Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum

Finally fulfilling my fragrant destiny*, I’m Nordstrom’s newest Guerlain girl! After three delightful months in the fragrance department, I’ve been transferred to the Guerlain counter. You won’t catch me complaining about selling $54 lipsticks and $455 face creams, but our perfume selection is a little painful. Out of the dozens of iconic fragrances Guerlain has created over the last 200 years, we carry exactly one (Shalimar, of course). So imagine my excitement when I unpacked Terracotta Le Parfum last week, literally doubling our fragrance selection!

Guerlain calls Terracotta Le Parfum, their seasonal summer fragrance as of 2014, “a sun-soaked invitation to explore faraway lands.” It’s supposed to recall those oh-so-French, SPF -10 bronzing oils that beach bunnies of the past wore on their glamorous St. Tropez vacations. “Sun-soaked” or not, Terracotta is a less literal sunscreen fragrance than scents like Bobbi Brown Beach, Bond No. 9 Fire Island, or CB I Hate Perfume At The Beach 1966. Instead, Terracotta is one of those rich, sultry white florals that make me want to evacuate the room.

In all fairness, Terracotta is a very good example of the evacuation-worthy white floral genre! I might not wear Terracotta myself, but I’d happily recommend it to anyone looking for a summer fragrance with a little more depth than usual. It’s more polished than jasmine bombs like Gorilla Perfumes Lust (my nemesis!), and less heavy and thick than those very French white florals we all know and fear. Still a little heavy for the younger crowd, though, who usually declare it “old lady” before racing over to Flowerbomb. (Despite this crushing rejection, my first shipment of Terracotta sold out within the week.)

* Book of Apres L’Ondee, Chapter 8, Verse 2: “And thou shalt know her by her height, which shall be three cubits. Just really, really short, you guys.”