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eau de Cologne

eau de Cologne (ō də kəlōnˈ) [key], dilute perfume [commonly called cologne in English] introduced c.1709 in Cologne, Germany, by Jean Marie Farina. It was probably a modification of a popular formula made before 1700 by Paul Feminis, an Italian in Cologne, and was based on bergamot and other citrus oils. The water of Cologne was believed to have the power to ward off bubonic plague.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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