While the beauty industry is all about abuzz about the new perfumes being launched by Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker, Italian fragrance stalwart Silvana Casoli has just custom-authored a new cologne for a totally unexpected client: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
“I realized that an essence like this had to have at its core something pure and clean, recalling the idea of peace,” Casoli told Il Messagero newspaper. “I thought of the smells the Pope would smell when praying at the Grotto of Lourdes.”
The master perfumer, who has in the past worked with Sting, Madonna and King Juan Carlos of Spain, says she has a “pact of secrecy” with her illustrious client and refuses to release the full list of ingredients that has gone into his scent. However, she does reveal that it is a “delicate smelling eau de cologne based on his love of nature and forests” – a fact evidenced in the notes of lime tree, verbena and grass that underline the creation.
Casoli first came to the Vatican’s attention with her fragrances for Catholic pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The Water of Faith and Water of Hope were liked so much by local priests that they presented samples to the Pope. Alerted to Casoli’s talents, Benedict (who has often been reported to enjoy a second higher calling, that of high fashion, with his own tailor-made red shoes and matching panama hats) put in a request for his own bespoke scent. Casoli said she nearly fainted on receiving word that the Vatican had called upon her services… at times, she even wanted to abandon the project, but she received inspiration to keep working, reported ABC.
However, anyone keen to smell like the pope will be disappointed as the cologne will not be available for sale. But you can opt for one of her other ready-to-wear creations, which are “made with noble and rare essences that leave an unforgettable olfactory message”. One is the sensual Perfume of Italy, a men’s fragrance that sums up the smell of Italy’s “seas, mountains and countryside”. Another one called Cannabis, is described as hypnotic; while the provocative Nude is inspired “by the smell that only a woman’s skin emanates in a state of ecstasy”. Now, that’s one the bishops and cardinals might wish to avoid!
What would your custom cologne smell like?