Several weeks ago I came across a sealed vintage bottle of 4711 - Echt Kölnisch Wasser at a local fleamarket. Impressed by its voluptuous cut-glass flacon, I snapped it up for less than a latte.
One of the worlds oldest and most recognized brands of cologne, it seems at one stage or another, everyone's great aunt, grandfather or big brother once had a small bottle of this elixir stashed in a draw or standing on a dresser. Zesty and herbaceous, 4711 has stood the test of time, and besides being an all-purpose refreshing splash for more two centuries; has become a design icon in its own right. The ornamental gold and blue-green label is extraordinarily eye-catching, and if you visit the 4711 website, you'll note its contemporary appeal.
Imagine my surprise then, when I learned via an email exchange with a contact at HQ in Köln, that my fleamarket purchase is likely to be of a 70 year vintage. Whilst Nike shoe designers borrow inspiration from Echt Kölnische Wasser for their 2007 retail season, (and charge $170.00 a pair), I can't help feel blessed somehow that I stumbled upon a 150ml 1930's original... for a measley $2.00.