Die hard perfume fans might be excused for disregarding that the brand of Terracotta, one of the oldest products for giving what the French call "bonne mine" (i.e. the look of healthy looking, sun kissed skin) is the biggest seller for the Guerlain beauty and perfumes company they so revere. Indeed Guerlain would be literally bereft without their prized Terracotta, introduced in 1984, which is why they have been carefully augmenting the line with new and exciting and delicious-feeling products over the years, always instigating the desire to test at the makeup counter and take something home.
The olderst was Terracotta Voile d'Ete (1999), a sunny spicy carnation and ylang composition that was fiery, somewhat daring and spicy floral in character, projecting with the assured step of a tiger proud of her golden stripes.
Next came Terracotta Eau Sous le Vent (2009), a limited edition fragranced moisturizing mist for the body which had a subtle sheen and the delicious aroma of tiare flower, yet faint for a true perfume. (It was complemented by the Terracotta Huile de Voyageur which was a dry oil to bathe skin in tropical flowers's scent and gold mother of pearl particles). This year Guerlain re-introduces the magic of Terracotta with Joli Teint, a new makeup product that caters to all makeup lovers, and revisits the Voile d'Ete fragrance edition, this time with a much less complex name, simply Terracotta Le Parfum, as a limited edition for 2014, as we had announced regarding new Guerlain releases months ago.
The allure of suntan lotions and oils is a well document market fact with thousands of consumers wanting to extend their pleasure out of using sun products into their fine fragrance ritual. That's where suntan lotion smelling perfumes come into. Terracotta Le Parfum is a refined example of that, much like Lauder cornered that game with their Azuree Soleil and Bronze Goddess fragrances which have munched on the market share which would have been rightfully Guerlain's had the Americans not been smart enough to pounce first. Guerlain has meshed the tropical flowers (tiare, ylang ylang) and the salicylates which naturally crown compositions of this creamy, sun drenched nature in Terracotta Le Parfum with classic French notes such as very perceptible jamine and creamy natural tuberose and (less so) orange blossom plus a fluffy, lightly powdery undercurrent of musk and vanilla, hinting at sweetness but withholding too much sugar, thus offering a grown up version that should prove very popular. Compared to Bronze Goddess it's a tad more "sparkly" to my nose, without the coconut note that recalls Coppertone (Guerlain has almost no coconut) and it feels like it lacks the carnation/clove note of the original Terracotta Voile d'Ete from years ago entirely, presenting a quite different fragrance.
Terracotta Le Parfum, 50ml of Eau de Parfum, will be in stores in May 2014.
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