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Home > Culture and Society

Smells like Holy Spirit

22 March 2005

When Cliff Richard stepped out of the pong closet last year, cast aside his naphthalene cloak and flogged the world his flowery stench, most of us assumed that the race for Most Virtuous Perfume was over. We were wrong. There is a new perfume in town, and it makes Cliff's Miss You Nights smell like Saddam Hussein. This scent however, does not come in a bottle. Hell, no. It comes in a candle, and the makers, Bob and Karen Tosterud, will have you believe that it is the actual scent, indeed the very essence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. What vision. It's called His Essence.

All of which begs the question, What Would Jesus Smell Like? Well, considering all that sandal-trudging He did in blistering heat, and the fact that He thought nothing of mooching around in the wilderness for up to 40 days and 40 nights at a time without bath, sink or bidet, Jesus most probably reeked. We have little doubt that He trailed behind Him always a suffocating cloud of rancid sweat. And urine. He could probably raise the dead with it. The Tosteruds disagree. Citing some nonsense in Psalms 45:8, they have plumped instead for a delicious cocktail of Cassia, Myrhh and Aloe. A girl group waiting to happen.

His Essence went on the market just in time for the festive rush and according to Karen, the candle 'was the hottest item in South Dakota for Christmas.' They managed to shift 10,000 units at $18 dollars apiece. Now the cynical amongst you might suggest that the selling of Essence of Christ candles is not a particularly Christian road to walk down. The Tosteruds disagree. They were on TV in Indiana this week, justifying themselves. 'We wanted people to be able to experience Christ in new ways,' Karen explained, 'and to be able to read a Bible and have that scent and that candle, as a reminder that he is with us all the time. You can't see him and you can't touch him. 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.' Bob added, 'Each one that goes out is like a ministry.' You see? Genuine Christians. Hush now.

Incidentally, Bob Tosterud is also a Professor of Economics, Freeman Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies, a teacher of Economics, Entrepreneurship, and E-Commerce, Founder of the National Council of Entrepreneurship Chairs, a Director of the International Institute for Entrepreneurship Development, former Chair of the Nontraditional Academics Committee and the Distinguished Chairs Committee of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management. According to his own site, his success at 'stimulating business and job creation' has taken him all over the world.

The moral then, is clear: if the pursuit and attainment of material wealth pulses wildly at the very core of your being, and you have no qualms about exploiting the simple-mindedness of your fellow man, then Christians are potentially the best market there is.

Christ. He sells. And He smells. Just like Sex.

Smell Him

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