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Wilhelm Muelhens was presented with the formula for 'aqua mirabilis' or 'miracle water' by a Carthusian monk, on his wedding day. In 1772, Muelhens developed the formula into a fragrance which he named 'Eau de Cologne' for the German city he lived in. His grandson, Ferdinand Muelhens, would later take over his perfume factory at Cologne's Glockengasse and rename the fragrance 4711, a number corresponding to the factory's street address. The 4711 fragrance would prove to have staying power through centuries and Muelhens would go on to produce more scents. The brand changed hands a number of times. Finally, in 2006, Proctor and Gamble sold the brand to Maurer & Wirtz of Aachen, a company that purveys a number of other fragrances including Tabac, Tosca, and the Otto Kern and Betty Barclay lines.

The legendary 4711 fragrance is a refreshing tonic, & is a blend of lemon, orange, rose, and sandalwood oil. Muelhens later introduced 4711 Ice, a unisex citrusy outdoors scent. Carrera cologne was launched in 1988, a blend of spice, citrus, and woods. Muelhens also offers a version of Body Talk for men and women.

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