Terracotta le Parfum by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2014


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

Terracotta Le Parfum Guerlain FragranticaPhoto 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.

Terracotta Le Parfum Guerlain Tiare Pat McGrath FlickrPhoto 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.

Terracotta Le Parfum Guerlain Tavurvur_volcano PNG WikipediaPhoto 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.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Chemist In A Bottle
Guerlain quickly sold out and I have read that Terracotta le Parfum will become regular range
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $7/ml

Tina xx

19 thoughts on “Terracotta le Parfum by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2014

    • Hi Portia, thanks! It is beautiful, and totally swept me away. I can absolutely imagine it being a subtle stunner for you. Really glad you liked the review. x Tina


    • Hi Azar, and thank you! They were good times in PNG, fascinating country and wonderful people – I’m lucky to have positive memories of our time there. And to have the atmosphere of thick warm tropical air captured in this fragrance… It’s divine. Loved it so much. Tina x


  1. I hope it does become part of the permanent range – I managed to snag a bottle (ordered bravely and blindly), and it is absolutely divine. I’m already moving through it, though!


    • Hi Larie, what a treasure for a blind buy! I’m hoping to get a bottle in the next release (Oct ’14!!). Would love to see it as part of the range. Tina x


  2. OMG when Are they releasing this again???!!! And is that Rabaul…..I went diving there on the spooky WWII wrecks..years later that little smoker went up big time and basically filled the harbour in, burying the wrecks for eternity…..but the lush jungle, the rich soil, and the wonderful people have all been reborn. New Guinea is one of the very few places I long to return to….


    • Hi Marion, the photo does look like Rabaul. We were on Kar Kar, smaller island near Madang. Wow… Awesome story about ship wreck diving – so impressed that you got to see them before they were buried. Did you see the video of the eruption at Rabaul in Aug this year? Worth looking up, it has an amazing shock wave … I’ve always wanted at visit Rabaul & check out the volcanoes… I wish I did while I had friends still living there, really missed a big opportunity. Oh well! 🙂 thanks for your comments. Tina x


  3. Lovely review. I have a bottle and am hoping to get another bottle here in USA. Can you please comment more about the hope it will return for release in the collection? Do you know when or where?


  4. Thank you for your lovely review, TinaG.

    As you might know, the first perfume that Guerlain brought out to complement the Terracotta range of make-up was Terracotta Voile d’Eté, in 1999. I bought a bottle of this soon after it was released, and liked it very much. Fragrantica lists its notes as bergamot, mint, jasmine, lily, rose, carnation, heliotrope, pear, vanilla, iris and ylang-ylang.

    To my nose it is a very spicy perfume; the clove-like carnation stands out the most at first, and later the vanilla features in the dry-down. Michael Edwards classified it as a classic floral oriental.

    It sounds as though Terracotta le Parfum is quite different, and I’m interested to try it.

    About 12 years ago I was lucky enough to find two 100 ml bottles of the limited-release Voile d’Eté at a chemist for only $20 each, and I snapped them up, so I’ll have enough to last me for many years, given that I use many different fragrances.


    • Hi Tourmaline,

      Firstly – great screen name – tourmaline is my absolute favourite mineral. I studied metamorphic geochemistry at University… 🙂

      I’ve yet to try Voile d’Été or Eau Sous le Vent. I do like your description of Voile d’Été – quite different accords – Clove Carnation….yum… How prominent is the iris in that one? Nice work snapping up a couple of bottles!

      Tina x


      • Hi Tina,

        Thanks. Well you would know all about tourmalines! My favourite stone is the ruby, but there are already quite a few Rubys out there is blog-land. I love the colour variety in tourmalines, and I have jewellery of various types with pink, red, green and deep indigo tourmalines, including a couple of the so-called “watermelon” variety, with pink in the middle and a thin layer of green around the edge.

        I can’t detect the iris in Terracotta Voile d’Eté, so it isn’t prominent at all, but no doubt other people are able to do so. I haven’t tried Eau Sous le Vent either.

        Yes, I was lucky to find those two remaindered bottles. On the subject of bargains, I found my best ever perfume bargain when my local Priceline store at Toombul shopping centre was having its opening sale. The store had bought out a lot of the perfume stock of a chemist in the centre that had closed down, and in the bargain bin I found 50 ml spray bottles of L’Heure Bleue, Chamade and Nahéma, still in their cellophane-wrapped boxes, for only $20.00 each! The original price on each box was $142.00. This was about 15 years ago, and it was old perfume stock, so the fragrances were probably pre-EU changes vintage. I was so very fortunate!


      • Hi again Tourmaline – not sure where this reply will end up on the page…, yes, tourmaline the mineral can have some fantastic colours and zoning – watermelon tourmaline is great! I didn’t know there was a deep indigo one though.., I’ll have to check it out.

        Shame about the shy iris, but I’d like to get my nose on the other two Terracottas aswell. 🙂

        Sounds like you’ve had some excellent scores in local sales! It’s always worth having a look around – I do the same, but can’t say I’ve had the same luck! 🙂

        Tina x


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