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.
Despite having no floral components, EdC Impériale leans towards the feminine. Thanks to the tonka in its base it has something like the sweet powderiness found in 4711 that gives a softness rarely found in a cologne.
Good quality materials - as befits an empress, but ephemeral; there being no white musks available in the time of Napoléon III.
This is one of the finest eau de colognes you will find today.
The classic formula of bergamot, neroli, verbena, lemon and orange are supported in the dry down by lavender with cedar and tonka providing a warm woody vanilla base.
The addition of citrus-smelling herbs (bergamot, verbena) and flowers (neroli) to the basic lemon and orange pure citrus scents ups the ante and the lavender secures the scent, but discreetly never overpowers its delicacy.
An improvement over their original eau de cologne and the preferable of the two to add to your scent library.
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. I am very fond of the fresh burst of lime one gets when first spraying this on. It is what one might refer to as my "signature scent". It really is an Imperial eau de cologne. I highly recommend this one (I guess only 1/10,000 men wear this one).
18th March, 2015 (last edited: 12th November, 2015)