Blog post by Gwen

Terracotta Voile d'Ete – sophisticated and tropical and nostalgic

Photo: perfumeniche

This past week, I received an email from someone asking me to put together a custom decant pack as a gift for his wife. I do take requests for custom packs, and I was happy to accept this one. This fellow says his wife is a summer baby who thrives on hot sunny days, so what he wanted were six decants of fragrances that would keep summer going all year long. I understood where he was coming from and knew right away that Terracotta Voile d’été by Guerlain would be in that pack.

I discovered Terracotta Voile d'ete years ago after reading about it on Denyse Beaulieu’s excellent blog, Grain de Musc, where she says that  Terracotta Voile d'ete was “one of those little perfumista secrets that aren’t much blogged about, but have wound their way into many a collection.”

Terracotta Voile d'ete not only wind its way into my collection, it wrapped itself around my heart.

Initially launched as a limited edition in 1999 to complement Guerlain’s Terracotta makeup collection, Terracotta Voile d'ete is based on another Guerlain scent, Quand vient l’été, created by Jacques Guerlain in 1910. Perfumers Jean-Paul Guerlain and Mathilde Laurent used the formula for Quand vient l’été as the base for Terracotta Voile d’ete totally updating it in the process. The result is a stunning evocation of summer.

Terracotta Voile d'ete opens with bright, citrusy bergamot and cool, herbaceous mint, creating a refreshing start that, to me, is reminiscent of the smell of the lime/mint combo in a mint mojito. A note of pear adds a sweet, fresh fruitiness to the opening that’s the perfect way to coax out the flowers at the heart. A rich, sumptuous rose leads the pack. It’s joined by a note of jasmine that’s heady, floral, and sweet; it gives Terracotta Voile d'ete a tropical sexiness. Ylang-ylang backs up the jasmine with its custardy, creamy carnal aspects that bring to mind the smell of sunscreen. White lilies round out the flowers, with their opulent, green and spicy aspects leading to the clove-like scent of carnation, which adds a vibrant spicy warmth to Voile d'ete. At the base, iris adds earthiness and mellowness while heliotrope adds its almond/musky/vanilla goodness. It feels like the heliotrope forms a bouquet around the flowers in the heart. Sweet, creamy Tonka bean is almondy and vanilla faceted and brings in a note of soft, smooth vanilla that completes the fragrance.

Voile d'ete translates into English as ‘French summer veil’, and Terracotta Voile d'ete dries down to a sophisticated, seductive veil of a scent.

Terracotta Voile d'ete is not just a summer scent; it’s a nostalgic interpretation of the season. It evokes a bright, sun-drenched day with lush tropical florals, the scent of suntan lotion, and sun-kissed skin that’s a little salty from sweat. This emotional connection to summer never fails to move me.

Check out Terracotta Voile d'ete in our Shop.