Many thanks to David Gibson at Pontifications for linking here, and also for mistaking me for The Anchoress, whom I am not (who I am not? who is not I? Ack, ack, call the grammar medics . . . ), but the compliment is all mine.

That anyone would link to that schizophrenic Father’s Day post I wrote a couple of weeks back is a little amazing to me; I really hope nobody bought those ties.

Meanwhile, David beats my suggestions all to pieces with The Pope’s Cologne. I mean to say.

It is a perfume recipe made in a time when flowers in masculine colognes were felt to be perfectly natural hence an absolute lack of showiness and complete sense of maturity and naturalness about the floral notes in this composition.

Being a cologne meant to be worn by the Pope, it had to be restrained in principle and it is in fact; there is no unexpected flamboyance or hidden coquetry pointing its nose. Naturally, the animalic notes are extremely discreet.

Perhaps we can also imagine that a certain ethereal quality, a lightness and freshness were cultivated as befitting the pope’s image. The citruses and lemon verbena are invigorating, a definite plus for a man in a public function. The fragrance is that of a man of patrician or aristocratic tastes.


No hidden coquetry! An extreme discretion of animalic notes! If only I had known!

Actually, the paterfamilias in my life is not a cologne-y kind of guy. Lifebuoy about sums it up. He has always, however, nurtured a certain fondness for 4711 by Muelhens, a sixteen-year-old bottle of which is still gathering dust on a shelf somewhere in the house. Of this scent the Amazon copywriter says,

Introduced in 1792, the original 4711 was first made in Germany by Ferdinand Muelhens. A wonderfully refreshing citrus-based fragrance, 4711 warms to a light floral-woody base. Made with world’s finest essential oils, including sandalwood from India, attar of roses and vetiver oil from Haiti. A scent that can be worn by a man or woman.


This last assertion I am glad to read, because when my husband bought this bottle of 4711, in Germany, on a trip we made together with the teenager in utero, the friends we were staying with gave him no end of grief, saying that 4711 was the scent of old ladies in trains.

He will be pleased to know that not only is it not (at least not exclusively) the scent of old ladies in trains, but that it sounds as though one might pass it off as — well, if you like The Pope’s Cologne, maybe you’ll love 4711.

The paterfamilias did not, in fact, receive any kind of cologne for Father’s Day, or a tie, either. He got a new thermal coffee carafe, which was what he really wanted, plus homemade cards from all the children. Our six-year-old copied the text of his from an outside source; it said:

BRAWNY

18 BAGS

13 GALLONS


Probably not too many fathers yesterday received love notes taken from the front of a box of garbage bags, but as they say, it’s the thought that counts.

The Pope’s Cologne:
[Rating: 90/100]

More on: Men

Articles by Sally Thomas

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