Guerlain Vol de Nuit

Guerlain Vol de Nuit

4.3

112 reviews

75% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

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on 10/25/2017 12:49:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

One of the most amazing fragrances around. And I mean it...
I own "L'heure bleue" and "Jardins de bagatelle" but "Vol de nuit" is by far my favorite. Very sensual and sophisticated without being too strong and chemical. Very understated yet elegant. But you have to OWN it. This is not a perfume for beginners ;)

4 of 4 people found this helpful.



on 1/16/2015 4:18:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I wrote the composition notes of. VdN. Vintage extrait (along with Vintage Miss Dior and Vintage caron NdN) in my Avon Bird of. Paradise review. In summary, balsamic woody oriental chypre 1933, including hesperedic notes: bergamot, petit grain; Galbanum, narcissus/daffodil; jasmine, iris/orris root; sandalwood, vanillin (guerlain and, I think, caron, famously insisted on synthetic, adulterated vanillin, a component in caron Mousse de Saxe), amber, oakmoss, benzoin, ambergris, musk, castoreum. (Caron is most famous for using mousse de Saxe; I don't know if Guerlain did as well, but there were numerous premade concoctions: mousse de Saxe, mousse de Chene, etc., by De Laire and other companies). Off topic, I read somewhere that E. Routnitska was known to perform his own personal oxidation of DeLaire compound, in Rochas Femme and other creations.

I had a quarter ounce of VdN vintage extrait; I don't know if I would buy vintage extrait again, but I have ordered VdN vintage clock or disc bottle, new old stock, Edc, circa 1960s-1980s? It has a glass stopper, not a metal screw cap. I also ordered VdN current modern edition (2013 or latter) extrait (presumably with Theirry Wassers reengineered oak moss?)

Was going to update comparisons later, but then I realized that the reviews by flame dancer and Ella 343 belie say it best. I do think vol du nuit is less warm in tone and a bit more four season friendly than caron NdN, but I would wear caron NdN year round too, depending on my mood. VdN is more austere. I should also state that I under apply fragrance and prefer to dab it, not spray which affects outcome and eliminates or reduces sillage.


on 7/24/2011 12:27:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I absolutely adore this perfume, and it's my signature scent. It's a very sophisticated, adult scent, nothing prissy or girly. It's full on W.O.M.A.N. On my skin it's a warm, soft, woody, oriental-ish floral. I have no problem with it's sillage, as I often get compliments on it in the afternoon, long after I have initially put it on. A lovely, classic fragrance.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.


on 3/17/2013 3:04:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

For me, Vol de Nuit is distinguished and made exciting by its juxtaposition of disparate notes. Chalky, bitter galbanum and sour citrus smoothly interpenetrate a subtly-orientalized, earthy accord of oakmoss, benzoin, vanilla, and powdery orris. The perfume straddles the divide between oriental and chypre. Where orientals stand gooey-thick up to their knees in a tar-pit of rich, sweet, heavily ambered & balsamic winter-cozy accords, Vol de Nuit merely sticks a toe into this dark territory while keeping her other foot anchored in the lighter fields of chypre with its brown, autumnal, leaf-litter basenotes. Murmurings of vanilla and benzoin tease the primary woody-oakmoss structure, as together they trip through withered, flaxen fields. I get little to no florals, personally. But that's okay. This isn't that kind of a party.



The strength of the EDT is notoriously abysmal, but the vintage parfum is a bit more rich. This perfume vibrates with natural essences; the chlorine twang of modern synthetic fragrances is completely absent here. If one thinks this perfume lacks pizzazz or zing, it's only because that person was - most likely - weaned on modern chemicals substituting for quality essences. Vol de Nuit was the real deal, lovely quality stuff. I can't comment on the current parfum as I haven't tried it, but the vintage is exquisite work. A very calming and grounding fragrance.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.


on 10/29/2011 3:55:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Mitsouko and I simply don't get along. Shalimar is lovely but a bit too opulent on me, and besides, it's my mother's fragrance. Apres l'Ondee is a stunning floral, but I'm more of an oriental gal. L'Heure Bleue stays cold and aloof and never quite settles on my skin. But oh, Vol de Nuit is perfection.



It smells so similar to L'Heure Bleue at first that I get a little nervous. Then the magic happens. While L'Heure Bleue stays one-dimensional, Vol de Nuit warms and turns polished and golden and epitomizes pretty much everything I love about older classic perfumes with their powdery amber and vanillic benzoin and complexity and nostalgia. It also gets bonus points for having the most beautiful parfum bottle in the fragrance world. I would encourage fans of Caron's Nuit de Noel to also try Vol de Nuit, because they have a lot in common, both in scent and in overall feeling.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.


on 5/22/2012 1:01:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Vol de Nuit, you were worth every hard-earned and carefully-saved penny. Created in 1933, the top notes are bergamot, galbanum and petit grain; heart notes are jasmine, daffodil and spices; base notes are earthy woods, iris, vanilla, amber and woodsy notes. Like so many perfumes I love it is an old and deep scent, sitting close to the skin -- but not so close as to make it not worth my while.

I'll have to add more later.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.


on 3/2/2011 8:57:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Much is made of its romantic association with aviation and adventure, but a kind of stasis grips the heart of Vol de Nuit, anchoring it firmly to this blighted earth. Even the metallic vitriol of petrol fumes, recreated by the corrosive, medicinal sulfuric, terpene-rich galbanum, hints at a cthonic origin. In one respect, the name is entirely just; it is best worn in the chill winter night, not to comfort as Shalimar would, but to belong. No other perfume so perfectly captures the very substance of darkness itselfopaque, vague, and lonely. There is only starlight in Vol de Nuit, a brief twinkle of bergamot and mandarin, quickly shuttered by a bitter cloud of galbanum, poor illumination against the dense backdrop of resinous woods and earthy aromatics: an abundance of narcissus and iris (these are not actually floral), agarwood, cinnamon (though perhaps more accurately a spice), rosewood, cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss, benzoin, and tonka bean.



Vol de Nuit serves is the prototypical bittersweet, caught between attraction and repulsion, and counts in its lineage perfumes such as Bandit and Vent Vert (themselves very influential), as if Cellier dehydrated the sepia-toned original of its Guerlinade and then split it in two halves, one black, the other green. Bittersweet is a common enough theme in artthe grit and heartache in Billie Holiday's voice, that sinister tendency behind Kubrick's films, Hamlet generally screwing everyone up with his eloquence, the Amazonian custom of cutting off a breast to ease archery, Goya's black paintingsit is a little more unexpected from a perfume. If a spirit of adventure guides this composition, it is not, as the name may imply, informed by the rash heroism of youth, but by a mature confidence, leading us on an inward journey, deeper into the heart of darkness.



I often think that Guerlain's perfumes are essays on human frailty, and this is what makes them so fascinating. But Vol de Nuit is a homage, not to frailty, but to human strength, the only one we have, the ability to weather horrible, mindless, meaningless adversity, to face that endless night, know it is there, and still live. If that isn't bittersweet, I don't know what is.

32 of 35 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

The most beautiful thing I've ever smelled, and that includes rain, lilacs and hockey rinks. A sexy, seductive, intelligent, mysterious, aloof, hypnotic, animalistic, bombshell, come-hither, ballsy broad perfume.

17 of 18 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I get very little sillage from Vol de Nuit. In order to smell it I really have to hold my wrist to my nose. This goes for both the Parfum and the EDT. This and the exorbitant price are the main reasons why I wouldn't buy a bottle, but it is still a beautiful fragrance.


Vol de Nuit in the EDT form starts out with a really funny bit of Jean Nate mixed with Aliage (the real stuff from the 80s). This is funny only because the true character of the fragrance couldn't be any more different from either, so if you smell this at first, don't judge it then. Wait 5 minutes, and you will get an absolutely magical heart of oakmoss, soft leather, roses and vanilla. This lasts for an hour or so, and then melts to a creamy, powdery doll's head, gingerbread spice and incense scent that is to die for, if you happen to have your nose buried into your skin.


Of course it would be much more intoxicating if it could be smelled at a greater distance than three-to-five inches from the application point (this goes for EDT and parfum both), but at least to my nose, it's not strong or effervescent enough to grab the senses unless you're actively sniffing for it. It's a base-note scent top to bottom, and so it's subtle, which would be a very lovely thing if only it weren't extremely pricey. As much as I love the parfum bottle and the story (I had a small obsession with St. Exupery as a teen), this is in the same vein as Caron's Nuit de Noel and Habanita, both of which came out about ten years prior to Vol de Nuit and represent opposite ends of Vol de Nuit's spectrum. They also cost far, far less, also have great stories and gorgeous bottles, and are quite a lot stronger and more distinctive scents blending rose, oakmoss, vanilla and spices -- Habanita is also has green, tobacco, leather and incense, while Nuit de Noel is a creamier, sweeter scent with aldehydes and a distinctive nuttiness.


There are so many Guerlains that I would love to love, but ultimately they've priced their best ones way out of my market, and the only way that I could ever justify a purchase like that is if it really did hit every mark. But with subtle reformulations over the years rending their best fragrances tame, I would much rather stick with those few classic scents from other lines whose reformulations still have the same spirit and big distinctive presence that just about all fragrances had in the golden era of perfumey perfume.

15 of 16 people found this helpful.


on 10/1/2010 8:39:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Other, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I was all set to love this. Firstly, it's a Guerlain. Secondly, the bottle is strikingly beautiful, and the name reminds me of a Howard Hughes movie (only if Howard Hughes was French). However, this is one of those Guerlains that doesn't develop on me. It smelled exactly as aldehydic and synthetic on my skin after hours of wear as it did straight from the sample...pretty much as if I rubbed fancy nail polish remover on my skin. Also it gave me a bit of a rash. So sad!

5 of 7 people found this helpful.


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