Fleeting luxury of the highest order...
<i>Eau de Cologne Impériale</i> by Pierre Francios Pascal Guerlain, was created and presented to the Empress Eugenie of France as a cure for her headaches, or so the story goes. As with all "Eau de Colognes", the effect is a bright, refreshing citrus wakeup call which awakens the senses and refreshes the body... like a tonic.
The formula is an old one. Citrus, Bergamot, Neroli, Petitgrain, some light florals, and some green moss usually at the base (sometimes very light musk). But ultimately, this is a luxurious but fleeting experience. It is designed to be applied at different occasions, such as at the beginning of the day, after the morning bathing ritual, or throughout the day, when the weather is hot or when the humidity is overbearing. In all these situations, <i>Eau de Cologne Impériale</i> succeeds.
Where it does not succeed however is if you want it as a perfume for the entire day. It is not meant to be used as such. Because of this, I think if you are looking to buy a similar (to me nose extremely similar)fragrance... and if money is an issue, then go for <i>4711</i>. Because the formula is almost the same, and the drydown is almost identical on many levels. I agree that the Guerlain smells different in the opening (more natural and citric), but only for the first 5-10 mins, after which they are hard to tell apart.
Ultimately, I would suggest this to anyone with money to spend on the "luxury" of an established, elegant fragrance meant for royalty (and for the history and prestige associated with the house of Guerlain). Otherwise, if money is an issue to you, there are other options out there which do similar things for a much cheaper price. In my opinion <i>Eau de Cologne Impériale</i> is one for the collectors, for those who appreciate history and tradition... and generally for those who have good taste!
This is, without a doubt, my absolute favourite fragrance of all time. I actually wear this more than any other scent that I own. It is what one might refer to as my "signature scent". It really is an "Imperial" eau de cologne. This means that it is far superior to any other traditional eau de cologne. It is similar to Citrus Bigarrade by CREED, but despite being similar, this Guerlain scent is better. I highly recommend this one. I guess only 1/10,000 men wear this one!!
Nice citrus lavender cologne. It blends with the tonka to give it a fresh laundry scent. I used to own this but switched it for Eau de Guerlain.
A good citrus cologne with lavender, woods, soapy notes and a slightly musky base, can't go any more classic than this – and you can't go wrong if classic is what you're looking for. Though, to me it's actually as much invigorating and elegant as ordinary and frankly not even that high quality, at least in the recent version (the infamous floor cleaner/car freshener feel). It may have been an iconic scent and perhaps it would be better to look for earlier bottles; today in my opinion it's just a tad above pleasantly mediocre.
Impériale is the soprano voice in Guerlain’s eau de Cologne chorus. Its charmingly tart lime top note sets a high olfactory pitch, and the rest of its traditional citrus and herb arrangement keeps well to the right end of the keyboard. Impériale’s lime-centered citrus accord is far sharper and brighter than Eau de Guerlain’s lemon and verbena, bears few of the floral embellishments that distinguish Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat, and eschews the warmth of Eau de Cologne du Coq’s lavender and animalic musk. Doing without these weightier components lets Impériale soar unencumbered, but also deprives it of endurance and complexity. The voice is clear and luminous, but its range is narrow and its song is brief. It is the simplest of the Guerlain eaux and as befits its age, the most traditional in style and content. However, I also think that it’s the least individual in character, and hence the last of the collection I’d be tempted to acquire.