As you may have noticed, my husband and I enjoy visiting antique stores. Well, a few years ago, I visited one in Red Wing, Minnesota. We found the bottle of Muguet des Bois that I recently sold and two bottles of No. 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser.
At first, I was disappointed when I tried No. 4711. I found it strong, bitter and much too manly. It was a scent very foreign to my modern nose. However, after a while I started to develop an appreciation for it and now it’s a delight to wear.
It’s a scent with a history too… No. 4711 was debuted in 1792 by Eau de Cologne & Parfümerie Fabrik Glockengasse No. 4711 gegenüber der Pferdepost von Ferd. Mülhens in Köln am Rhein. It’s a product of Cologne, Germany and is indeed the real “cologne” from Cologne. Presently, after going through many changes over the last 25 years it is now manufactured by Maurer and Wirtz.
A friend of mine who grew up in France once told me that she used this cologne as a teenager in France and I’ve seen it sold in pharmacies when I’ve traveled to Europe. To my nose, it is a very European scent, however, it certainly has been a part of American history too. No. 4711 was supposedly a favorite of John F. Kennedy, and the fictional character Holly Golightly (as portrayed in the movie version by Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
No. 4711 is a wildly refreshing, clean, citrus scent that is oh so vintage. It’s uncompromisingly from the past, but in the very best, long-lost sense. The romantic in me is automatically enthralled…
The top notes of No. 4711 are listed as orange oil, lemon, bergamot, basil, and peach. Middle notes: jasmine, Bulgarian Rose, lily, melon, and Cyclamen. Base notes are listed as, patchouli, Tahitian vetiver, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss and cedar.
If you ever try it, I would suggest giving yourself time to cultivate an opinion. Wear it on warm days. Use it on cold days, and certainly give it time to proceed into the drydown. It’s also worthwhile to try to find one of the older bottles. I believe that in this case, the older version is preferable (and it’s not that expensive on sites like e-Bay actually).
Before I splashed on No. 4711, I decided to take a moment to relax and bathe in a tub of lavender bubbles created by Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Bath Salts sourced from the Dead Sea. With a sharp, elegant lavender that slightly lingers on the skin it was the perfect match for No. 4711.
Agraria Bath Salts, of Agraria San Francisco, are currently in lovely decorative boxes that come with a seashell to pour the salts into your water. The scent is sold in soaps, lotions, candles and room diffusers, and if you’re interested, until tomorrow (Dec. 1) the online store is having a 25% everything sale.