Say thanks to the creator of ‘Eau de Cologne’. He’s the reason why your man smells so good.

Giovanni Maria Farina- Creator of ‘Eau de Cologne’

Eau de Cologne nowadays is most commonly associated with men and musky scents, nevertheless, it was initially actually a rather light and refreshing perfume, infused with mainly citrus notes, and intended to be unisex. To understand this perfume formula, a dip into its history is required….

The scent, containing 2-4% of alcohol concentration, was infused with essential oils of all the citruses you may imagine… lemon, orange, bergamot, tangerine, neroli, and grapefruit! Farina then mixed nuances of lavender, thyme, rosemary, petit-grain, jasmine, and even a touch of tobacco, creating an irresistibly light and soothing-to-the-heart creation.


A scent so unique to him, to his home, his lineage, he wrote about it, describing it to his brother Jean Baptiste, saying: “I have discovered a scent that reminds me of a spring morning in Italy, of mountain narcissus, orange blossom just after the rain. It gives me great refreshment, strengthens my senses and imagination.”


Initially, when moving to Cologne, Farina had been faced with strict laws regarding foreign settlers, and thus, following his creation, to express his gratitude for having been granted citizenship, he named his very first formula, ‘Eau de Cologne’. The use of French rather than the local German language, was merely because, in the 17th and 18th century, the French language had been spoken by the European high society, as well as tradesmen, and thus it elevated the perception of his scent.


A hit with all…even royalty!

EDC soon was regarded a real sensation, contributing to Cologne’s global fame, and becoming rapidly famous worldwide. By the 18th century, the creation had even spread into the hands of royalty, soon becoming their indispensable accessory.


History unraveled

It was created by Giovanni Maria Farina, an Italian born perfumer, who lived in Germany, Cologne, where he developed EDC in 1709. The process of creation was in fact triggered by his nostalgia for his hometown in Italy, and thus with the formula of his memories, and science combined, he created a beautiful scent, the first-ever Eau de Cologne.


The scent, containing 2-4% of alcohol concentration, was infused with essential oils of all the citruses you may imagine… lemon, orange, bergamot, tangerine, neroli, and grapefruit! Farina then mixed nuances of lavender, thyme, rosemary, petit-grain, jasmine, and even a touch of tobacco, creating an irresistibly light and soothing-to-the-heart creation.


A scent so unique to him, to his home, his lineage, he wrote about it, describing it to his brother Jean Baptiste, saying: “I have discovered a scent that reminds me of a spring morning in Italy, of mountain narcissus, orange blossom just after the rain. It gives me great refreshment, strengthens my senses and imagination.”


Initially when moving to Cologne, Farina had been faced with strict laws regarding foreign settlers, and thus, following his creation, to express his gratitude for having been granted citizenship, he named his very first formula, ‘Eau de Cologne’. The use of French rather than the local German language, was merely because, in the 17th and 18th century, the French language had been spoken by the European high society, as well as tradesmen, and thus it elevated the perception of his scent.


A hit with all…even Royalty!

EDC soon was regarded a real sensation, contributing to Cologne’s global fame, and becoming rapidly famous worldwide. By the 18th century, the creation had even spread into the hands of royalty, soon becoming their indispensable accessory.

Sending for this fragrance, the royal homes of Europe were prepared to pay any price for this luxury ‘aqua mirabilis’ (Latin for miracle water), which on average was as high as a single vial to cost the equivalent of a civil servant’s salary for six months!


Still today, Farina’s recipe remains a secret; however, the original formula of Eau de Cologne is still in production by the 8th generation of the Farina family at his factory, Johann Maria Farina, the oldest perfume factory in the world.


In regards to the name, the term is now utilised as the generic term for scented formulations of 2-4% of alcohol concentration.


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