Vol de Nuit (1933) Eau de Toilette

Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) by Guerlain
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Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) (Guerlain)
Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) (Guerlain)
Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) (Guerlain)
Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) (Guerlain)
Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) (Guerlain)
Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) (Guerlain)
8.3 / 10     266 RatingsRatingsRatings
Vol de Nuit (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Guerlain for women and was released in 1933. The scent is spicy-woody. It is being marketed by LVMH.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Galbanum, Mandarin, Orange, Orange blossom, Lemon
Heart Notes Heart NotesAldehydes, Iris, Narcissus, Vanilla
Base Notes Base NotesOakmoss, Spices, Orris root, Musk, Sandalwood



8.3 (266 Ratings)


7.2 (176 Ratings)


6.1 (160 Ratings)


8.8 (169 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 24.08.2018

Interesting Facts

Vol de Nuit ("Night Flight") is a tribute to the homonymous novel published in 1931 and to its author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who is said to have been a close friend of Jacques Guerlain. For the first time, a significant content of galbanum was used. Vol de Nuit was the archetype for other classic fragrances like Miss Dior, Vent Vert and Chanel No.19, which also used considerable amounts of galbanum.

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Helpful Review    2
Oxygen deprived
Vol de Nuit is an anachronism, albeit a beautiful one. All the critique is somewhat true. Yes, there is a mousse de saxe to it, similar to Caron's Nuit de Noel; less flattering is the likeness to Avon's Timeless, and sitting in the middle of the road is a certain likeness to MPG's Or des Indes in EDP form. Is it like Mitsy or L'Heure Bleu.Is it like Comme des Garcon 2 for women? A bit inky?
I'm not sure and this is where Luca Turin's comments are so relevant. Is it, indeed, a bit shapeless...Voldemort rather than Vol de Nuit?

Do you wear it well? A little old fashioned but that's all right. Rod Stewart's song jollies the old girl along.
I see in beauty publications that Kate Winslet wears VdN, stray thought and not to suggest she's old fashioned, but I bet she wears it well...and her husband's name is Ned Rock n'Roll, so it fits the theme.

It's a shapeshifter, opening with the familiarity of a childhood friend, gentle enough to wear at all times of the day, but a little bit like Muzak in the lift, a background presence, a watcher on the wall of your dreams.

"The wild grass will whisper,
Lights of passing cars
Will streak across your dreams
And fumble at the stars;
Life will tap the window
Only too soon again,
Life will have her answer –
Do not ask her when."
Louis McNeice
Sillage 8.0/10 Longevity 9.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Helpful Review    4
Late to Love
I am a focuser and it has served me well in life. I brought that approach to my perfume journey, stepping my way through the basic notes and then genres and then houses. One thing at a time. This is why I am late to great and overwhelming loves like Vol de Nuit. A few days ago it was Jardin de Bagatelle, a massive OMG! Scents this gal would drop to her knees and crawl on the floor for. I should have known. Hadn't I swiftly acquired Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleu? But, wanting to give it its due, I left the rest of the house of Guerlain for later. I am late to love this celebration of galbanum and oakmoss, narcissus (one of the three wicked stepsisters in the flower garden) taming potentially too-sweet Iris and Vanilla. Only today while reading monsierguerlain.com did I learn that what my nose noticed about the use of narcissus, lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth is called counterpointing--a technique in which perfumers deliberately counterbalance notes that on their own are less than lovely. Here, narcissus is on one end of the seesaw and Iris/vanilla on the other. Vol de Nuit's citrus top, heavy with Bergamot is made sublime by the green of Galbanum, elevated by the brilliant heart, made glorious by the base in which Oakmoss thrillingly stars. This perfume so substantially exceeds its parts, as do other Guerlains, that's it's easy to see why Guerlain addicts exist. Thank goodness I ordered Nahema before it was discontinued. For now I am in love again, seduced by Galbanum, Iris and Oakmoss, exquisitely counterpointed to and beyond mere perfection.
Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 9.0/10
This is my soul's scent in the way that Arvo Pärt plays my soul's music.

Here I am laid bare: spartan resilient resins, warm generous vanilla, spare beautiful florals flying out beyond prettiness. This vibrates celestial, best viewed from the perspective of 10,000 feet.

Whereas I remain endlessly curious for other scents, they are just that: other. They beckon with the intrigue of difference, the enchantments of conversation, the beguilements of beauty - the jar, seduction and stimulus of traits not native.

Here is my essence, my effortless source.

The silence between my heartbeats.
Helpful Review    8
Cosmetics on a shelf ...
I have a sample of Vol de Nuit sent to me by one of the lovely members here at Parfumo. I find myself rather obsessed of late by Iris … both as an individual note and the way it smells in unison with other notes. I've realized that it is very different in older fragrances when compared to the same note in recent releases.

This fascination with Iris came about after watching an interview with Christopher Sheldrake on how the roots of the Iris are treated for the extraction of their essence in the production of No.19 Poudre, and how vast a harvest has to be to make just one kilo of Iris absolute (my review of this fragrance refers).
That being said, there are actually very few Iris heavy fragrances that I enjoy … Prada's Infusion d'Iris falls short of the mark, as does Villoresi's Teint de Neige. The latter of those is completely wearable but smells to a hair exactly the same as a few of the Clean fragrances, which also present my nose with a very synthetic 'powder' note. I do however love Prada's Infusion d'Homme and love smelling Dior Homme which is used as a signature by a good friend of mine … but I digress!!

Vol de Nuit is probably as classic a Guerlain fragrance as one can get … from an accessibility point of view, that is. I've tried L'Heure Bleu and Mitsouko from Guerlain's past and didn't really like them on my skin. I confess that I felt a little like a fragrance philistine after discovering this, but I have to say that Vol de Nuit is probably one that I would wear if I had it in my collection … at least while my fascination with powder runs its gamut.
This fragrance reminds me of how cosmetics departments in grand stores used to smell when I was very young, trailing around after my mother in my best outfit (as one did for Saturday shopping in the late 60's) with my little blue safari suit shorts still filled with nappy. Face powder, lipstick, rouge … all manner of enchanting things heavily laced with the smell of Iris! It's no wonder that I became a fragrance junkie :).
I'm continually amazed that so many fragrances from earlier times marketed towards women could very easily be relocated to the men's department today … how the wheel turns!!

In Vol de Nuit I find classic beauty that will never decline. This little piece of fragrance history should surely be a 'must try' for serious parfumisti.
2 Replies
Helpful Review    6
Jacques Guerlain's excellent adventure
This review is for the vintage parfum.

The galbanum opening in VdN is one of the best renditions of the aromatic resin in an oriental theme, imho. It makes me close my eyes and take a deeper breath. While galbanum is far from appealing on its own, it imparts a green, spiciness to blends that is hard to beat.

But the scent is not called Vol de Nuit for nothing:
At its heart lies the key to its flight, a simple yet creative combination of powdery flowers and aldehydes, flavored with just the right blend of vanilla, which, in Guerlain language, translates as vanilla + vanillin, it's that much more flavorful and ethereal.

Now, it may not be listed but this fragrance has a superb hit of leather nestled right into its base, though I can usually start to detect it somewhere in the heart development. And what a leather it is! It's the bomber jacket left behind by the pilot, I have no doubt on that. ;) I also detect amber, thick, resinous and full of mystery.
What is most prevalent, at least to my nose, in the base, are the oakmoss and the spices, surprisingly, but that may just be how *I* perceive the fragrance.

It's a phenomenal creation from a very different world, conjures a feeling of deep emotion, core stillness and flight of thoughts, haunting in its evocative imagery.
An absolute stunner.
Scent 10.0/10
Fragrance as an experience...
Vol de Nuit feels like another time, place, or state of mind. Born of a vision, an inspiration, the mood of an era gone by - and it manages to remain relevant and intimate to admirers born decades after its creation. It is a very atmospheric fragrance, and in me it evokes a sense of peace, introspection, and sometimes a vast, airy loneliness. It is a mystery to me how a scent can elicit that but somehow, mysteriously, Jacques Guerlain was able to create an olfactory experience that actually does invoke a sense of exhilarating solitude amidst the cool, open night sky, I think, in part, due to its timeless and otherwordly qualities. A perfumeur he was, of course, but also an artist.

Vol de Nuit doesn't smell formulated. It transports you past analysis and graciously allows you to experience its nostalgic beauty. All of the notes are there but they combine to create something on a completely different level. There is something deeply personal about it, transmitted through the years from the perfumer to the wearer. Truly a timeless classic and simply put, perfume mastery exemplified.
Helpful Review    4
I blind bought a 6.8 oz metal atomizer of edt quite a while ago for ridiculously cheap. Best blind purchase to date. Still have 4 oz left!
I love perfume but sometimes I simply can’t analyze a scent and identify its constituent parts. This seems to happen in two particular instances. I can’t deconstruct the fragrances that I wore when I was young. Each exists as a whole, like an object. I would have trouble analyzing Antaeus or No 5 beyond saying that one is huge and the other is aldehydic. The other instance is the early Guerlains. I love Vol de Nuit, and I recognize it the instant I smell it, but other than saying it is a powdery oriental, I’m adrift.

But I do love it. It is clearly complex, and the complexity reads as a richness that even I get. Although I can’t break VdN down in my head and look at its bit parts, I can describe it. It feels lush and unhurried. It is soft in feel. Not weak and vague, but deliberately diaphanous, ethereal. This softness gives VdN an atmosphere rather than an edge. VdN doesn’t cut or strike, it haunts.
1 Replies
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 2.5/10 Longevity 2.5/10 Scent 7.0/10
Pure Art Deco
The Bottle is beautiful the artistry and
craft they painstakingly created with it's
Topaz cut and ruched glass cut with
gold insignia inside a circle with gold
metal Vol de Nuit is the hight of Art Deco
and liquid from the fragrance is pure gold.
Channels the playboy aviator & eccentric billionaire
Howard Hughes with
his planes and women of course women!
numerous of them well know actresses
you can think of had an affair the most
well know was Katharine Hepburn Jean Harlow
and Ava Gardner.
Squiring jean Harlow on the red carpet
of the Lavish Permire of Hells Angels
beautifully reenacted by the Pop Singer
Gwen Stefani from the Martin Scorsese's
The Aviator.

Or Walking though a Brown Smokey Quarz art deco nightclub
where the smoke stains the mirrors and the women whearing
skin tight Golden Dresses And Men with italian Suits
And the feeling of sex Is every where and the sound of a
single Saxophone Playing though the night.
Scent 5.0/10
Not Love, merely Like
I was fully prepared to love (and purchase) this Guerlain. Unfortunately, it failed to impress me enough to obtain a full bottle. Regardless, VdN is a must-sample for anyone serious about perfume. I am just starting to understand the "Guerlainade" of Guerlain fragrance, and VdN is Guerlainade.

The opening is *very* much like Mitsouko to me. As it VdN dries, all I get is Samsara, Samsara, and Samsara - in otherwoods, woody. Since I own both of those Guerlains, including a vintage Mitsy, I won't be adding this to my collection. I don't sense any green accords, which I would have expected given Bergamot, Galbanum, & Narcissus as listed notes - there is nothing green about the formulation I tested.

* note - tested a TPC sample marked EdT vintage

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