Jacky buys a bottle of 4711 eau de cologne.
I’m not sure about the scents of the white and pink soaps, but they could be discontinued. As a matter of fact, their boxes and packaging could be coming from the 1980s, definitely not from the most recent collections. Contemporary Roger & Gallet soaps are wrapped in tissue paper, as usual, but they only have a round sticker – not a wrapping label.
Some flacons bouchon coeur by Guerlain can be seen on another counter. Most of them have no label, so it’s impossible to know what perfumes they contained. One thing is certain: their glass stoppers tell us they’re from before 1962, year in which plastic stoppers replaced the glass ones. As for the Mitsouko modern bottle, the pump atomizer is a nice way to give it a vintage feel.
Agnes Towler (Aisling Loftus) meets Henri Leclair (Grégory Fitoussi) in the beauty department. They have a short conversation about perfumes, from which we learn that Agnes is a classic British girl, who loves traditional perfumes like Yardley Lavender. The aromatic fougère, launched in 1919, is another not-historically-accurate choice, but it works.
In this episode there are two references to Mäurer & Wirtz 4711, the original Echt Kölnisch Wasser. The scene above is set in Cologne central station: while Martin Rauch is taking a train to East Berlin, we can see huge neon letters spelling the name of the eau de cologne.
In another scene, the iconic Molanus bottle can be seen in the desk drawer of Frau Netz (Michaela Caspar), General Edel’s secretary. When she opens the drawer, we can see the perfume bottle and a copy of the magazine Der Spiegel (June 6th, 1983 issue). The cover title – Deadly Disease AIDS, the Mysterious Illness – is connected to the plot: a member of the pacifist movement, Felix von Schwerin, is actually ill with AIDS; he may have infected Tobias Tischbier and, as a consequence, Alex Edel.
Ursula Edel, the General’s wife, pays a visit to his office and gives Frau Netz a certificate of medical leave of absence for her son Alex. This is ironic: in that moment, Alex is not ill (he has temporarily left the army, trying to fight his father’s influence with a grand gesture which will end up tragically), but he may be, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Besides the fact that Frau Netz doesn’t shake Ursula’s hand, she reacts to the woman’s departure from the office by cleaning her hands with a handkerchief soaked in 4711 cologne. Known for its revitalising and relaxing effects, this cologne is commonly used as hand sanitizer, too.