Guerlain’s Cologne Imperiale revolutionised the way the French appreciated cologne following Pierre-Francois-Pascal Guerlain’s presentation of this creation to the Empress Eugenie in 1853. Following her sanctioning of his work, the imperial water has since marked the beginning of more than a century of success. In 2006 Sophie Labbe created a modern cologne that celebrated the reopening of Guerlain’s Champs-Elysees Maison. Coinciding with the Maison’s street address at number 68, Labbe’s modern cologne features 68 matieres premieres, that unfold beautifully like a piece of precious silk. This celebratory cologne in some ways takes you on a journey through the brand’s history in scent. The notion of a classic eau de cologne, like the one presented to Empress Eugenie develops like the Guerlain timeline, becoming instantly gourmand with notes of praline and vanilla evoking the spirit of Shamilar and Jicky. A fougere hides within referencing the work of 5th generation perfumer, Jean-Paul Guerlain the mastermind behind some of the greatest masculine perfumes of the 20th century. The opening of the cologne is a modern Guerlain: a freshfaced Aqua Allegoria, filled with exotic fruits. The scent was originally launched in a 490ml size and has continued to be sold in a 100ml size from all Guerlain counters.
Bergamote, mandarine, verte citron, clementine, cedrat, orange, sanguine limette, feuille de pamplemousse, basilic, fenouil, anis etoile, lavande, laurier, cypress, elimi, thyme, myrthe, petit grain, bigarade petit grain, mandarinier petit grain, citronnier, poire, vert de violette, feuille de lierre, gentiane, seve, cassis, freesia, muguet, feuille de noisette, cyclamen, cardomome, coriander, poivre noir, baie rose, muscade, gingembre, jasmin, frangipanier, fleur de magnolia, fleur d’oranger, pivoine rose, oeillet, ylang ylang, lychee, figue, mure, immortelle, lentisque, opoponax, amber, benjoin, vanille, ciste, heliotrope, iris, tonka, sauge, musc, patchouli, agarwood, cedre, santal, vetiver, musc vegetal, praline, myrrhe, lichen/68 notes.
Guerlain classify this cologne as unisex, as most cologne tends to be. Cologne du 68 has enough happening to appeal to all audiences. If you are a Guerlain fan, this could be all of your Guerlain dreams come true at once. If like me, you prefer to savour each flavour on your plate instead of blending your food together, you probably prefer to collect Guerlain perfumes instead of entertaining them all together in one bottle. Still, this is an interesting way to document the DNA of a brand in one creation. On men, Cologne du 68 is a relaxing weekend scent. Powdery heliotrope paired with vanilla and woods make this an excellent winter fragrance, especially where there is snow.
Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver, Etro Heliotrope, Guerlain Shamilar Ode a la Vanille, L’Artisan Parfumeur Vanilia
Perfumer: Sophie Labbe (IFF)
Bottle designer: Guerlain studio
Release date: 2006
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Citrus