Ylang Meringue: Terracotta Le Parfum

Terracotta Le Parfum , the bergamot meringue stage.

Terracotta Le Parfum at the bergamot meringue stage.

I was saying goodbye to my local Saks, or to be more accurate I was saying goodbye to the Guerlain counter, when what should I run into but this year’s Guerlain limited edition: Terracotta Le Parfum.

It’s just a bit confusing because I thought that Terracotta was last year’s LE. Silly me, no.  Terracotta had proven too much of a hit to be left to languish and so here it is again smelling like a composite of a number of perfumes that Guerlain has had on the roster in recent years, and you might  be excused for thinking that the famous Guerlinade was actually a meringue-ade, but who cares?  Terracotta is such a confection, it seems mean spirited to quibble.The bad news right up front: it’s sweet.  I mean really sweet, so sweet that I thought my teeth ached  when I first put on Terracotta.  There’s that Guerlain signature bergamot in the beginning but here it has become bergamot meringue and the perfume is so tart and sugary, that lemon meringue pie is what comes irresistibly to mind when you smell your wrist.

The honey note is really hard to miss

The honey note is really hard to miss

Then however Terracotta morphs a little on skin. I catch allusions to a number of other Guerlain perfumes and one of the first is the very expensive Mon Precieux Nectar, with its distinct honey notes. ( By the way there is no pee quality to this  honey, this is pure orange blossom honey with no side trips to the pissoir such as Miel de Bois takes).  You would think that following a meringue note a honey component would be far too many calories for any fragrance to accommodate. Somehow Terracotta manages, just barely, to stay on the right side of tooth decay which I think is due to a woody background behind all the candy.

To be fair I was surprised that there was any development at all in this fragrance.  I was expecting some lemon candy, a big fat coconut or two, and finis.  What happened instead was a draft of something familiar, and  not my favorite note, but I swear I smelled Mahora’s ylang ylang swirling by and some hours later that changed  to another note that I’d come across in the last two years: gardenia.  This was that same gardenia that waited until the very end of Cruel Gardenia to make an appearance.  Here in this little LE I smell something very similar putting in a stint at the tail end of Terracotta Le Parfum.

Terracotta Le Parfum from profumo.net

Terracotta Le Parfum from profumo.net

All of this means that if you like white flowers* and if you enjoy very sticky pastries like baklava you may enjoy Terracotta, but if you like classic balanced Guerlains that are not a shameless melding of gourmand and floral notes you will not like this at all.

Evidently the public does like Terracotta, and although some people complain that this is a fleeting little thing, I don’t agree.  Terracotta is with me still on paper eight hours after the first spritz, and stayed on my skin for five hours through a shower, so I’m not complaining about longevity here. I ‘m not sure that this ultra sweet little scent is  elegant but it is terribly appealing for summer and I bought a bottle-so there you go.

The most surprising thing about this LE is the fact that it improves with time instead of shriveling up into a hateful synthetic dry down you have smelled once too often. Terracotta is better at its gardenia end than at its lemon meringue start, and that is saying a lot these days. Terracotta is Jicky’s great grand daughter at a sweet shop. A cutie pie for sure.

*I actually have no idea what the listed notes of this fragrance are, but never mind, I’ve given a faithful account of what Terracotta smelled like on paper and on me for five hours, and never mind the notes.

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9 thoughts on “Ylang Meringue: Terracotta Le Parfum

  1. Is it that sweet? My skin normally magnifies sweet notes and my intolerance for sweet perfumes is increasing as I age. But I don’t remember Terracotta being that bad. I will def. give it another sniff, having read your review. I’ve tried it a few times and thought it pleasant, nothing more. A well done summer coconut scent. Worth even the relatively modest price? Not sure …

  2. There seems to be some confusion about Terracotta 2014 and Terracotta 2015 whether they are different or not. I smelled the latter.

    Fetching sample…mostly I get the gardenia end and a smidgen of coconut. I found this like Lacroix’s Tumulte, to be very sweet but not simple which is unusual in sugary scents. Whether or not it’s different from last year’s LE I don’t know because I didn’t try the 2014…

    Anyway if your skin ups the sugar this may not be for you. How about the original Terracotta Voile d’Ete with carnations and a bit of amber instead?

    • Oh good grief, so complex. I think I may be smelling the 2015. I remember the fuss over the release in 2014. As far as I can recall it never made it to my shores. Then there was a pause – and then it was released again. This time we did get it, early this year. So I don’t think I got to try the 2014 either. Oh well, ‘whatevs’ (as young people around me say). I’ll try it again.

      I never smelled the Voile d’Ete. I’m not sure it was ever released here and I’m wary of carnation anyway.

      So confusing. Soon people will start quoting batch codes, like they do with Aventus.

      • There was a to do about the 2014. Don’t know why. Anyway enjoy, and if you can make it to the end without scrubbing the gardenia note is nice.

  3. Hi Carol,
    This is a good one if you can tolerate the sweeties. Oddly I sometimes can, but then my old epidermis makes all the woods come out and dries things off a bit. Hope you like it.

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