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It's the summer of perfumes!

Energising, intoxicating, romantic, summer scents splash over us for a well-deserved refreshment. When it's so hot, it's hard to move your toes, you postpone your yoga session to 11 p.m., you eye the children's ice creams, you put on fresh linen sheets... And suddenly, you don't really want of this heady and sensual fragrance that we love in winter! So what scents to wear in summer? Logically, when temperatures rise, it is the evocation of freshness towards which we want to turn. Airy lightness, clean, sparkling smells...

Summer scents settle into the warmer season with a ballet of classic florals and zesty citrus notes that instantly brighten your mood. There are fresh, invigorating ocean scents that take your mind straight to the beach, and, of course, there are the colognes that big houses like Hermès and Guerlain bring out every year.

But what exactly is a cologne?

The origins of Eau de Cologne: Aqua Mirabilis Eau de Cologne today designates a category of perfume containing between 4 and 6% of essences. However, it is a source of inspiration revisited by the greatest houses and whose history begins in the 18th century. It was indeed in 1709 that the first Cologne was created! It all started when Jean-Marie Farina, an Italian perfumer, followed his brother to Cologne. His first creation there was composed of citrus notes and was named after the German city.

The success of the Eau de Cologne is almost immediate. This fragrant freshness contrasted with the heady perfumes of the time. The latter served above all to camouflage bad smells, which made them a real novelty. Whether Empress Elizabeth, Napoleon or all the other perfume addicts, everyone felt under the spell of the famous scent. This “admirable water”, or Aqua mirabilis as it was then called, was even supposed to have special gifts, even incongruous medicinal properties! Today, we no longer speak of a miraculous recipe, but Cologne has established itself over the summer as the timeless and unisex essential accessory for all lovers of lightness and freshness. Traditionally structured with essences of lemon, orange, bergamot and neroli, its composition now combines floral, fruity or aromatic facets on a chypre or woody base.

Many iconic perfume houses have taken inspiration from the great classic to create Eau de Cologne in their own image, such as Eau de Cologne 4711, one of Germany's best-known perfumes, or Eau Impériale, designed in 1853. by Guerlain for Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III for whom Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain created the famous bee bottle, also the emblem of the French house. Other more modern versions will follow such as those of Acqua di Parma, Hermès, Dior, Chanel and many others.

All the major perfume houses have been seduced by the lightness of colognes and even today, this legendary perfume fascinates noses all over the world. An inexhaustible source of inspiration, eau de Cologne is regularly revisited by the big houses. In the 21st century, Eau de Cologne is more like an art of living. It is a simple and authentic product, a unisex fragrance to be sprayed morning and evening, summer and winter, like an olfactory memory that takes us back to the bathrooms of our grandparents.

Above all, it remains a source of inspiration for perfumers; the latter continue to reinterpret the original formula and write the fabulous story of this mythical perfume. One thing is certain: the crazy and long history of eau de Cologne continues to be written...

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