Okay, so now I finally know what German grandmothers and grandfathers smell like! I felt that I could not continue on in this state of ignorance any longer, at least not while claiming to be a respectable member of Parfumo, so I took the plunge on a bottle of 4711 at one of the discount emporia. They sent me a 10oz glass jug of the stuff for $12, shipping included.
Upon its arrival, I noticed that the label was scratched and the cap slightly dented, which led me to believe that the bottle might be old. On the other hand, old bottles from discounters sometimes mean "not reformulated," which is generally a good thing.
So anyway, I splashed some on and immediately decided that it was drugstore quality and that I'd be using my large volume as a disinfectant for those increasingly rare occasions when HRH Emperor Oliver has a surge of testosterone and lashes out at me with his claws. Then I just forgot about until today.
I was wearing Lush ORANGE BLOSSOM and figured that it might be nice to give 4711 another try, since it's in the same general olfactory neighborhood, so I decanted some into an atomizer and found that it smells nicer sprayed on than splashed. However, there is still a residual dirty note (oakmoss? lily?) which makes this particular cologne smell not that appealing to my nose.
It's okay though, and I don't begrudge German grandmothers and grandfathers for wearing 4711! I do understand, however, why sophisticated German perfumistas are not all that enthusiastic about this cologne. It could get old fast, if one smelled it everywhere one went!
I'll keep wearing my Berdoues 1902 and Gandini 1896 colognes for the purpose of beating the heat this summer. Must have been a good decade!