Perfume Directory

4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser (1792)
by 4711 (originally by Muelhens)


4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser information

Year of Launch1792
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 503 votes)

People and companies

Originally byMuelhens
PerfumerWilhelm Muelhens
Parent CompanyMäurer & Wirtz
Parent Company at launchMuelhens

About 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser

The original cologne water. This light refreshing cologne has been popular for over two hundred years. Invented in Cologne, Germany (surprise!) in a house with the number "4711". It was originally developed for medicinal purposes. The fascinating story behind this cologne can be found at
The ingredients are still top secret today, with only the main ingredients known.

4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of 4711 Echt Kölnisch Wasser

I stocked up on this years ago when our local men's store went out of business. I think I paid $20 each for a HUGE bottle regularly marked $80. I bought 3 and am down to my last bottle ... all purchased 10 years ago and they smell exactly the same as when I bought them. I was at a store the other day and saw a tester of this and sprayed on a bit. What I smelled was a dull, watered down version of the original formula.

My grandfather wore this scent. He would give my father a bottle each year. This reminds me of being in my dad's car on the way to basketball practice or getting picked up after a baseball game. It always smelled a bit 'dad-like' and old man-style. Kind of like Old Spice. I remember that the REAL bottles had no spray. This was a splash on cologne. My tipoff that things had changed were that the giant heavy glass bottles (seriously, an empty bottle weighed as much as an empty champagne bottle) were gone and it now came in a cheap bottle with a spray top.

Increasingly, companies are buying tried and true legacy brands and cheapening them. Diluting them and making them 'cost effective' by adding cheaper ingredients and dumbing them down. That's the story of America, even in these times where vinyl records are back in style as are shaving brushes, straight razors and artesian mixed cocktails, the younger generation is being indoctrinated to iconic brands and wondering what all the fuss is about when they get the new diluted versions. The Bass weekjun was once an iconic made in the USA product with hand stitched leather soles and would last you 20 years if you took care of them. Now they are made in El Salvador, feature a low grade leather and you won't find a pair that lasts over a year or two. Heck, my dishwasher from 1977 which was in the house since it was built still runs whereas my brother's quit after 5 years.

Long story short ... what you are buying now with this scent is not the iconic scent that was created in Cologne Germany hundreds of years ago. It's not the scent that reportedly George Washington and Ben Franklin wore. It's a facsimile of that scent made with 'cost effective' ingredients. My dad's lasted all day. My older bottles, the scent would last me from early morning well through lunchtime. The newer scent was gone after 30 minutes, like others had said, and smelled watered down and a bit chemical. Nope ... this is not the same stuff I grew up with.

I love Aqua di Parma Colonia and this is of the same style (or was ...) It is a bit Old Spice-like. Neroli is present in a big way. Lots of lemon and bergamot. It is (was) kind of a regal scent but nothing a young man would ever wear. It doesn't elicit compliments from women ... nor does ADP ... or even my Irish Tweed. Abercrombie Fierce, Mont Balnc or Curve get the compliments, amazingly. However if you are old school you'll probably appreciate 1477 and enjoy wearing it. This is more of a cologne for you than for others.

I still have a full bottle of the good stuff before I have to decide if it's worth going with the cheaper, shirt lasting watered down version of the spray on stuff. Some of my favorite scents were ruined in this way. I'm one of the few who loved Sean John Unforgivable. I tried finding bottles of the Multi-Platinum edition which were loaded with essential oils on EBay. Sadly, they are all fake. The new Unforgivable can be had for $30 per 4.2 oz. bottle at Walmart. The new formula lasts 20 minutes and smells nothing like it did when introduced. It's ruined completely after Sean John sold it to a giant conglomerate, the same way 1477 was sold off apparently. Lagerfeld Photo used to be a very unique scent until it too was re formulated and dumbed down into a dilluted mess full of synthetic metallic notes and a 20 minute existence. Same with Dominicana Bay Rum.

So consider my review a warning ... what you smell now is what was not smelled for hundreds of years. You are smelling the dilution of an icon. Maybe try looking on auction sites for 'old formula' bottles ... or stuff in the older stock packaging. If you like old-times classic scents the original stuff will have you smelling like an old aristocrat. It says something that this scent was worn by and handed down by generations.
31st December, 2017
Alcohol and citronella - nothing but. Were I trying to ward away mosquitoes, this "fragrance" would be exceptional. Thankfully I didn't pay much for it, so I can't complain.

From what I've read, this was a great scent years ago and many have reported a decline in the product. I truly hope I got the worst batch from the line, because I can't imagine anyone seriously wearing this on a regular basis (unless for camping, or humorous situations).
29th August, 2017
A neroli dominant fragrance with refreshing citrus that smells nice for 30 minutes and then it's gone. The drydown is sweeter, resembles Skittles to me. Fun to try but not something I could seriously consider due to longevity issues.

Many of today’s high end neroli scents smell very similar to 4711 but with much better performance and refinement.
23rd April, 2017 (last edited: 14th January, 2018)
A legend, one that defines a genre of scents that continue to be appreciated to this day after hundreds of years.

Offhand, 4711 can be reflected in fragrances from way back, like Imperiale de Guerlain, to a sophisticated retake (maybe not intentionally) in Dunhill London Icon.

Sure, there are MANY alternatives to this classic style of scent - lemony, fresh, dignified - but 4711 is THE standard. Extremely easy to buy and at dirt cheap prices...why not give it a try and decide for yourself?

11th December, 2016
Took me a good long while to like this. You really need to like neroli.

Despite all the notes listed, I get bergamot, and neroli. It lasts about 30 minutes, an hour on a good day. It smells natural for the most part.

I paid $6 for a 2 oz spray bottle. Never wore it until recently, when I finally got more into neroli notes. Neroli was always a smell that rubbed me the wrong way; and although still not a major fan, I do appreciate more and more, as I wrap my nose around more neroli dominated fragrances.
01st October, 2016 (last edited: 23rd February, 2017)
When it comes to Eaux de Colognes, its not the idea you're paying for but the quality of execution. 4711 isn't bad, but its not so good either, it soon loses its refreshing edge as the citrus oils go pithy and dull.

No one expects longevity from an EdC. Putting musk in it is like putting ice cubes in your chilled white wine to keep it cool, it doesn't have much effect and just spoils the taste.

Instead of trying to spin out an ephemeral creation, it would be sensible for Mäurer & Wirtz to excise the musk from their formula and spend that money on better quality oils.

15th June, 2016 (last edited: 16th June, 2016)

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