Cologne: FSA Eligibility
What is cologne?
Perfumes and other fragrances have been in use for thousands of years, dating back as far back as Ancient Egypt, whose citizens used these fragrances for both ceremonial and beautification purposes. Many ancient cultures and trade networks were based upon the exchange of ancient oils, incense and floral extracts which were used to create perfumes and fragrances, and this practice has been replicated in countless cultures as a reflection of status, a form of personal hygiene and often used for religious purposes as well.
The term to describe a fragrance as "cologne", was coined by Italian perfume maker Giovanni Maria Farina in 1708, who crafted a perfume he dubbed "Eau de Cologne" to capture the scent of his new hometown, Cologne. The term can also be tied to the famous fragrance 4711, developed in the 18th century by Wilhelm Mühlens in the German city of Cologne that is one of the oldest continually produced fragrances in the world. Over time, other fragrances dubbed "Eau de Cologne," were developed, and the name became something of a catch-all term to describe them (Czech & Speake).
The explosion of interest in personal hygiene during the Victorian period lead to a renewed interest in perfumes and colognes, which continues to the present day with the perfume and cologne industry now making up a multi-billion dollar industry. It's use for cosmetic purposes and lack of legitimate medical usage disqualifies cologne from consumer-driven healthcare account reimbursement.