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I am a devotee of the original DKNY perfume, but I decided to treat myself to this Dolce & Gabbana fragrance last year after having a sniff of it in Boots.
L'Imperatrice is one of the five D&G Fragrance Anthology Perfumes that were released in 2009. I have never smelt the other four, so I can't compare this fragrance to anything else in the range.
The Anthology range were modelled after tarot cards, with each fragrance having a number. L'Imperatrice is number 3, and means 'The Empress'.
I really like the bottle of this perfume. It's very simple but classy looking. It comes in a sturdy, heavy glass bottle that's rectangular in shape. It feels satisfyingly chunky in your hand. The lid is round and plain black plastic, with a plain white box on the front displaying the perfume's name, and the black D&G logo at the bottom. Very plain, tasteful and timeless.
The perfume itself is pale pink in colour so it does look a little on the girly side. I'm not a girly girl so I could do without it being pink but it's no big deal whatsoever.
The top notes of this fragrance are watermelon and kiwi, and indeed when you first spray it, it smells overwhelmingly fruity. It's quite sweet but not sickeningly so. I personally think that it smells more like pink grapefruit than watermelon, although it's not particularly citrussy smelling. Some people might find the initial smell too sweet, although I do not like sweet smells myself and I don't feel it is overly sweet.
I have been wearing DKNY for about a decade now, and even when I freshly spray it, I can't smell it on my skin anymore because I am so used to the smell of it. With L'Imperatrice, I can smell it on myself for a good couple of hours after first spraying it. I have read people saying that they don't feel this fragrance lasts very long but I personally would disagree. I find that if I spray this in the morning, it would be mid-afternoon before I feel the need for another spritz.
Once the scent dies down, the perfume becomes less fruity smelling and more floral; the floral notes being pink cyclamen. I prefer the fruitiness as I find floral smells a bit samey. The last notes are supposedly musk but I have never noticed too much of a musky scent.
When I first bought this perfume last year, I only wore it a few times because I found it made me a bit too headachey. However recently I have given it another go and this time around I haven't had this problem at all. The fruity smell is really nice and would make this the perfect spring and summer perfume.
To me, this perfume is quite 'young'. While it smells nice, I wouldn't regard it as anything special, particularly given the price tag - prices vary but I think you would be hard pressed to find this for under £30.
I wouldn't buy this again. Partly because for the price, it didn't blow me away and it isn't anything extra-special, but mostly because I just can't find anything I love as much as DKNY.