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42 thoughts on “Cologne: In Search of the Legendary Scent”

  1. I’ve never thought of eau de cologne as being FROM Cologne… I always just thought of it as perfume! That’s really interesting to know!

    1. You are welcome 🙂 I think now people often use the term Eau de Cologne to describe perfume for men. Maybe because of the strong fresh scent. Not sure 🙂

      1. I also thought Eau de Cologne was a perfume for men! That’s why I confused when reading the post when you talked about grandmother 🙂

  2. I have never heard of Eau de Cologne because I don’t know much about perfume. But this post really moves me because I recall my late grandmother had a signature fragrance too. I miss her a lot, and I wish I could know the exact perfume she used like you do with your grandmother. It is not something you can take a photo of to remember. I am scared that one day I will actually forget my grandmother’s scent.

    1. I think that scent is something that stored deeply in your memory. You don’t recall it daily. But when you smell something familiar (whether good or bad), you might recall an event or a person that related to that scent. The scent is like a trigger of memory. So I don’t think you will forget about your grandmother’s scent entirely. You just need occasions to recall it 😉

  3. That is fascinating! I never really thought of the meaning beyond “water of cologne” I love your writing style. It virtually transported me, as though I was walking in this ancient city following these fragrances.

    1. My pleasure! It seems that all our grandmothers, great-grandmothers possessed at least one bottle of this perfume. It could have different names, but the smell is similar. As a child, I used to dislike this fragrance. It is quite strong, but it do last very long 🙂

    1. Same here, though the weather was a bit unpleasant 🙂 It was very hot during my visit. What do you like most about Cologne?

  4. During my trip to Europe back in 2007 I had a few hours in Cologne as my relatives and I were there only for transiting before continuing our journey to Brussels. I remember being awed by the massive structure of the cathedral, and the reliquary inside was just stunning! When I was a kid my father sometimes wore Eau de Cologne, so I found it really cool to see its original location — I remember the Eau de Cologne fountain inside the shop!

    1. Haha I think it’s drinkable 🙂 But I didn’t try because the odour is too strong for me. The older generations like this fragrance. My mom told me that my grand mother always had a bottle of Eau de Cologne, even during the war time.

      1. Yea, I’m not too fond of its fragrance either. I think in general Indonesians think it’s rather old-fashioned.

      2. It’s indeed out-of-date. I have never seen anyone in our generation wears that scent. Even my mother doesn’t like the smell. I only bought a bottle as souvenir 😛

  5. Gorgeous photos! I love cathedrals at night and the one from Cologne looks awesome!!
    Also, I didn’t know about the Eau de Cologne… Now I’m curious, I’d love to know how it smells!
    Have a great week, Len! 🙂

    1. Same to you! 🙂 Personally, I found the original Eau de Cologne is too intense. It does smell good, but in an old-fashioned way. Anyway, it’s definitely worth a try.

  6. I have learned a lot! I´ll keep this in mind in the future once we visit this place since I would really love to see the Dom.The architecture is so impressive considering that there are many beautiful churches and cathedrals in Germany.

    How much is the cost of the perfume im curious 🙂

  7. I never thought about Eau de Cologne and Cologne being linked! Alittle disappointed I hadn’t come across this while in Cologne. I would buy it even if just for the bottle!

  8. Thanks for such an interesting article! Never actually thought about the relationship between the city of Cologne and Eau de Cologne, but it makes so much sense… also that bottle from 4711. So beautiful. Would love to get my hands on one of those!

    1. A perfect souvenir. If I remember correctly the shop also sells drinkable 4711. Don’t know how that works though 🙂 Thanks for visiting, Nic!

  9. Oh I remember 4711 from my childhood. I guess my mum had some, and me too during my teen years. It was so interesting to learn a little of its history, and also to learn something of Cologne cathedral, which I now hope to see one day.
    Alison

    1. Wow. So 4711 is indeed popular. My late grandmother also wore this perfume. I used to ask her why she like such a strong odour. She explained that 4711 brought her back to her beautiful years.

  10. Love this post Len! Not only is Köln one of my favourite cities, but it has brought back memories of my mother using the famous 4711 Kölnisch Wasser.

    1. Interesting! Our mom/grandmom used the same perfume, despite living in different continents. That means 4711 was extremely popular in the past. Btw, have you ever tried the drinkable 4711? I saw it in the shop, but I’m not sure how it tastes 😛

      1. Never heard of it, but you have me intrigued. I googled it and learned that there is a legend dating back to 1700s about a Cologne monk who created a miracle water for internal and external use.

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