "flaunting her lover" (little me) by bringing me to her mothers house, more than once, and with her daughter!

I mean really people, even my gaydar would have pinged on that one: trim 40'ish dude with that haircut, cargo pants, untucked polo shirt and Prada slides shows up with guacamole fixins kvelling about the sensitive addition to your craftsman? Do you get basic cable or what?

Mr. Columbina, another review that I am glad to read the night before: choked laughter is looked on so oddly at my office.

1:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maria B. said...

Mr. Colombina, I actually looked up the Biblical citation, for which I'm grateful. The full quotation is (in the RSV): "Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off an evil odor; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor." People, store your perfumes out of the light and away from the honey!

I don't know how it happened, but a few days ago I ended up on the Virtue Web site. Divinely inspired perfume--what next? Divinely inspired toothpaste? Divinely inspired flapjack mix? Do you think these people are behind Sanjaya Malakar?

2:04 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Thank you!!! Brilliant job of reviewing this completely revolting scent and, consequently, I shall be able to sharpen my claws elsewhere today. You are SO right - the *only* Christian I want to know about in the perfume business is M. Dior.

7:40 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Wonderful post!! I would suspect you had made up the whole thing, but I checked the website. I am particularly impressed with the way that they have trademarked "virtue": after every use of the word, the little trademark symbol appears. I guess I shouldn't worry about striving for it anymore--wouldn't want to infringe on anyone's rights!

That said, I will confess that I have always been fond of the GOD trucks--at least they are being funny (I think:)

7:51 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Dear Mr. C,
Very well done! So much better than I could possibly deal with this subject. You know how things like this make me barking mad. My post would have consisted of expletives and not much else.

I especially loved the last image. In the beginning there was Chanel (No 5)... I might use it again someday, if I may.

8:09 AM EDT  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Such a clever post! Thank you so much for that brilliant piece of writing, Mr. Colombina. Virtue? Really? I mean, really? Yeesh.

9:01 AM EDT  
Anonymous Kathy said...

You crack me up! Frankenstine and MERV?

I rather like the smell of myrrh.

You've done your 12 years of Catholic school proud (I suffered the same fate in my youth.)

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Fragrant Funster said...

You go, Mr. C! I find commercialization of this sort a wee bit disgusting myself. was used for anointing/preparing the dead for entombment dont'cha know? Frankincense-birth, Gold-life, Myrrh-death. Myrrh Bearing Women = big important theme.

an Orthodork strikes again.....

1:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous MarkDavid said...


And well-put!

Love that last image. I'm pretty sure that was Michelangelo's original vision but then they probably made him stay up there on his back until he painted over it. Damn cardinals.

I imagine if we x-rayed the Creation of Man, the very first Chanel No. 5 bottle prototypes would clearly be visible.


1:15 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


I'd agree with you entirely ... except for the fact that your sharply honed Cali-wit is lost on my somewhat limited intellect.

I have never been on the West Coast, nor ever viewed TV's "The O.C."

But I've strongly suspected that Orange County should have been twinned - as Europeans know the twinning of places - with Sodom and Gommorah.

So this product of O.C. ... or this "county fare" shall we say does not cast any further dispersion upon the place ... since ... (at least for us East Coasters)... has always been a bit of a surreal bastian of Scwarzeggerfornia anyway.

I am glad you enjoyed the review though. Your gaydar description caused me to choke back laughter here at my work, but as I hate my job ... sod 'em!


1:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! I find the whole concept revolting.

1:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, it was me, Victoria/Boisdejasmin.

1:47 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Alas this post has brought out the intellect in all commentors thus far ... thus unveiling my pseudo-academic short cummings.

In order to comment intelligently I am required to google the aforementioned "Sanjaya Malakar".

I am about as much in touch with contemporary pop culture, as "Dubya" is in touch with ecology, or military strategy for that matter.

I am not familiar with the RSV ... I thought it was a mid-sized sports utility vehicle from Honda.

I thought I had quoted the King James version, though I suspect ... in an effort to save a few bob ... I in fact, opted for the lesser known, King Jimmy version.

I fear the next divinely inspired product may turn out to be 'Holier' than thou Swiss Cheese.

And I do recall as a child, admiring the pastor's set of "Good Thief and Bad Thief" bookends.


1:52 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


I would have been perhaps a tad more forgiving and tolerant had the makers been less crass by perhaps selecting a name more suited for the rest of the world's view of these biblically-obsessed crusaders of the "red states."

We in the "blue states", would have even managed a smile had they named the fragrance something more honest like ...

"Screw the Poor"

"I'm alright Jack"

"Not in MY back yard"

"Tax Cuts for the Rich"

Or even ...

"Buchannon", "Gingrich" or "Farwell" or after some other small minded fascist of the Reagan Revolution.

It IS appropriate though that they've released a fragrance for those who think their shit doesn't stink.


2:02 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


I recall from time I spent in Holland, that the Dutch refer to matches as Lucifers. And I always wanted to see someone loading cases of Lucifers into a G.O.D. truck, just for the irony of it all.

Funny and creative as I might think I am, I could not have made up something so insane.

Interesting that they copyright/trademark the word "virtue". I thought by definition, "virute" does not include profiteering?

As I said though, I think Rome has been asleep at the wheel for not trademarking and copyrighting all things God.

Give us this day our daiy blog!
Mr. C.

2:08 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


In this case, I think it's more in mind of Chanel No. 666?

Being well exposed to ... and all-too-familiar with ... the expletive-laden bursts of your wrath (usually not at me personally - with exceptions of course) ... I am slightly surprised that the topsy-turvey world of perfume commercialism requires anger-management.

But my role as, not just as your guest poster, but as your SOULmate is to lighten your soul of earthly frustrations with a hint of comic relief.


2:15 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Thanks for reading and commenting.

My faith in mankind is somewhat restored by seeing that there are those who agree with me.


2:17 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


I've never smelled Myrrh.

I like the WORD "Myrrh" simply because it's often a great way to get rid of two Rs and an H, late in a game of scrabble if someone has already put down the word "my".

What does it smell like? Perhaps I should try it. I will get Colobina to see how much mryyh is going for on eBay. Or perhaps I'll pop in to the local myrrh kiosk at the mall.

So you survived Catholic school as well then?

I quote George Carlin who said ...

"I was Catholic up until about the age of ... Reason."


2:25 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Thanks for the comment.

Does one run into many myrrh-bearing-women these days?

When I was single, I thought the symbol of death was more along the lines of Modern Bride Magazine-bearing women.

One time, a girl I lived with had a subscription of that magazine sent to the apartment, starting just a few days after we had moved in.

Naturally I called the magazine and upgraded her to a life-time subscription.

Now married of course, I realise that marrying ANY other women until Colombina came along would have been death. (Another great save by Mr. C.)

All the best,

2:32 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Well I am certain that Chanel would have been the official fragrancer of the Garden of Eden.

On the Eighth Day, God created Chanel. And he saw that it was good.


2:34 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Thanks as always, for reading and commenting.

It is revolting. And "TRUE Chistians" should be up in arms about it.

No strike that ... Christians, Jews and Moslems ... all sons of Abraham should be united in denouncing this mockery with the vigor normally reserved for Danish cartoonists!

I quote Ezekiel ... well Tarantino anyway ...

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."


2:40 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Guerlain. Um, I mean, Amen.

2:42 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Go in peace to love and serve the dollar.

2:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Arhianrad said...

Mr. C--

Your post blogged me out of silence! What a wonderful way of saying things you've got :)

4:15 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Glad to break your silence. Thanks for the comment, and the compliment!


7:29 PM EDT  

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