Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guerlain- Eau de Cologne Imperiale

 Eau de cologne Imperiale by Guerlain is the most "colonge"ish out of the house's eaux. I wouldn't say it's a 4711 clone (the 1792 German classic is sharper and very much based on orange)-- after all, we're talking Guerlain here, and Imperiale was created in 1860 by  Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain himself. But this is an eau de cologne, it is all about citrus, and you're supposed to drench yourself in it on hot summer days.

Eau de cologne Imperiale is a lemony thing. It's tart, slightly astringent, but the light  floral notes and something in the Guerlain signature I can almost smell in what stands here as a base save it from being a total bore. Imperiale has a balanced chic to its citrus fest that stood the test of time, and I truly cherish the vintage jug  I bought at a dusty antique store last year. It was sealed, so I took a gamble not knowing if the old citrus has survived. Apparently it did, and I've been splashing myself ever since.

Eau de Cologne Imperiale, even at large amounts, doesn't last on me beyond two hours. It isn't meant to. This eau de cologne is a quick fix, not a real perfume. Some people keep their bottles in the fridge to make this summer treat even more satisfying. I didn't see the point until today, as I spend too many long hours waiting for the savior a/c technician to come and restore my sanity. I didn't do it, since my bottle is vintage and I was worried about damaging the label and such (instead I refrigerated bottles of various beauty sparys and face mists-- it was wonderful). But I get it now: a cold eau de cologne on a summer day is one of life's little pleasures.

Guerlain- Eau de Cologne Imperiale is widely available. Neiman Marcus only sells a 16.9oz bee bottle for $320, which is beyond ridiculous considering what's actually in there (mainly alcohol). You can find smaller and much more reasonably priced bottles from various online sources.


  1. I used to love this when I was a kid. In summer after bathing I'd give myself a splash of it, yes, from the bee bottle. I guess it was the upscale version of Axe if you'll excuse the expression.

    I shudder to think what the reformulated version will be like..

  2. Good morning from Spain,

    I'd like you, if possible, to test our Colonia Concentrada Alvarez-Gomez which dates from 1912 and is mainly composed by lemon, bergamot, lavender and geranium. The cologne flanker made for children recalls Eau du Coq so much whilst the price is under 15 $/100 ml.
    Best Regards,

  3. I love this Eau right now, my bottle is also vintage like on the first picture.
    Thank you for very much for your perfume posts, I read them all.


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