The world's first spiritual perfume - Virtue(R) - was premiered in April by IBI, a niche fragrance company in Orange, CA. Based upon an inspired Biblical formula, the perfume is designed to be a reminder of God, Christ, spiritual self and soul. "We turned to the Bible to seek inspiration about which items to include and became convinced that a formulation would reveal itself," explains Rick Larimore, IBI's chief executive officer. "Creating Virtue(R) has been an adventurous journey through fragrance and scripture, with remarkable miracles confirming our choices."
A product like Virtue reveals much about the changing face of lived religion in America. There was a time when mainstream American Protestantism would have been highly suspicious of associating Christianity with a scent. Fragrances, images, and other sensory experiences were once considered to be the hallmarks of Catholic idolatry. But in 2004 the "Christian retail market" — selling Christian versions of everything from golf-balls to gangsta rap — hit $4.3 billion in sales. The suggestion of idolatry has been largely circumvented by marketing these products as tools for evangelism.