A Visit to 4711 Eau de Cologne, the city’s oldest internationally famous brands:
Eau de Cologne was first invented in the city of Cologne in 1709 when Johann Maria Farina named his elixir Eau de Cologne (Water of Cologne) in honour of his new home. He had moved to Cologne from Santa Maria Maggiore by Domodoccola and his perfume became so famous that by 1887 Farina became supplier to Queen Victoria of England.
4711 Original Eau de Cologne is one of Cologne’s oldest internationally famous brands. Many in the baby-boomer or older generations will be familiar with this product whose unique fragrance is supposed to “refresh the mind, body and soul”.
According to the company, the secret formula for 4711 Original Eau de Cologne is still appreciated across the globe today, making this ‘aqua mirabilis’ an unparalleled classic.
Personally, I believe tastes have changed and savvy marketing have moved many image-conscious people to other more sophisticated designer branded eau de toilettes.
The secret formula for an ‘aqua mirabilis’ was believed to have been given, in 1792, by a Carthusian monk as a unique wedding present to Wilhelm Muelhens, a young entrepreneur. The miracle water was for internal and external use and right from the outset, Muelhens believed in the success of this extraordinary formula. He opened a small manufactory in Cologne’s Glockengasse shortly afterwards.
The revitalising and stabilising effect of his ‘Kolnisch Wasser’ (Cologne Water) was instantly captivating and enjoyed phenomenal popularity. Even celebrities, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Richard Wagner, became ardent users.
The traditional house in Glockengasse is the birthplace and home of the world famous 4711 brand. We made a quick stop here and on entering the premises visitors can immerse themselves in the unique fragrance of the Original Eau de Cologne, which flows from the golden fountain by the doorway. In the shop you can also buy various 4711 products, 4711 gift sets, souvenirs, etc.
About 30 of us from the coach went into the shop to place our hands under the flowing 4711 fountain. This was not good news for others who weren’t keen on the fragrance as the 4711 fragrance stayed in the coach for hours.
Map of Cologne: