Queen of Hungary Water



The world’s first alcoholic perfume wasn’t so much a perfume, but rather a cure-all tonic, bestowed with near-magical properties. Called ‘Queen of Hungary water’ (and later just ‘Hungary water’), it was a distilled product made up of rosemary and alcohol. Later versions added citrus and other herbs, making it the true precursor to Eau de Cologne.

Queen of Hungary Water

The legend goes that this water was made for Queen Elisabeth of Hungary (1305-1380), but there are some conflicting facts and legends about the exact date of invention, and even about whom it was originally made for. Either way, the water has spread across countries and centuries, whether with its original recipe or a modified one. It’s been drunk, inhaled, rubbed on the skin or diluted in the bath to promote longevity, health and youthfulness.