I like a good patchouli and I tend to like them neat. This one does exactly what it says on the tin and smacks you with a relatively grungy patch that’s accessorized with spices and suspended over a balsamic, somewhat oily base. What’s clever about Patchouli Impériale is that it maintains some dirty characteristics while still coming off as refined. This is partly due to a sliver of citrus at the opening that ventilates the patchouli to keep it from becoming oppressive. Furthermore, it’s not as uptight and over-dressed as more “grown up” spins on the note; it somehow manages to straddle several different worlds simultaneously which, for a note that’s loaded down with cultural baggage, is nifty. The patchouli itself leans more earthy and herbal as opposed to the way patchouli can go chocolatey or minty, but it also has a nice heady, narcotic quality to it. The negative? The scent’s quite linear and somewhat dull—perhaps even a little characterless due to the amount of boxes it’s trying to tick. But having said that, it’s a simple, solid earthy patchouli with some flexibility as far as to how/where it could be worn.
A natrual and dusty patchouli with a nice sandalwood background. Really like this one. Not cloying or nose stinging and a pleasure to sniff on the wrist. Projection and longevity are above average. 8/10
There’s no getting around it… this is one of the best patchoulis I’ve tried. Immediately upon application I get the rich, broad-spectrum Indonesian patchouli – I believe it’s already supported by the base’s sandalwood: It is an excellent, strongly wooded patchouli fragrance. There is also an amber with the patchouli, which gives an almost gourmand lusciousness to the visceral stripped-earthiness of the patchouli and the smooth richness of the sandalwood.
Patchouli Imperial has good sillage and excellent longevity, and I would say it’s likely the easiest patchouli to wear of all the patchoulis I’ve tested. For both patchouli lovers and patchouli middle-grounders, this is a dream fragrance.
My last foray into the Dior Privee line, the others being Cologne Royale, Granville, Vetiver, and Ambre Nuit.
Patchouli Imperial opens with a very strong Patchouli note that is perhaps the driest I've ever encountered. The Patchouli is very natural and it's dryness is balanced out by an equally natural cream note.
As time goes on, the cream subsides and the dry Patchouli begins mixing with something that reminds me of freshly tilled soil... earthy and thick.
Sweet wood notes emerge eventually, and they would have smelled just as natural as the others if they had been as consistently dry, but the attempt at balancing makes their unnatural sweetness all the more noticeable.
Luckily the sweetness disappears, along with most of the Patchouli, and all that is left is a very nice wood scent, which reminds me of the way my mother's 110 year old dining room set (table, chairs, china cabinet) smell.
While Patchouli Imperial is certainly not my type of fragrance, like all the others in the Privee line it is a work of art, the quality of which I can appreciate.
As for wearability, I don't think I'd be able to go outside the house with this one, but I can see it being a favorite for many on this site for it's strength and quality construction.
For those reasons, I give it a Neutral.
This opens with a really loud in your face Patchouli mixed in with coriander and woods. There is also a hint of citrus and florals making the patchouli smell creamy.
As the scent dries down it becomes more woody with a slight amber sweetness. Though the patchouli stays linear throughout.