In 1853, Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain composed Eau de Cologne Impériale for Her Majesty Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. It came in a bottle decorated with a myriad of bees hand-gilded with fine gold. Charmed by this creation, the Empress bestowed upon him the coveted title of Parfumeur Breveté de Sa Majesté, Royal Perfumer.
To celebrate the 160th anniversary of Eau de Cologne Impériale in sumptuous style, Guerlain decided to highlight a spectacular and age-old artisanal skill: straw marquetry. This traditional French decorative technique highly appreciated during the Art Deco movement is now perpetuated and modernised by Lison de Caunes. Patiently and passionately, this Maître d'art transforms individual pieces of straw into a radiant case, the most refined and imaginative. Decorated with the shining Guerlain star, it holds the monumental one-litre version of Eau de Cologne Impériale.
Only 32 numbered pieces are available worldwide.


Created in 1853 by Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, Eau de Cologne Impériale was the very first Eau de Cologne by Guerlain. Specially composed for the Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, it earned its creator the title of "Perfumer to His Majesty". The Empress enjoyed the exclusive use of this fragrance before giving her authorisation for it to be sold.
On its label, it bears the symbol of the Empire with the coat of arms chosen by Napoleon: the eagle, the imperial crown and the sceptre.
It is said that Empress Eugénie also used the Eau de Cologne Impériale to treat her migraines.

Perfumer secrets

Granddaughter of Art Deco interior decorator André Groult and appointed Maître d'art in 1998, Lison de Caunes has been working the delicate straw marquetry for more than 20 years. She makes this spectacular ancestral craft more brilliant than ever. She hand shapes rye straw, cutting out, applying and pasting on each whisp, with patience and meticulousness, for a shimmering golden finish.