When life gives you lemons, spray Imperiale… liberally. Or, I should say, when life gives you limes. Lots and lots of limes, as though you’d just picked up a farm-fresh crateful of kaffir limes and have started making a gallon of limeade. Just like limeade, Imperiale is a great antidote for suffering in the heat. This vitamin C tonic instantly refreshes the mind and the senses. It is so uplifting; I have a roll in the orange blossoms every time I need a boost.
The coconut-y white pith of the lime adds a creamy and bitter balance to the acidic citrus and fragrant rinds. The fresh green lime blasts forth from the first whiff. This is not a one-dimensional lime, it is almost real, with traces of the waxy lime leaves from the branch it was just plucked from. This vision of bergamot is just one step removed from a field of lime bushes in the sun. Growing wild at the fringes of the field is lavender, which frames the lush citrus. In this magical field, singing maidens with orange blossoms in their hair come to pick the limes, laying them on starched white muslin cloth in willow baskets...
In a white-tiled sunlit kitchen, fresh-picked rosemary and mint in a water jug await the dinner preparation. Your lover steps into the room having just come out of the shower, still wet, and faintly smelling of lemon verbena and lavender soap, wearing only a damp cotton towel that exudes lively white florals. Later, Imperiale puts on a white linen shirt and clean jeans and retires to his woodworking studio, to produce giant pencil shavings of freshly lathed cedar. The summer sun gets hazy and heady, and the lavender fields beyond the studio bloom in fragrance as the final rays of sunlight hit their vibrant green and purple hues. After the day’s work is done and the evening meal complete, a key lime pie like tonka bean note makes it good enough to eat (said lover wanted to “eat it in a soup”! Low-and-behold that’s exactly what they did with it in the past – although I couldn’t get them to actually try it)
I'd really love this one IF IT ONLY WOULD LAST A BIT LONGER! ;-o Undeniably a classic, it showcases the verbena and neroli so nicely alongside the citrus elements, and the lavender is tastefully present to warm down the energy created by the opening notes. Requires constant refreshing for me, which may due to my bottle being old or my skin chemistry.
I had tried and really liked the current formulation, but did not need that much juice, so I hesitated purchasing. About a week ago, I found one of the older 30 ml bottles that were made in the Louis the XVI style bottle (mine was sealed and in a zebra box, so likely from the 80's, though possibly later).
I really LOVE the scent now! It seems brighter (if that could be possible) and the lavender is less heavy (at least that is my impression). Longevity is still an "issue" but as it was never meant to last, I don't really consider it a factor. Projection is minimal, making it a rather personal or intimate scent, perfect to enjoy for the sake of its pleasure, or for the sultriest of summer days.
Of the Guerlain fragrances I own this is probably my least favorite. It is nice enough just nothing spectacular IMHO. Nice enough for spring / summer wear to the office. The scent is not offensive. Fleeting projection and longevity.
This is an exquisite lime-based eau de cologne housed in an exquisite bottle that fades depressingly quickly. I spray this on hard (12-15 times on skin and clothes) and the scent might last two hours. Because of the terrible longevity, I cannot recommend Eau de Cologne Imperiale over comparable (in price and style) scents that last longer or otherwise perform better. Said another way, Eau de Cologne Imperiale does not hold a candle to Eau de Guerlain, which can be obtained at the same price point, packaged in a similar bottle, and lasts 8-10 hours with 3-6 sprays. Nor can Imperiale compete with Santa Maria Novella's signature scent or Aqua di Sicilia, both of which are EDCs like Imperiale, but which last leagues better.
After a few wearings, I think Imperiale's best use may be as a fragrance to layer with others. I've used it to brighten Smell Bent's Dark Green Citrus (a Frankensmellie) and Santa Maria Novella's Verbena (the combination smells quite a bit like Eau de Guerlain), and I've enjoyed these combinations better than I enjoy Imperiale by itself.
EDC Imperiale is a pleasant enough cologne that is pretty reminiscent of 4711, but not quite as astringent. The opening is sweet and sour citrus, much like a lemon lime soda with a hint of spice in the background. It was never meant to last very long or to have any significant sillage, but just as a refresher for the wearer. It's easily unisex, and pretty interesting IMO just from a historical standpoint, but it has such limited use when there are so many more better performing options that fit the bright, clean and refreshing category.