You might be suprised to learn that that the following article is not about the fragrance associated with the city of Cologne but does reveal a heart warming tradition that began only  a few years ago when couples began an unusual way to profess their everlasting love by fixing padlocks to buildings in Europe.

If you walk towards the river from the Cathedral, you’ll find one of Cologne’s more unusual attractions – Hohenzollern Bridge, dubbed ‘Padlock Bridge’. From a distance it appears to be any other industrial iron bridge, but as you get closer you’ll notice a wall of colour – padlocks in every shape and size, festooned with ribbons and gems spanning from one side of the bridge to the other.

Tired of the old ways (Flowers, chocolates, jewelry) the romantics of Cologne in Germany wanted to find a new way to express “I want to be yours forever?” ? In the past few years, couples have found a new more creative way to declare their love – by hanging love padlocks on the main railway bridge that spans the Rhine.

Love padlocks is an unusual custom by which padlocks are affixed to bridges by sweethearts to symbolize their everlasting love. The locks usually contain either a label or have been engraved with names or initials or the couples. After hanging the padlock in place it is locked and the key is often tossed down into the river below. The locks come in various shapes, colour, and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they represent love between two people at that very moment, at that very place.

A new book features photos of one hundred of these love locks attached to railings on Cologne’s Hohenzollern Bridge. That’s just a small selection of the total. The bridge now has 40,000 of them and more are added every day. So many in fact that authorities are worried about whether the bridge can take the strain. See more in this video that reveals the full extent of love locks on the Hohenzollern Bridge