Johann Maria Farina
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
Giovanni Maria Farina (Germanized name: Johann Maria Farina, Francized: Jean Marie Farina) was an Italian perfume designer and maker, born on 8 December 1685, in the town of Santa Maria Maggiore. He died on 25 November 1766 in Cologne, Germany.
Farina settled down in Cologne, Germany in the year 1709 where he founded Farina gegenüber, the world’s oldest perfume factory still existing List of oldest companies. His subtle fragrance Eau de Cologne became rapidly famous worldwide and in the 18th century this perfume was an indispensable accessory at all royal courts. In Farina’s days, the name Eau de Cologne would not have been mistaken for less modern fragances. The perfume maker chose to call his perfume after his new home town so as to honour it. Indeed, at the time when Farina first moved to Cologne, there were very strict laws regarding foreign settlers. Farina was granted citizenship and, in order to show off his gratitude, he named his very first creation Eau de Cologne (lit. French: "Water of Cologne"). This perfume, being a real sensation at the time, contributed to Cologne’s global fame.
Being the very first perfume of its kind on the market, the word "Cologne" quickly became a household name.
Cologne refers to a perfume which is usually refreshingly light, unisex with a citrus-based head note. Not to be confused with the American English modern definition of "cologne" which in such context refers to an aftershave or strongly-perfumed lotion for men only.
The explanation as to why the perfume was given a French name is rather simple: In the 17th and 18th century, the French language was spoken in European high society and also used by tradesmen, which explains Farina's name decision. Counterfeits of the perfume only appeared at the end of the 18th century. After the French Revolution, Napoleon’s troops occupied Cologne for a number of years and introduced freedom of trade. Back then, registered trademarks did not exist, which explains why there were so many counterfeits.
It was in those days that the name Farina chose to give his exclusive perfume was forever lost.
- Eau de Cologne - The premier fragance created by Farina
- Farina gegenüber - The oldest existing perfume factory of the world
- Cologne (city) - The German city from which the original Eau de Cologne was invented