According to legend on 8th October 1792, a young merchant in Cologne, Wilhelm Muelhens, is given a wedding gift from a Carthusian monk; the secret recipe for an “aqua mirabilis”. Muelhens started marketing the miracle water as a health drink. Two years later Cologne becomes occupied by the French and the commanding officer has all the houses sequentially numbered. Muelhens’ house is given the house number 4711. In 1810 Napoleon decrees that the recipes for all medications intended for internal use must be made public. Muelhens, who does not wish to reveal his secret, begins marketing his preparation as a fragrance rather than a remedy. High society takes to the new fragrance and the rest is history.