It may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. Photo: Susy MezzanotteIt may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. Photo: Susy Mezzanotte
It may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. Photo: Susy Mezzanotte

The real story of eau de cologne: neither French nor German, the perfume with roots in an Italian medicinal drink

  • The iconic scent was created in the late 1600s by an Italian apothecary named Giovanni Paolo Feminis, who had moved to Cologne to seek his fortune
  • A museum dedicated to its true origins has opened in Santa Maria Maggiore in Italy’s Piedmont region
Topic |   Beauty
It may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. Photo: Susy MezzanotteIt may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. Photo: Susy Mezzanotte
It may have a German city in its French name, but eau de cologne was made by an Italian man – and it was originally sold as a medicinal drink, not as a type of perfume. Photo: Susy Mezzanotte
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