The pope may be smelling more heavenly than usual after a new cologne scent was developed exclusively for his use.
The Vatican commissioned celebrity perfume maker Silvana Casoli to invent a cologne for Pope Benedict XVI. The cologne will not be available in stores; it will be worn only by the pope.
Pope Benedict XVI attends the Easter Vigil mass in the Basilica of St. Peter in 2007. The Vatican commissioned celebrity perfume maker Silvana Casoli to invent a cologne for the pope. (Courtesy of Getty Images)
Casoli has also developed scents for other prominent public figures, such as King Juan Carlos of Spain, Madonna and Sting.
The Rev. Erich Rutten, St. Thomas’ chaplain and Campus Ministry director, said from his knowledge of the pope, the new cologne doesn’t come as a surprise.
“From what I’ve read about (the pope), he’s a very aesthetic person. In that way, it’s not a surprise,” Rutten said, “but it’s clearly not on the forefront of the (Catholic) church’s agenda.”
How the pope smells may seem insignificant to some, but Rutten said it should not automatically be deemed a bad thing.
“A cologne is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be a celebration of a sense of smell,” Rutten said.
However, St. Thomas alumnus Chris Wille said he doesn’t agree with the decision to make the cologne for the pope because it may call too much extra attention to him.
“It seems like a publicity stunt, and the pope shouldn’t have publicity stunts. He’s the pope,” Wille said.
On the other hand, sophomore Nathaniel Binversie is surprised by the pope’s new cologne but said he can see good things coming out of it.
“With all the imagery and smells of the Catholic Church that we use for centering and entering into a peaceful atmosphere with God, it makes you think it’s a good way that he could center himself,” Binversie said.
Senior Ben Schmitz agreed and said for a Catholic, humans are made with senses to use them to glorify God.
“There are many ways to misuse the senses, but this does not mean that one should use them as little as possible,” Schmitz said, “If prudent judgment allows one to spend money and resources encouraging artistic works, then go for it.”
Schmitz said that Catholics may see the perfume as a way to connect the senses and divine gifts.
“The senses are a gift, and a gift ought to be received,” Schmitz said.
Freshman Lauren Buchholz agrees that this should not be looked at as something negative.
“It would be one thing if the fragrance was to be available in stores with the pope’s face on it,” Buchholz said, “but he isn’t trying to make money off of it.”
Junior Vinnie Floeder is not sure why the pope decided to have a fragrance made but said the pope “can do what he wants.”
“Who am I to question his decision?” Floeder said.
Caroline Rode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.