Guerlain Vol de Nuit

Filtered by skin type : Sensitive
Guerlain Vol de Nuit

4.3

7 reviews

71% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$$

INGREDIENTS

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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 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.


on 6/7/2008 1:24:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Other, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Other

Yay! Finally got my hands on a sample of VdN and I love it! The sandalwood in this fragrance is wonderful! I'd put this in the same family as Caron's Tabac Blond. Vol de Nuit and Tabac Blond don't smell the same but they are similar in a smoky vanilla woods kind of way. One reminds you of the other. Will be adding this to my collection ASAP!


Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Curly, Other

Eyes: Green

I'm trying hard to square my experience of Vol de Nuit with some of the descriptions you ladies give, but it just isn't happening... To me it's not vintage glamour, or taupe velvet, or austere and magisterial; to me Vol de Nuit smells of babies - whisper-soft lemon and lavender, with a gentle dusting of powder. Ladies, you know when men say things like "I hate perfume" but you can't bear the thought of not wearing any when you're with him? Reach for this. He won't think "perfume", he'll just think clean, soft and snuggleable. I love this right out of the shower and into bed, it's so comforting and cozy, like a favourite blanket. And "snuggleable" IS so a word. ;-)

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 6/20/2006 10:39:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Grey

I'm reviewing the extrait (parfum). I tried it half a year ago at a Guerlain workshop and wanted to have a bottle ever since. Well, I got it! But at first spritz, the scent appears much stronger than I remembered - perhaps I then tried the EDT? The start reminds me of Cartier Baiser du Dragon, which I find too masculine. Luckily, Vol de Nuit makes an interesting change from sharp to spicy to finally a vanilla/warm/soft/cozy close to the skin scent. Very classic, very grown up. I'll use my precious perfume for those special 'dramatic' occasions, like the Ballet (La Bayadere this year!) or the Opera (Madame Butterfly - my favorite, in spring 2007, yes!).


Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Grey, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

After reading all the raves for this scent, I tried a sample of the EDT (thanks, Hannah!), and was enraptured. Not too long after, I splurged on the parfum, and I'm not the least bit sorry. This one deserves every accolade. Vol de Nuit is a perfect composition, the citrus top notes giving way to the iris and jasmine in the middle which play in perfect harmony with the spice, and it all quiets down into the oakmoss and woody notes. Calling Vol de Nuit an "oriental" is like calling a beautiful Amani couture ensemble a "suit." This one is exquisitely tailored and makes me feel like a million bucks when I wear it. Even though I wish it could last a little longer on me (even the parfum fades too quickly for me), this scent has become a staple of my wardrobe.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Grey

I am new to this community, so please bear with me while I learn the ropes here! I just stumbled across these reviews, and a funny thing happened. I collect perfume bottles, and after reaching for my unopened bottle of Vol de Nuit Parfum, I finally opened it. I have been a huge Guerlainophile for years, although I rarely wear their fragrances in the summer. Your posts gave me the impetus I needed to break the seal on this beautiful bottle, and now I am kicking myself for hiding behind Acqua di Parma this summer. You are all so right - to truly enjoy this fragrance, you must give it time. After the top notes fade, Vol de Nuit gives way to become one of the most complex, beautiful and yet not overpowering fragrances. I also agree with those of you who noted that the EDT does not hold up to the pure parfum. I find this to be true of most Guerlain fragrances. My husband (whose olfactory senses are severely challenged) actually inquired as to the name of my perfume. I am still in a state of shock. I noticed in the posts that availability seemed to be an issue:
Guerlain has a number in New York that you can call if you are looking for discontinued or difficult to find products. They will ship anywhere... Thank you for your great reviews!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


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