I’ve developed a recent interest in the history of perfume, especially 4711, the original Eau de Cologne (“water from Cologne”). According to legend, on October 8, 1792, a Carthusian monk gave the merchant Wilhelm Muelhens (1762 – 1841) the recipe for a miracle water for internal and external use. Shortly thereafter, Muelhens established a shop to make the water in Cologne. During Napoleon’s occupation of the city two years later, Muelhens’ house was given the number 4711 – a number that became inextricably linked to Muelhens’ perfume. Although the scent’s exact recipe remains a closely guarded secret, it’s a refined blend of orange, bergamot, neroli, lavender and rosemary oils. Perhaps the world’s best-known perfume, its famous fans include Napoleon Bonaparte and Holly Golightly. Get your own bottle of the (surprisingly affordable) scent here.
Holly Golightly, a 4711 fan
S.S.W. Asks: Would YOU wear 4711?