Origins of Eau de Cologne & 4711

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Origins of Eau de Cologne & 4711

Postby dappershaves » Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:55 am

4711 is a classic German scent that has adorned the wrists of men and women alike since the 18th century. Many customers adore the fragrance not just because of its pleasant notes but because of something more special, a nostalgia for days gone by. "Every self-respecting woman in the 30s to 60s had a bottle of 4711 on her vanity. This particular bottle was my grandmother’s (circa 1930) and is still unopened, along with another already open bottle. How does a fragrance stick around for so long, though? Trends in scents come and go, but 4711 has stayed as popular as ever. I dug a little deeper into the brand's 225-year history to see what all the commotion is about.

The original name “Eau de Cologne” is a spirit-citrus perfume launched in Cologne in 1709 by Giovanni Maria Farina, an Italian perfume maker from Santa Maria Maggiore Valle Vigezzo. In 1708, Farina wrote to his brother Jean Baptiste: "I have found a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain". He named his fragrance Eau de Cologne “miracle water”.

The name Eau de Cologne was used for perfume and delivered to nearly all royal houses in Europe. Their ability to produce a constantly homogeneous fragrance consisting of dozens of monoessences was seen as a sensation at the time. A single vial of this “miracle water” cost half the annual salary of a civil servant. He marketed his miracle water also as a health drink served undiluted or mixed with wine. When free trade was established in Cologne by the French in 1797, the success of Eau de Cologne name prompted countless other businessmen to sell their own fragrances under the name of Eau de Cologne. Giovanni Maria Farina's formula has been produced in Cologne since 1709 by Farina opposite the and to this day remains a secret. His shop at Obenmarspforten opened in 1709 and is today the world's oldest fragrance factory.

The name came about in part thanks to the French military occupation that began in 1794. Frustrated by the disorganized layout of the city, a French general had all the houses sequentially numbered. Muelhen’s house was given the number 4711, which has stuck with the brand ever since. In 1810, Napoleon decreed that all recipes for medications intended for internal use publicly list their ingredients. Muelhens didn’t want to disclose his secret recipe, so he began to market his miracle water as solely a fragrance. Peter Heinrich Molanus designed the hexagonal, upright bottle (still in use today) back in 1820. Its flat surfaces make it easier to packages for transportation, and left plenty of room for label design. At the time, it was sealed with a crown cork and included a bottle opener in the package. In 1875, Ferdinand Muelhens (Wilhelm's grandson) registered 4711 as a brand and created the first iteration of the modern logo. In 1900 the Muelhens family finalized the design, and it hasn't changed since. On 12 December 2006, the perfumes and cosmetics company Mäurer & Wirtz took over 4711 from Procter & Gamble and has expanded it to a whole brand since then.

Top notes are Lemon, Bergamot, Orange Oil, Basil and Peach; middle notes are Jasmine, Lily, Bulgarian Rose, Cyclamen and Melon; base notes are Oakmoss, Tahitian Vetiver, Cedar, Patchouli, Musk and Sandalwood.
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Re: Origins of Eau de Cologne & 4711

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:46 pm

Very nice writeup Dapper. 4711 is a real classic.

I believe Pheonix has a matching scent shave soap.
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Re: Origins of Eau de Cologne & 4711

Postby dappershaves » Sat Sep 11, 2021 8:14 am

Thank you Mo, Yes classy stuff
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