Guerlain’s L’Art et la Matière line of fragrances celebrating great perfumers and great perfumes. The line has been going for some time now and Tonka Imperiale, as of this writing, is the newest release.
In Bottle: Boozy vanilla with a slight almond edge and sourness. Tonka Imperiale reminds me a lot of Spiritueuse Double Vanille but the major difference is in the sourness. Tonka Imperiale has a sour almond scent to where. Spiritueuse Double Vanille, on the other hand, had smooth smokiness to back it up.
Applied: Vanilla liqueur with that hint of sour again. The sourness is quick to fly away though, leaving me with vanilla, almond and booze. The booze then escapes me leaving me with a lovely rich vanilla and almond scent that signifies the mid-stage of Tonka Imperiale. Lovely spiciness comes in to the join the parade, turning this into full on gourmand as I’m reminded of cookies at Christmas time, very vanilla and decadent rum and spice cookies. The dry down after the Christmas cooking phase is a smoky woodsy fragrance with the beautiful vanilla note hanging on by a thread.
Extra: L’Art et la Matière is Guerlain’s long awaited answer to their lost niche when they were acquied by LVMH. I always felt most of the mainstream Guerlain releases were really pedestrian and lacking that exquisite Guerlainess that defined them so well prior to the acquisition. Though I do like most of their mainstream releases, I am also overjoyed that they’re still putting out stuff like Tonka Imperiale, Spiritueuse Double Vanille and the other L’Art et la Matière’s scents. Guerlain’s still got it.
Design: Bottled in a similar shaped presentation as Spiritueuse Double Vanille, Tonka Imperiale has a neater presentation without the big label and the honey bee wax seal. It still comes in that fitted box that you can’t do anything with if you plan on using the fragrance while keeping it in its original box. But, in addition to having a regular sprayer, Tonka Imperial also comes with a pump atomizer.
Fragrance Family: Gourmand
Notes: : Bergamot, rosemary, tonka bean, honey, spices, almond, jasmine, vanilla, cedar, pine, incense, tobacco and amber.
I really wrestled with wanting a bottle of this and wanting to keep money in my pocket. The L’Art et la Matière line is a few price points above Guerlain’s mainstream releases. It’s even a few price points above some niche houses. At $230 for 75ml, I found the price a bit rich for my tastes. I liked this, but not enough to blow that much on it.
Reviewed in This Post: Tonka Imperiale, 2010, Eau de Parfum.