Sunday, May 27, 2007


. . . or, How Would Jesus Smell?

Attaturk links to a press release:

The world’s first spiritual perfume – Virtue® – was Premiered this week by IBI, a niche fragrance company in Orange, CA. Based upon an inspired Biblical formula, the perfume is designed to be a reminder of God, Christ, spiritual self and soul.

“We turned to the Bible to seek inspiration about which items to include and became convinced that a formulation would reveal itself,” explains Rick Larimore, IBI’s chief executive officer. “Creating Virtue® has been a journey and adventure through fragrance and scripture, with remarkable miracles confirming our choices.”

Virtue®’s subtle blend includes 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....

“The Bible documents that fragrance was associated with Christ and many of the ancient saints, including last century’s Padre Pio, gave off a fragrance that was associated with virtue,” explains Larimore.

IBI notes that “it will introduce a Biblically based moisturizing lotion soon.”

It just ain’t right. Or maybe I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it first.

Actually, IBI didn’t think of it first. A couple years ago, I read about a South Dakota couple who developed and marketed this:

Light up the candle called “His Essence” and its makers say you’ll experience the fragrance of Christ.

Bob Tosterud and wife Karen say the formula is all spelled out in Psalm 45. “It’s a Messianic Psalm referring to when Christ returns and his garments will have the scent of myrrh, aloe and cassia,” says Karen Tosterud.. . . .

“You can’t see him and you can’t touch him,” says Bob Tosterud. “This is a situation where you may be able to sense him by smelling. And it provides a really new dimension to one’s experience with Jesus.”

I hadn’t thought of the Tosteruds and their candle for a long time, and when Attaturk reminded me of it, I did a quick Google search and discovered that “His Essence” was only the beginning. The original is still available, but two new candles have been added: Resurrection and Servanthood. According to the website, Resurrection is based on John 19:39-40: “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 75 pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.” From a marketing standpoint, I’d be concerned with trying to sell something explicitly based on masking the smell of dead people.

Servanthood, based on John 12:3, is more promising. “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”

Reminds me about that verse about how there’s one born every minute.