Post by TinaG
I have been blessed in my youth to have travelled more than the average teenager, having spent time in the tropics away from the major cities. Terracotta unexpectedly gave me a glimpse back to that time. I was lucky to gain a sample of the 2014 le Parfum, and tested it blind, so really didn’t know what to expect. It quickly laid itself bare, beckoning, and began telling me its luscious story.
Terracotta le Parfum by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2014
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, coconut, tiare flower
Heart: Jasmine, ylang-ylang, orange blossom
Base: Musk, vanilla
Terracotta le Parfum opens with the most wonderful tiare flower. Tiare has facets which could be compared to frangipani, although it is a form of pointy-petalled gardenia. It has a full bodied fragrance, but deep in its heart is the touch of a strange, slightly uncomfortable greenness, that just takes the edge off the headiness and provides a bit of breathing space. Along with the tiare, a rich jasmine bursts forth, which is beautifully balanced being neither overly indolic nor squeaky clean.
Photo Stolen Flickr
The warmth of these opening flowers is amazing, it feels like the individual blooms have been resting in the sun, to be woven into a lei and gently placed around my neck. I can feel the sunlight captured in the moist waxiness of the petals. There is a touch of orange blossom in the silage, which I don’t find close to my skin, which accentuates the impression of being surrounded by the thick heavy tropical air.
At around 2 hours I can smell a subtle, slippery coconut note with a hint of skin-generated musk in the background. It makes me feel like I’ve just applied the sheerest layer of moisturiser into sun-tinged skin at the end of a lazy day. The whole effect is intoxicating enough to gently disengage me from the normal barrage of everyday banality and just…. relax, smile, breath, and enjoy.
I have fond memories of the tropics, having spent some of my formative years in Papua New Guinea. Terracotta le Parfum particularly invokes images and memories of a visit we made to an active volcanic island off the north coast of PNG.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
Next to the black sand beach are long swaths of well-manicured lawn, a residual feature of the colonial management of the copra oil plantation. This scent finds me walking bare-footed on the spongy grass past the white-washed main house, holding a lei of tiare & jasmine up to my nose and breathing deeply – although there is no need to, the humid air is filled with the smell of flowering frangipani trees and the deeper richness of the jungle spreading up the hill behind the house. Strung up between two coconut trees is an old gnarled sun-bleached rope hammock, which I wander over and roll in to. Lying in the shade, no sense of being too warm or too cold, cares being washed away by the tiny ripples of waves against the shore, breathing in the richness of the waxy blooms: there is not really any place closer to heaven on earth.