Guerlain’s Eau de Cologne Imperiale (1860)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

You are at a gas station convenience store, and you want to get a Twinkie cake snack. Instead of getting the freshest one on the shelf, you ask the cashier if they carry any that were made 15 years ago. You enthusiastically describe what the old packaging looks like and talk about how good the old recipe is, but as expected, he compassionately tells you that they don’t have any. He says he actually believes that the new one tastes as good as the ones made in the old days. You are not convinced and not giving up and drive around town hopping in and out from one store to another, and just when you are about to scream “why!?”, you find a very old store that has a bunch of 20-year-old Twinkies hidden in the back room. The manager tells you that each one costs $100 and you don’t even show a hint of shock on your face. You immediately buy two (one as a back up), and take a bite. It tastes a bit spoiled, but “really amazing”.

Do you find this ridiculous? No? Good. Never mind. I want to thank a group member for telling me that my local perfume store has stocked some Guerlain “treasures”. He pointed out that any Guerlain perfumes that come in a shiny gold box (as opposed to the current ones that are matte-bronze) have vintage formulations and are much sought after. Today I revisited that store and spotted a 250ml bottle of Eau de Cologne Imperiale in a “shiny gold box”. The price was good, and as a bonus, the cologne came in the famous Guerlain bee bottle. The sales told me she had never seen a Guerlain bee bottle before (!) and it looked very pretty. She took a sniff from the sample bottle and said, “hmm, it smells like 4711 cologne.” (10 times cheaper) I said, “Come on, it’s one of the best lime colognes!” (It’s true! I guess…)


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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