Tonka Impériale (2010)

Tonka Impériale by Guerlain
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Tonka Impériale (Guerlain)
Tonka Impériale (Guerlain)
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8.7 / 10     534 RatingsRatingsRatings
Tonka Impériale is a popular perfume by Guerlain for women and men and was released in 2010. The scent is gourmand-sweet. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.

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Thierry Wasser

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Almond, Rosemary
Heart Notes Heart NotesJasmine, Tonka bean, Tobacco
Base Notes Base NotesFrankincense, Cedarwood, Stone pine wood



8.7 (534 Ratings)


8.2 (377 Ratings)


7.2 (380 Ratings)


8.6 (362 Ratings)
Submitted by Ripieno, last update on 21.01.2019
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Helpful Review    8
Guerlain goes back to its majesty. I am not really a fan of tonka, so I procrastinated the approach to this scent. Which contrary to what I feared, is great. Beyond great! The opening is pure beauty, a sophisticated, rich, golden cornucopia of vanilla, amber, resins, aldehydes, jasmine, all together bringing in triumph a complex, faceted, rich, tremendously high-quality tonka note, well supported by a sweet, humid, rooty tobacco note. A warm, fairly unisex Oriental blend, slightly fruity too, refined and sumptuous and terribly pleasant to wear (at least for a while, especially for its first phase), well framed by a gentle breeze of petals and aromatic herbs which give this Oriental gem a touch of elegance halfway French and Mediterranean. The tonka note is perfect: dense, vibrant, round, precious, not cloying (to me it is, quite often) and not too almondy-roasted. It smells fresher and more vibrant than usual, partially probably due to its quality, partially to the simple yet totally clever composition which effortlessly enhances its nuances – from earthy to sweet. The tobacco note works perfectly in keeping the blend literally “down to earth”, providing a shady whiff of smoke, contrasting with flowers and citrus bringing their sunrays in. And in the middle, this vibrating, solid heart of gold made of amber, vanilla and tonka. Great and elegant silky-talc drydown, discreet and still carrying soft hints of tobacco and vanilla, with no synthetic aftertaste. A perfect blend of richness and Exoticism painted with French grace and sumptuosity, great and irresistible from the very first sniff to the last second on skin. Smells, and is, hell expensive, but (finally!) for a reason. Fantastic, and for me easily the best from this “exclusive” line.

Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 9.0/10
The Scent Without Edges
The Parfumo Community has given "Tonka Imperiale" very good ratings, which was one incentive for me to try it. After sniffing it at Bergdorf's, NYC, I was smitten. That was not the only time that I had examined it, over the years I often tested it. So, okay, break the bank and splurge, go ahead and enjoy. Said, done.

After that I read Kafka's blog article where she described it as sort of bland. (You can google the article.) Ah ha, bland you say. That is fine and good with me because sometimes I am just looking to spray something on that is pleasant and not attention-seeking or loud. Something like skin, but better. Something for every day.

But wait. Although "Tonka Imperiale" can easily be worn from morning to night every day, it is not limited to that - for an evening out, one could just spray more.

It is a fine and cultivated scent. Well blended from beginning to end. "The End" is after a long lasting period of easily 8 hours. The scent lingers softly and does not change in the base notes.

Mainly tonka bean, I am sure, but there is also a certain sleekness that continues throughout. Otherwise no edges, no roughness, and above all, no cheap notes. (Cheap notes I would describe as shrill or changing in the dry down to something offensively ugly; cheap perfumes often do that.)

It probably does not deserve as high a price tag as it has. But now that I have it, I will spray liberally and enjoy it. Leaving less good-smelling perfumes by the way side.
Scent 6.0/10
Very helpful Review    7
Sweet Tobacco and Wedding Cake
After my 'head over heels' reaction to Guerlain's Rose Barbare, I was very interested to get my nose on some of the other L 'Art et la Matière collection ... subconsciously hoping for more of the same! In the case of Tonka Impériale, it's unfortunately not 'instant love' ... but it definitely is 'like'.

I received a hefty 4ml sample of Tonka Impériale in a swap (thanks Tricciwoo) and on application the first thing that pops on my skin is the Tobacco. As a smoker, I am probably tuned in to this note ... if it is contained in a fragrance it's usually the first thing I smell. Here, the Tobacco is cuddled by the powdery-ness of Tonka and the marzipan sweetness of Almond. It smells like someone is smoking a pipe near a wedding cake :).
Unfortunately, Tonka Impériale has a very short life-span on my skin. It reminds me a little of Mugler's A*Men Pure Havane (which is much stronger and a lot less refined) with a bit more sweetness thrown into the mix. I've read that Tonka Impériale sticks to fabric quite well, so a full wearing is probably a good idea. It's extremely difficult to compare something one 'likes' to something one would sell a kidney for (and at the prices of the L 'Art et la Matière collection this could happen!), but as acceptable as this fragrance is it probably won't crack the nod for addition to my collection. I don't think it is 'special' enough ...

I have Iris Ganache also from this collection yet to try ... time will tell if the astounding beauty of Rose Barbare can be matched!
2 Replies


Lillibet 10 months ago
A glorious open features toasted almond, rich sweet dark vanilla/tobacco & spices. Settles to warm woods with savory nutty herbal notes.+2
Bottle 8.0
Sillage 6.0
Longevity 6.0
Scent 7.5
Hermesh 2 years ago
The most exciting phase is at the beginning: the scent shows different nuances. Later, it settles down, gets pleasantly round-gourmandy. Nice+1
Bottle 10.0
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 7.5
Scent 8.0

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