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  1. #1
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    Default Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I scored a vintage bottle (from the 1960's) of Imperiale by Guerlain on my summer vacation. I stumbled upon a tiny little pharmacy in the Little Italy section of Boston and the shopkeeper had no idea what she had - she sold it to me for $15. The bottle is the original, round capped, glass bee bottle that looks like this. Just beautiful.

    The box reads, Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry. It seems that this wording is no longer used in current bottles of Imperiale. Does this mean I have a different formulation of the scent?

    I remember hearing about Habit Rouge Extra Dry (which I have never smelled) so I thought maybe this was perhaps released at the same time.

    I have only worn the juice from my bottle once. I splashed it on (since I didn't have an atomizer to decant it into) and the scent was much more tenacious than I expected -I could smell it on me for a couple of hours, even while I was walking around hot and sunny Boston. I love it. It has a very strong underpinning of citrus - akin to YSL Pour Homme and/or Monsieur Balmain, but of course done with a delicate touch. Very conservatively masculine in that tweedy, crisp, starched shirt, faded, old-school way.

    So, Extra Dry? Any idea?
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 5th September 2009 at 08:23 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I don't know about the 'extra dry' part, but I agree that vintage Imperiale (and Eau du Coq!) last quite a while for EDC's. I had 50's Eau du Coq last for 6+ hours on me!
    Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
    Indult Tihota & Rêve en Cuir
    Chant d'Aromes extrait
    Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)


    Selling/swapping:
    Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Perfumeintelligence.co.uk has only this to say:

    "Eau de Cologne Impériale Extra Dry Guerlain 1850 Created by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain"



    From Cleopatra's Boudoir on eBay, but not mentioning the Extra Dry:

    "Eau de Cologne Imperiale: created for the Empress Eugenie,wife of Napoleon III. The bottle bears the Napoleonc 18-kt gold bees, symbols of the French Empire at the time."

    This site, in French, has 1904 as the creation date for the Extra Dry:

    http://dgaudit.free.fr/lguerlain.htm
    Last edited by kbe; 5th September 2009 at 11:35 PM. Reason: corrected date typo
    'Those who grow too big for their pants will be exposed in the end'--anon

  4. #4

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Congrats Mike - I just love those small classic perfume shops that has all sorts of old gems. According to the Guerlain bottle bible, the Extra Dry cologne was created in 1904. I suspect from the name that is has even more citrus than the original, which can explain the more lasting scent.

    Also, one must remember that a slightly turned fragrance (especially turned citrus and floral notes) always seems to smell stronger and be more prominent on the skin - it's the "vinegar" effect. All my "slightly turned" Guerlains smells stronger and longer than fresher juice - simply because of the "vinegar" (I can tell because of have bottles from the same batch, but where one is a bit turned, the other is totally fresh...)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I'm a real skeptic when it comes to vintage, but I smelled Mike's Imperiale - - and it smelled very fresh. The lime accord was so ultra vivid.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 5th September 2009 at 11:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    For sure, the fragrance has not turned - I know what you're speaking about Mr. Guerlain since the L' Heure Bleue EdC that I bought last year had absolutely no top notes and smelled (from sniffing the bottle top) vinegar-esque. But the middle and base notes were just fine. My Imperiale shows no signs of this.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I scored a vintage bottle (from the 1960's) of Imperiale by Guerlain on my summer vacation.
    Just curious, why do you date it from the 60's and not, say, the 80's?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    $15??! Do they have any more? Sounds like a great find, Mike. Nice going!

    How does it compare to the regular Imperiale?
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  9. #9

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Hey Mike, wanna double your investment? I'll give you $30 for it? But seriously, NICE find....wish it was me...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Congrats Mike, it's like christmas day for you huh?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Thanks everyone for the congrats.

    I noticed today, that someone is selling a very old bottle of Imperiale, in that wine flask looking bottle from the early 1900's (I guess?) and the label which is all in cursive font does NOT say Extra Dry. Which leads me to believe that my Extra Dry juice is different than regular Imperiale. Pic below.

    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  12. #12

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Mikeperez,

    Up until sometime in the '80s it was not unusual to see both the regular and the extra-dry formulations offered side by side. I loved the extra-dry because in addition to the citrus notes, there was a bitter herb/quinine streak to it that made it much more complex, imo.

    Agree that all the Guerlain eaux de cologne were just plain stronger in the past - apart from any reformulation of the ingredients. The last bottle of Du Coq that I bought was so anemic that I could barely smell it. Eau de Guerlain, which was created as an edt rather than an edc, has been watered down so much that it really should be re-labeled.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I have a quart-size bottle with the older label above and at the bottom it reads "Distributer New York"--would that be and older vintage made for the US market?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Mikeperez,

    Up until sometime in the '80s it was not unusual to see both the regular and the extra-dry formulations offered side by side. I loved the extra-dry because in addition to the citrus notes, there was a bitter herb/quinine streak to it that made it much more complex, imo.
    Thanks Jardanel. Glad to hear from someone who's smelled the Extra Dry and regular and noted a difference. Now, I'm interested in scoring a bottle of vintage regular Imperiale, so I can smell the difference(s). Nonetheless, sounds like I should be grateful I got the Extra dry. Great to hear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviatt View Post
    I have a quart-size bottle with the older label above and at the bottom it reads "Distributer New York"--would that be and older vintage made for the US market?
    Is the bottle apothecary shaped, if not what shape is the bottle? Can you post a picture of it?
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  15. #15

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Mikeperez,

    Up until sometime in the '80s it was not unusual to see both the regular and the extra-dry formulations offered side by side. I loved the extra-dry because in addition to the citrus notes, there was a bitter herb/quinine streak to it that made it much more complex, imo.
    That sounds so good!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I just noticed a bottle on Ebay this morning. Just like mine, except my bottle is the taller bee bottle with a more dome-like neck - this bottle seems to be the more squat type, retail bottle that you see the regular Imperiale packaged in now.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I have a question for those who wear Imperiale (the Extra Dry or the regular):

    I have been wearing mine for some time now - I have tried applying it by spraying it on (I decanted some into an atomizer) and splashing it on. I find that when I splash it on, the scent reveals a bit more projection and has a bit more longevity. Not strong, by any means, but subtle whiffs of it are clearly evident as opposed to when I spray it, it seems to vanish on my skin.

    Has anyone else tried applying both ways & come up with similar results?

    I'm wondering if this is because I'm testing vintage juice, whereas the results might not be the same with 'new' juice...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Mike,

    I for one am very fond of the old-fashioned way of slapping on cologne from a great big splash bottle, pouring it into a cupped palm first, rubbing hands together lightly and then applying to body. I agree with you that the fragrance does seem to project and smell a bit differently - maybe because you are getting a generally larger dose when splashed, I don't know. I got very frustrated with the last bottle of Imperiale (regular) that I owned - it was weaker than I remembered, and a spray - and like you, I experienced very abbreviated longevity.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jardanel View Post
    Mike,

    I for one am very fond of the old-fashioned way of slapping on cologne from a great big splash bottle, pouring it into a cupped palm first, rubbing hands together lightly and then applying to body. I agree with you that the fragrance does seem to project and smell a bit differently - maybe because you are getting a generally larger dose when splashed, I don't know. I got very frustrated with the last bottle of Imperiale (regular) that I owned - it was weaker than I remembered, and a spray - and like you, I experienced very abbreviated longevity.
    Thanks Jardanel. Did you try spraying the last bottle of Imperiale into your hands and then splashing it on (perhaps yielding different results)?
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 8th December 2009 at 09:02 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Hmm, mikeperez, can't say that I did that with the Imperiale. I just sprayed and sprayed. However, I was driven to try that with a recent bottle of Du Coq - recent meaning at the end of 2008. It was so horribly watered down that nothing I could do with it mattered. I gave that bottle away - and I'm usually such a clinger!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Those spray bottle of classic edcs are so annoying. This juice was meant to be worn by the handful.You cant possibly judge it without proper application. I have to spray my little bottle of Imperiale about 10 times to get a decent handful and lets face it, one needs a few of those slapped about doesn't one .
    I find that imperiale's gentle drydown of tonka and stuff lasts for ages as a skin scent. The sillage is all gone in minutes though. Time to splash some more ....spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz,....... spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, SPLASH spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz,...etc ARRGHHH. Give me a proper big splash bottle...
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  22. #22

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    One of the reasons I prefer splashing classic edc's is that to spray the equivalent of my desired amount results in a nostril-burning fog surrounding my head. Whereas with my pour and slap method out of a splash bottle, I can use the properly generous dose and it doesn't feel like a run-in with a low-flying crop duster.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Amazing bitter and dry citrus scent. I just purchased one recently and the smell reminds me of the aromas you get in the air at those places that sell herbs and spices. It has a strong citrus aroma, i`m not sure if i smell lime but i still need to pay a better attention to it. It also seems to have verbena at small doses, having that burnt leaf aroma that you detect on verbena once the candy lemongrass side of verbena fades away.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    I was lucky to get a bottle of Imperiale Extra Dry recently and find it, although light, a great scent. Unfortunately, I was only able to get Extra Dry in a spray (100ml). Interesting thread. I prefer applying this to not-so-clean skin on a hot day. Wash first, of course. But, if you have a little base note/dry down of another citrus, this is the perfect refresher!

    Extra Dry was, by all accounts, a sharper version of Imperiale's regular bottling - which I have owned previously and liked. I felt it needed something more, though and whatever that "something" is showed up in my bottle of Extra Dry. My guess is slightly more aromatic compounds of herbs (verbena, rosemary, lemon verbena - and perhaps some additional citrus). An Eau de Cologne can be classified as such with 3-8% of aromatic compounds in the composition. Most bottles are ~5% or so. Imperiale probably fell in the middle. Extra Dry just feels like it is a percent higher. Not unlike a Haute Concentree bottling of citruses (YSL Pour Homme, Monsieur de Givenchy, etc.)

    A wonderful find. Just wish it was a splash as I find myself applying "wet" with a neutral balm with several sprays to the neck and a cupped hand with 3-4 sprays as well...more direct fragrance is absorbed into the skin. A MUST to spray on clothing as well!

    Enjoy - find it if you can...wonderful!

    Cheers,

    ericrico
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Eau de Cologne Imperiale Extra Dry by Guerlain

    Quote Originally Posted by ericrico View Post
    I was lucky to get a bottle of Imperiale Extra Dry recently and find it, although light, a great scent. Unfortunately, I was only able to get Extra Dry in a spray (100ml).
    Nice find! I am still actively keeping an eye out for this. Fingers still crossed.

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