Lightyears Collection
Eau de Cologne Impériale
Guerlain
(1853)

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Eau de Cologne Impériale

Eau de Cologne Impériale was created for the Empress Eugénie by perfumer and founder of the House of Guerlain, Pierre-François Guerlain. It had been described as "a blend of orange, lemon and bergamot associated with lavender and rosemary." It was introduced at a time when Guerlain's reputation was already growing for a series of scented waters he has prepared for his elite clients.

Eau de Cologne Impériale was not the first popular cologne nor was it alone on the market at the time of its introduction. Eau de Cologne Impériale is considered "special" largely because it expanded Guerlain's marketing reach ... and it is still on the market today. So from Guerlain's point of view, it is a very important product. In short, it helps give Guerlain some boasting rights.

Pierre-François Guerlain, Eau de Cologne Impériale's creator, had studied soapmaking in England before returning to France and getting into the scented water business. Interestingly, William Colgate, founder of the Colgate Company, had also studied soapmaking in England before traveling to America to launch is businss. Although the Colgate company is older than Guerlain by twenty-two years, it is interesting to note that the Colgate company began to introduce a string of fragrances starting around 1866 — thirteen years after the successful launch of Eau de Cologne Impériale — and, for the next fifty years or so, would describe their company as being "perfumers".

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