A whiff of temporal power

Arriving back this evening from Wonersh, there were various C5 envelopes awaiting my arrival; no doubt offering me unbeatable offers on candles, paper, credit cards, and the opportunity to win a luxury villa by ringing a premium-rate number. I will attend to those tomorrow. What caught my eye was a small packet with a customs sticker...

Momentarily puzzled, I thought that perhaps it was a belated Christmas present This made me slightly nervous. I don't encourage people to buy me cologne - sends out the wrong sort of message, you understand. Turning the packet over, I remembered that I had ordered it myself...

It is, of course, The Pope's Cologne about which I blogged just over a week ago. It is made from the private formula of Pope Pius IX, passed on by the commander of the Papal Guard.

I am not a connoisseur of cologne but I must say that it smelt a little strange. To begin with, it gives a warm and friendly fragrance, inviting all to understand that the wearer is nothing to be afraid of. Then, as it matures, former friends become enemies, foment revolution and anti-clericalism, and then steal the wearer's property, causing him to crack down on dissenting theologians and political liberals.

Finally, some of those attracted and repelled at the same time by the mysterious scent declare that it is inopportune to wear it. At this point, amid peals of thunder, the wearer's infallibility is solemnly declared, the forces of anti-clericalism finally take the remainder of the wearer's property and force him to become a prisoner in his own home. Dangerous stuff.

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