Guerlain Terracotta Eau Sous le Vent, Quiet & Gentle Beauty

Guerlain’s famous and fabulous bronzing line, Terracotta, of which I am a huge fan, has a “perfume” to go with. I say perfume in quotes because it isn’t really sold as such- it is summer skin conditioner that has a beautiful subtle perfume. According to Guerlain’s website, Terracotta Eau Sous le Vent is a mist that moisturizes, “enhances the tan and delights the senses” and is sold under the category of “well being”. It apparently contains a vegetable protein which protects the skin from dryness and environmental (sun, wind etc) issues. I can’t really attest to those benefits but can say it does leave a soft glow where you apply it. And, because it is so softly scented, you can apply liberally. It is suggested that you buy the Guerlain accompanying skin oil that has a bronzing effect and also smells quite good. I like it, but have 2 issues with it. I don’t need the bronze colour in the oil, I use self tanners which are enough. I also do not like the application which is basically pouring it out of a 100 ml bottle into your hand through a wide mouth top. If they made it a clear oil, with a spray applicator, I would have bought both items. But, as it stands, the Guerlain oil is no competition for my Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse with its delicate texture and spray application.

Interestingly, the scent of Terracotta Sous le Vent is evocative of my beloved Nuxe and they layer beautifully! Intoxicating, actually. There is no solid information anywhere regarding the notes of this perfume. I will go out on a limb and say tiare, but the most delicate tiare I’ve ever sniffed. No monoi oil coconut confection scent in this beauty though. This is a delicate, soft tropical white floral that begs you to lean in closer to smell it. You almost have to touch the skin to get the effect. There is something tactile and satisfying about the wooden cap as well. It has a feeling of days gone by quality that the plastic caps of today just don’t provide. I love it.

How gorgeous is this bottle! WANT

The name, Sous le Vent, is actually borrowed from the classic Guerlain Sous le Vent from the 30s which has a dry green scent and was the perfume of the fabulous Josephine Baker. Sous le Vent is French for “leeward” and is also the name of the tropical Leeward Isles in the French Caribbean. After her performances at Theatres des Champs-Elysees, Josephine Baker would apparently retreat to her dressing room and reach for Sous Le Vent, the perfume Jacques Guerlain had created for her. Wrapping herself in its intoxicating fresh and green fragrance, she would be transported from the wild streets of Paris to the peace and tranquility of the faraway islands Sous Le Vent promised. I ADORE Sous le Vent, it is crisp, slightly bitter and green yet soft and fresh. One day I shall get one of those glorious bottles for myself.

Terracotta Eau Sous Le Vent translates slightly differently, to “water in the wind” and makes me think it is a play on words. The tropical island pictured on the bottle implies that gorgeous tiare scent, but rather than wearing a highly scented bouquet of them, you are on the deck of your boat after a day of sailing in the tropics, while the sun sets, and the warm island breezes are carrying the scent of the native flowers and wrapping around you. Yes. That works.

Guerlain Terracotta Eau Sous Le Vent is available at select Guerlain cosmetic counters.

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