Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum01I love a beach fragrance. Among my favorites are CB I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966 and Bobbi Brown’s Beach. This summer, I’m obsessed with Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum Edition Limitee 30 Ans Eau de Toilette ($73). This very sophisticated scent was formulated by Thierry Wasser, the “nose” of Guerlain, to celebrate the legendary powder scent. As Guerlain describes, “Bathed in sunlight, as an invitation to travel to distant lands. A sensual and irresistible fragrance, exotic and bright, inspired by the radiating world of Terracotta.”

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This perfume was incredibly difficult to locate, as I seemed to have missed a short window of availability. I was finally able to find it by calling Neiman’s, who had just placed a second order. I had heard a rumor that a Nordstrom in Hawaii might have a bottle or two, but I never called them.

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This beautiful fragrance unfolds cinematically, opening with a sophisticated floral notes, including bergamot and yang ylang. This phase is a bit overwhelming for me.  The overall feeling is walking through a floral area that is very near the beach. After about an hour, this floral scent recedes completely and does not reappear until my next, fresh application.

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After the initial floral phase, the scent mellows into a very sensual beach oil. Unlike Bobbi Brown’s and other beach fragrance, Guerlain’s sensual phase is far more exotic, rich, worldly and luxurious.  There’s no hint of Coppertone here–instead, there is a rich, deep, uniquely Terracottta vanilla oil that I find immediately relaxing and warm. I swear, on days that I wear it my pace is slower as this very elegant and complex scent occasionally makes a slight appearance. It’s gorgeous. 

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This very lovely scent is highly limited edition and hard to find. If you have any hints as to its availability, won’t you please share in the comments section?

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