4711 is a traditional eau de cologne by the perfume company Mauren and Wirtz. The Eau de cologne (“water of Cologne”) was first produced in 1792 a fragrant water offered as a wedding gift for a german merchant named Wilhelm Mülhens. The secret recipe of the miracle water was said to be both for internal and external uses. A few years later in 1799 Mülhens founded a small factory in Cologne Germany and established the first “Eau de Cologne”.
The original aromatic fragrance combination with its complex aroma of Orange oil, basil and hints of peach rose and lemon, has stayed true to its original scent. Although the story of how the fragrance came to be is in much debate. Homesickness and the reminder of scents from his homeland in Italy caused Giovanni Farina to create the original fragrance pallet of 4711. He had recently moved to the city of Cologne and upon moving to the German city changed his first name Giovanni to a more Germanic version of Johann. A perfume maker by trade the scent was a homage to his home in Italy. At the time there were very strict laws regarding foreign settlers, and after Farina was granted citizenship in order to show off his gratitude, he named his very first creation Eau de Cologne.
The use of the french language in the name is somewhat confusing yet during the 17th and 18th century, it was the prefered language among European high society and also used by tradesmen, which in turn explains Farina’s name change decision. Unfortunately, due to the lack of trademark laws during the time, it is unclear who can be named when giving royalties to the original maker of the fragrance itself.