Why is cologne called cologne?

So, I didn’t actually think about this until I was almost leaving cologne. Yes, even after having been on a tour that spoke about medicinal water from the city that began to be used for its aromatic qualities. The city gives its name to Eau de Cologne or as Germans say, Kölnisch Wasser (water of Cologne). This was a perfume created by an Italian who was born in Cologne. The composition of his fragrant mixture has been copied the world over and now refers generically to the perfume type that consists of about 3-8% aromatic compound in a water/ethanol-based solvent.

So, there you have it! The cologne (that you put on your body) has its name because of this nifty city in Germany! I was able to spot one of the famous cologne/Cologne brands 4711, which is named after the building where it was manufactured and still is sold pictured below. The store had a fountain of cologne for visitors to place their fingers and/or cups under.

Some other cities that have given their name to our daily mainstays are:

  • Bologna –  the “seasoned smoked sausage made of mixed meats, such as beef, pork, and veal 1” is named after Bologna in Italy.
  • Sardine – the small fish is named after the Italian island of Sardinia.
  • Brussels sprout – most likely originated in Brussels, Belgium
  • Tangerine – originated from adjective associated with Tangier
  • Wiener – The word Wiener meansViennese in German. The sausage was invented by a butcher from Frankfurt, who had moved to Vienna, which is why in Vienna the sausage is calledFrankfurter. – Wikipedia
  • Sandwich – Well, this one is a bit different, as John Montagu, the 4th earl of Sandwich, gave his name to the Sandwich Islands and the food item. Sandwich, still being the name of the town (Sandwich, Kent, UK) associated with the earldom, let’s this food make the list.
House number 4711, store where the famous brand of Eau de Cologne by Mäurer & Wirtz, a subsidiary of the Dalli Group owned by the Wirtz family.

1 Bologna. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s