Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène: L'Authentique Eau de Cologne de l'Empereur by Cosmalia {Historical Fragrance}

Napoléon 1er is famously known for having been an Eau-de-Cologne junkie of the first magnitude. He would pour 60 bottles a month of the cologne introduced in France by Jean-Marie Farina on his shoulders and proceed with invigorating frictions, this to counteract the relaxing effects of his beloved extra hot baths.... a sort of Scottish shower, Bonaparte-style. So addicted was Napoléon 1er that he even had bottles of cologne designed in the shape of slim parchment rolls so that he could slip them into his boots during his military campaigns........
Napoleon in Saint-Helena 

When he was exiled to the island of Saint-Helena in 1815 until his death in 1821, it is recorded that he and his entourage, in particular Louis Etienne Saint-Denis nicknamed Ali, a faithful manservant of his, set to task to make a cologne based on ingredients available on the island with the help of formulas found in the library at Longwood and personal recollections. There was a small garden by the house called Ali's Garden, so it is probable that it was grown for at least some of the plants used in the cologne.

Cosmalia recently recreated this cologne with the authorization of the owner of the original document of this home-made imperial cologne,

"It is made up of essential oils from natural origin, ethanol (87%) and water. Associating a pallet of fruit extracts and aromatic plants in a fresh and subtle composition, the Eau de Cologne of Napoleon 1st is a testimony of the Emperor 's refined taste. The crystalline clearness of the bottle and its gilded stopper underline the transparency and the luminosity of this product of great quality.

Each bottle of 100 ml is presented in an elegant box hard-bound to the colors of the Emperor.
A small layer, fixed on the bottle by an elegant red silk ribbon, points out the history of the product.
Beauty product and elegant, for the man of today as for the woman, this Eau de Cologne constitutes also an authentic object of collection.

"The only olfactory recollection we have from the Emperor"

A bottle of 100 ml retails for 40 €, a 500 ml refill for 62 €. Fixed postage rate is 13 €. Products are available here.

If you are interested in historical fragrances, you can also read about the George Sand perfume and the Pope Pius IX cologne, amongst others. We are going to regroup all our announcements for and reviews of historic perfumes together.


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6 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Where in the USA can I get the cologne of Napoleon the 1st. I can seem to find a place.

    Ed Boissiere
  2. I don't think it's distributed in the US but the website ships internationally.

  3. Hi- I can't seem to tell if you sell products at this site but I would really like to procure a bottle of that Napoleon cologne. I live in the US. Can you please help? I love your site very much. Thank you for it!!!

    • Thank you for your kind words. No, we do not sell products. On the practical side, we're more of a shopping guide at most.

      I went back to their site. Here is a link below to the order form. It looks like they ship internationally since they write in English. I think that you would have to order via their site:

      Actually the url defaults to their main page; just click on the bee icon at the top of the page, it will lead you to the "bon de commande" (order form)

      Chant Wagner
  4. Way too subtle for me.
    Water in a bottle.
    I think they went wrong in
    diluent ratio here.
    You can use your money much better elsewhere.

    Antonio Montes

    • I haven't tried it but have been meaning to. Thanks for sharing your take on it.

      Chant Wagner

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