Item #1369 [Caption title:] Würckung und Tugenden des berühmten L’eau Admirable, ide Cöllnischer Wasser. Attributed to, Johann Maria Farina, Giovanni Paolo Feminis.
[Caption title:] Würckung und Tugenden des berühmten L’eau Admirable, ide Cöllnischer Wasser.
Eau De Cologne

[Caption title:] Würckung und Tugenden des berühmten L’eau Admirable, ide Cöllnischer Wasser.

[S.l.]: [s.n.], [N.d.; Second half of the 18th century]. Scarce edition. Woodcut headpiece. Paper with watermark of fleur-de-lis. (4) p. Trace of folding and crease. Stains on the front page. Overall in very good condition.

A previously unknown version of a “Gebrauchszettel”, the only advertisement material used by Johann Marian Farina, the creator of Eau de Cologne or Kölnisch Wasser. The four-page pamphlet informs about the possible uses of the essence as a beauty product and adverts its health benefits and invigorating effects. Such labels were only sent with larger delivery or by the request of the costumer (Leschke, 2006), however, later it was used also as a trademark. Farina provided the buyers the right to return the perfume, thus the address of the supplier was always indicated on the pamphlets. (Leschke, 2006.) The present “Gebrauchszettel” provides the address of “Gebrüderen Rossi” in Cologne.

Although the authorship is attributed to Farina even by the Bibliographie französischer Übersetzungen aus dem Deutschen [...] (Bihl-Epting, 1987), other sources suggest that the text was written by the primary inventor of Eau Admirable, Paul Feminis. This theory is corroborated by the short conclusive section of one of the French translations kept at the Deutsches Museum, which claims the rights of the product to Johann Maria Farina the rightful heir of “Paul Feminis, inventeur et auteur de l'Eau Admirable de Cologne”.

The perfume Eau de Cologne was originally mixed by Johann (or Giovanni) Maria Farina (1685–1766) Italian-born perfumer of Cologne: “I have discovered a scent that reminds me of a spring morning in Italy, of mountain narcissus, orange blossom just after the rain. It gives me great refreshment, strengthens my senses and imagination” as he wrote about it in a letter in 1708. He started to produce the perfume in 1709, which became rapidly famous worldwide. The factory is today known as the world's oldest fragrance factory and still producing the perfume under the name Farina 1709 Eau de Cologne. The discovery has also been ascribed to Giovanni Paolo Feminis (ca. 1660–1736), who sold the perfume under the name Eau Admirable, and left the secret of its formula to his nephew Farina.

Scarce print, we could not trace any copies in institutional holdings. Two different versions are held in France (BN; FRBNF30418676) and in Germany (Deutsches Museum; BV040097801). In French translation (Vertus de l'eau admirable, appellée eau de Cologne) is more common.

Ref.: Bihl-Epting 1020; Leschke, A. (2006). Wasserzettel. Retrieved from


Price: €2,500.00