A flurry of notes, with powder and carnation standing out the most so far in the development of this urn parfum (nonvintage). Trademark Caron beauty and sensibility. Notes: Orange blossom, Neroli, Clove, Carnation, Rose, Jasmine, Opoponax, Woods, Oakmoss.
Wanted to love this so badly, smells like oil and wet dirt on me. On dry down I eventualy get a hint of leather, but then... nothing, its a mix of unidentifiable notes. So disssapointing.
I got the surprise of my life (well maybe not THE, but a big surprise at any rate) sampling this yesterday in the extrait version, cause the dominant accord I picked up is that of IVORY SOAP!!! leather and ivory soap...
pleasant, certainly, but *very* delicate for an extrait, and at such a price! my goodness, there is no way I would purchase it. and even if it were reasonably priced, I don't imagine I would, honestly.
but it's pleasant, I didn't hate it by any means....
the one Caron extrait that really rocks my nostrils, btw, is the eccentric Poivre :)
I have never used the vintage En Avion but I think it must have been stupendous ! Back to this reformulated new En Avion - I LOVE this. I adore it - spicey ,oriental deep and lush is this perfume. This is strong stuff especially in the extrait form . When I tried this the first time - I got that same Ah Ha moment I get with perfumes I know I will establish a lifetime love affair with .
En Avion has quite a jarring opening. It almost smells like motor oil and various mechanical parts, the aromas one might encounter when flying on a rickety old vintage airplane, the kind that made those first treacherous voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. This is all perfectly appropriate, as En Avion was created as a tribute to the early days of aviation. It's not all mechanics, though. It blossoms into a gorgeous, spicy bouquet of orange blossom and carnation, laced with a wisp of anise, all set on a leather base. En Avion is a fusion of industry and classical beauty. Much like the 1930s Art Deco style itself, come to think of it.
Perhaps I read too many reviews and expected too much? I tried a decant of the extrait and can put my wallet away. It is pleasant but not outstanding or interesting (to my humble nose). Well crafted and harmonious but not inspiring enough to purchase.
In the first decades of aviation, when we were all blinded by the glare of heroism and miraculous ascent of human spirit above the clouds, defying gravity and other enemies – aviation has inspired art – including books (Antoine de Saint Exupéry, an aviator, spy and an author, has written several books inspired by the topic). And lastly there are two grand perfumes inspired by aviation – En Avion (Ernest Daltroff, 1932), dedicated to the pioneer female aviators mentioned above – Bolland, Boucher and Bastié; and the infamous Vol de Nuit (Jacques Guerlain, 1933), inspired by the book of the same name by the abovementioned aviator-author, which I have already reviewed on this humble blog.
En Avion opens dark, like all Caron extraits, and with a certain bittersweetness that does remind me somewhat of Vol de Nuit (though I have to admit, the only reason I compare the two is because of their common theme). While Vol de Nuit is green and sharp, herbaceous at first – En Avion is far more spicy and floral. It starts off soapy and spicy at the same time. Carnation is apparent immediately, but so is orange flower, which smells like an echo of l’Heure Bleue with pilot-hat and goggles… Although Vol de Nuit has the signature powderiness from the classic Guerlinade and iris notes engrained within its structure; En Avion takes powderiness nearly into central stage, and in a far softer and lady-like olfactory context: rose, lilac and violet, and underlined with powdery opoponaxs which almost instantly bring to mind the scent of vintage face powder. As for the base of En Avion, it is redolent of Atlas cedarwood with its suave, polished olfactory-texture, a bittersweetness of tonka bean (again, a reminder of of Vol de Nuit; but let’s not forget that En Avion preceded Vol de Nuit’s launch by a year…). There is, however, a subtle presence of burnished leather at the base, however it is not as animalic or leathery as other Caron creations (i.e.: Narcisse Noir, Tabac Blond), it is almost as soft as suede… If Vol de Nuit is a wild, ambitious woman with restrained emotions and top-notch professionalism; En Avion is not any less ambitious woman that secretly displays her femininity even when boarding an airplane for what might be her last flight ever… Underneath the pilot jumper, she is still wearing silk stockings and laced lingerie.
According to the Perfume Addicts database, the notes are:
Top notes: Rose, Neroli, Spicy Orange
Heart notes: Jasmine, Carnation, Lilac, Violet
Base notes: Opoponax, Amber, Musk, Wood
To that I would add that in the top notes I can smell orange blossom rather than neroli (there is a different between the two!), I can't say I'm particularly smelling orange (there is a citrusy freshness, but it is well hidden with all the additional dense notes); and there is definitely a dry allspice note weaved in, as well as cloves and perhaps even a hint of nutmeg. While I can't say I smell much of the lilac (I would have to go back to it once I'm fully recovered from my cold though...), violet and rose have a strong presence, and so is the carnation. The base is neither particularly musky nor ambery; but there is certainly the animalic powderiness of opoponax weaved into a dry tobacco-leather base that might include castoerum, and the woods in question are the beautiful Moroccan cedarwood from the Atlas mountains.
En Avion...my favorite perfume of all times. I 've always been fascinated and loved its ageless execution and structure, an absolutely stunning creation of the Art-Deco era, stylized, radiant and reminiscent of the clean, pure lines that epitomize the period, a pristine dark spicy orange based scent perfectly crafted and balanced, less austere and dramatic than Narcisse Noir, more abstract and luxurious than Guerlain Vol de Nuit.
I used to wear it a lot in the 90's but sadly I don 't anymore. Reason? reformulation(s).
En Avion should be this enigmatic dark spicy orange rendered airy almost etheral, a spicy floriental transcending scents of the highest quality and finesse...but by 2001 I started to realise this was not the same En Avion anymore, the olfactory texture felt thicker and the scent as a whole mossier, the orange blossom and spicy orange florals had a horrid plasticky oily feel to it which some here have described as "wet band-aid" effect, I couldn 't smell the floral complexity of the carnation, violet, lilac, rose and jasmine anymore, it 's as if these florals were no more, the oppopanax not as beautiful and the powdery notes were exaggerated predominantly and not as refined. The result? these reformulated En Avion is no longer as elegant and timeless as it used to be, it 's actually become old ladyish now.
When I wear this, my daughter asks me if I'm wearing THAT LOUIS VUITTON PERFUME! It reminds her of the store. I love it but cannot wear it if I haven't just showered. If I showered the day before it is too strong and different.
Orange and a little leather and powdery powdery powdery. If you like powdery scents, this is lovely and rich. If you don't (and I'm not a big fan of them) it smells dated. My husband's nose wrinkled and he said it smelled like little old ladies to him. Because of the wonderful name and history of this scent, I wanted to like it a lot more. It's in no way offensive, but I'm personally getting to the age where I don't want to be confused with little old ladies. A young woman with the right attitude can pull this off. I'm not her.