Monday, 5 July 2021

4711 by Mäurer & Wirtz

Fragrance fans are constantly searching for the next “big hitter” or “must have” scent and, because of this, often forget to look backwards as well as forwards. There are very few genuinely new trends in perfumery, they’ve all been seen before, it’s just the way that they’re presented that is different. However, we seem to be locked into the eternal quest for “newness” and, because of this, can find ourselves overlooking the faded and forgotten gems from another time. One such treasure must surely be 4711 by Mäurer & Wirtz. Arguably the world’s most famous cologne, it’s time this classic was rediscovered by a new generation.

Displaying your individuality and celebrating your own style is something that nearly every brand is trumpeting at the moment, with varying degrees of self-interest, but it’s very hard to truly find it on the high street. Thousands of other shoppers will have picked up the same fragrance, makeup, or clothes that you’re encouraged to buy, but there’s a secret area that is full of surprises. Rummage on the bottom shelf of a chemist store’s display, even better if it’s an independent, and you’ll discover some absolute gems that aren’t stocked in the big department stores anymore.

Some of the best examples of this are the multitude of colognes that you’ve probably never heard of, and admittedly there are a few that will only appeal to diehard fans. Colognes used to be found in every house, and were liberally applied by both men and women after shaving or bathing, but their fleeting time on the skin saw them fall out of fashion. However, the appearance of “cologne-style” scents from the big brands saw a resurgence in these hesperidic bursts, but the price tag was often at odds with many customers’ biggest expectation, that of longevity.

The thing with citrus is that it doesn’t last very long, and so a premium price for a fleeting scent often leads to unhappy customers. Summer is the season when the latest zesty fragrances are always released, but have you tried the original? 4711 is the ultimate summer fragrance but, because it’s a low price, stocked in Boots, and many remember their parents wearing it, it's often overlooked. Yes, it needs to be topped up after a couple hours, but for that price does it matter? Most summer scents from high street brands will still only last a morning if you’re lucky, and they really can’t offer anything as perfect as Maurer & Wirtz’ classic cologne.

4711 opens with the mouth-watering zestiness of lemon, orange, and bergamot, and it really screams sunshine. However, it’s the arrival of the aromatic floral heart that changes things up. The famous lavender and rosemary is accompanied by touches of rose and neroli, but they’re kept bright rather than heavy. The fragrance fades quite quickly, it’s a cologne after all that has been around for almost 230 years, but you’re still left with a glorious whisper of vetiver, cedarwood, and musk. Remember, unless you’re wearing the bottle around your neck as a necklace then nobody is going to know what your scent is. So, why not ditch the big brands this summer and show some love for 4711?

4711 is available from most chemists, and also from Escentual at escentual.com, with prices ranging from £9 for 50ml up to £64 for 800ml. [Bottle was purchased.]

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