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Terracotta Le Parfum – A limited edition that should be unlimited - July 21, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Image - - Terracotta Le Parfum and Bronzer 

I don’t wear much make-up. There I said it. And I can hear a few people shouting back at me through my computer monitor “We know and you should wear more!” That aside, I decided years ago that since I don’t wear a lot of make-up, I would only buy the good stuff - no more cheap lipsticks, mascara or blush for me - which is why I was at the Guerlain store in Toronto last April.

I was getting low on my favourite mascara, their Cils d'Enfer Maxi Lash and needed some more. It’s a great mascara, and it comes with a bonus: it’s is scented with rose and violet. My, oh my. Putting that mascara on in the morning and getting a whiff of some gorgeous florals as I do, just sets me up for the rest of the day.

But this isn’t it’s, so back to the Guerlain store. While cashing out my mascara, the lovely Valerie Neill, the Boutique & Institute Manager at the store told me that Guerlain was coming out with a new limited edition fragrance called, Terracotta Le Parfum, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their Terracotta bronze cosmetics line and that it would be available in May. A limited edition fragrance? She had my full attention.

Here’s the thing about buying fragrances; you don’t know if you will like it until you try it. You can look at a dress and decide if it’s ‘you’, you can look at shoes or a handbag and decide if you want them, but fragrance, well, looking at it won’t help. So, perfumers have gotten very good at attracting your attention - some people are swayed by extravagant packaging, some by fancy bottles while some are swayed by a good back story. Me, I’m a sucker for limited editions. You know, the ones: the ‘relaunched’ special edition, the annual edition or the anniversary edition – usually available for a short time, sometimes in numbered bottles, and often with a higher price point.

Do I sound jaded? Cynical? Disparaging about limited editions? I don’t mean to cause I think they are totally worth it! I love the idea of being in a group of just a few hundred, or few thousand people, who get to own and wear a fragrance. It’s like they made it just for me...and a few thousand of my friends. I may be a fool for an old marketing ploy, but we all have our blind spots and this is one of mine.

So, I made note of the release date for Terracotta Le Parfum and on that day I went to back the Guerlain store and tried a spritz. And then I made a fatal error: instead of waiting in the store for it to settle and develop, I left Guerlain to wander and shop, sniffing my arm every once in awhile as I went about my day. At one point, after I blissed out on the jasmine note at the heart, I decided Terracotta Le Parfum was FBW and that I should go back to Guerlain and get a bottle, but I got distracted, and I then blithely forgot about Terracotta Le Parfum until early June, when it was sold out everywhere I looked. It seemed there was not one bottle to be found anywhere, until I finally found a bottle and came in from the ledge. Was it worth the hassle, aggravation and effort? Oh, yeah.

The Terracotta bronze cosmetics line was launched by Guerlain in 1984 and has become one of their most popular product lines. Over the years Guerlain has extended the Terracotta line to perfume by creating Terracotta Voile d'Ete in 1999 (one of my favourite fragrances to wear in summer) and Terracotta Eau Sous le Vent in 2009 and now Terracotta Le Parfum.

The Guerlain website says calls Terracotta Le Parfum “The allure of the sun, in a bottle.” And goes on to say that As a 30th anniversary tribute to Terracotta, and for the very first time, Guerlain’s in-house perfumer Thierry Wasser interprets the legendary powder as a fragrance – a sun-soaked invitation to explore faraway lands. An irresistibly sensual composition, exotic and luminous, inspired by the radiant realm of Terracotta.

Just for the record, Terracotta Le Parfum is not a parfum, it’s an eau de Toilette and it isn’t Terracotta Voile d'Ete. It is its own glorious summer scent.

It opens with fresh bergamot along with a note of tropical coconut, vanillic and slightly sweet. Tiare flower is here too and adds a lush, exotic floral dimension. As it blooms, a note of orange blossom comes forward. It’s sweet and floral and extends those notes from the opening to the heart of rich, floral exotic ylang ylang. Ylang ylang has a jasmine aspect that hints at the sweet, narcotic, fleshy jasmine note that appears here while hibiscus flower deepens the floral aspect of the heart notes. At the base, musk warms and softens the richness of the heart while a touch of Guerlain’s signature vanilla gives it a soft sweetness.

The coconut and tiare are a nod to suntan lotions for sure, but have been elevated to such an elegance, they make Terracotta Le Parfum much more than a beach scent. It’s a sophisticated and chic summer scent. It smells indolic and fleshy with floral hints poking through – I just love that!

I think Terracotta Le Parfum is too wonderful to be a limited edition for just a few thousand people to wear. I think it should be made part of their permanent collection. I think everyone should have the chance to buy it or at least try it – oh, wait you can….

Today, we’re adding Terracotta Le Parfum to our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00.

Note: If you don’t live in a city that has a Guerlain store, don’t fret. The Toronto store will ship anywhere in North America. Just  email And if you live outside North America, They will help you find the right contact at Guerlain to get what you want.