Where does cologne come from?

Where does cologne come from?

This week, we're looking into the history of classic eau de cologne. Where does it come from? What is it made of? And what should you look for in a niche cologne in 2020?

The sophisticated history of cologne

Cologne is named after the place where it was invented: the city of Cologne, or Köln, in Germany. Traditionally, it uses a lot of citrus and natural floral scents. The original cologne from Cologne was designed to smell like "an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain."

Anyone can wear cologne, although it's often associated with men. Back when cologne was first invented in 1709, it was completely unisex. Both men and women used to wear heavy, musky scents at that time — so cologne was quite literally a breath of fresh air.

How to wear modern colognes

Subtle, natural fragrances have made a major comeback in recent years. One of the things we love about niche perfumes and colognes at Osme is that they play with natural extracts and floral scents. A couple of decades ago, everyone just wanted to smell neutral. But now cologne is reclaiming its own.

We recommend trying some of the Roja Dove range of colognes pour homme: from the spicy, dry Vetiver to the aromatic herbal Scandal and the leafy citrus Elysium. If you're ready for something more unusual, try Cologne by the infamous Etat Libre d'Orange. (Confusingly, Cologne by E.L.d'O. is actually an eau de parfum, but the name reflects its gentle, refreshing tone.)

And remember, the original cologne was made for everyone — so if you're a woman interested in experimenting with masculine scents, colognes are a good place to start!

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