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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Man re-creates fragrance possibly worn by Pope

I always wondered what scent, if any, do Popes wear. According to this article, one of them, Pius IX, the one who established the Immaculate Conception and papal infallibility as church dogma, rather unsurprisingly preferred a traditional kind of cologne.

A 69-year-old doctor from San Rafael found a purported recipe of the cologne in a limited-edition 1963 cookbook published in the United States. The cookbook alleged that the recipe has been passed down by the family of a French general who was in Pius' papal guard. Dr. Fred Hass was so impressed by the light, fresh fragrance (the main ingredients are orange blossom, lemon verbena, lavender, violet, clove and sweet orange) that he started making it for family and friends. Now, apparently, he is ready for retail.

Dr. Hass has 2,000 bottles in his garage and has streamlined the manufacturing process so he can fill a bottle every 10 seconds. A few 2-ounce bottles were already sold online for $24.99 each (affixed to each bottle was a brief history and likeness of Pope Pius IX), and Dr. Hass has had encouraging feedback from Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Guerlain, and Catholic gift shops. So stay tuned, Eau de Pius IX might be coming to the Nordstrom near you.

The rather appropriately Christmassy article, written by Carolyn Jones, is from San Francisco Chronicle. The image is from Mr. Colombina's earlier post.


Blogger katiedid said...

This does sound weirdly fun, doesn't it? I suppose for me, as a non-Catholic, it probably sounds more fun, but still... who wouldn't love to play with these ideas/formluas from antiquity? One does wonder, however, about the quality of raw materials as otherwise novice is using, however... Still, it just sounds like a fun little sniffy adventure.

Just reading the ingredients as a perfume with no historical interest, I almost would want to add basil or tarragon to that mix, because I'm weird like that. Eh, what do I know? I suppose kitchen-y scents weren't fashionable back then, and after seeing pictures of the current Pope in Prada shoes, I think we can rest assured the popes like their fashionability ;P

6:39 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Oops, "a" otherwise novice, not "as" otherwise novice.

6:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The Pope Wears Prada, he he he
I still insist that Avignon is THE most suitable scent for a Pontiff to wear...although perhaps there is enough incense in their lives to not want to wear it on their body...Do you think if we wrote to Vatican to ask what cologne the current Pope wear they'd tell us? :-)

7:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can assure readers that I have used only the finest essential oils in The Pope's Cologne. I obtain them from Liberty Natural Products in Portland, Or.
Please see website for
the Pope's Cologne
Frederick J. Hass, M.D.
San Rafael, Ca

10:14 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Dr. Hass,
Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing the information! Best of luck to you in the coming year!

10:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ordered a bottle after seeing it advertised . I am very pleased with the cologne. The scent is clean,fresh and quite different.

Mike T.

5:25 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Pope's Cologne smells very much like the rather superior fragrance Apres L'Ondee by Guerlain

12:39 PM EST  

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