Vol de Nuit by Jacques Guerlain for Guerlain 1933


Post by Portia


Hi there Guerlain fans,

Vol de Nuit is one of the oft talked about historical Guerlain fragrances. Created in 1933, the same year as Sous le Vent which is another of my faves, and named from a book by Antoine de St. Exupéry “Night Flight” who was a pilot in WWI, Head Post pilot and lost during WWII on a mission. What drew me to the fragrance originally is the fabulous bottle designed to be reminiscent of a propeller going full tilt. This grey glass beauty was enough in itself but once I tried the fragrance I was lost.

Vol de Nuit by Jacques Guerlain for Guerlain 1933

Vol de Nuit Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum, aldehydes, orange, lemon, mandarin, narcissus, petit grain
Heart: Jasmine, daffodil, rose, violet, iris, carnation
Base: Woods, orris, vanilla, amber, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, spices

If you read the notes list and thought Vol de Nuit was going to be a big fat blockbuster of a fragrance you will be sorely disappointed. From an era that brought us such overt beauties as Sirrocco by Lucien Lelong, Jungle Gardenia by Tuvaché, Tabu by Dana and French Cancan by Caron it surprises me that Guerlain made something so discrete and intimate.  A green floral veil backed by slightly warm vanilla/amber and mossy woods. A fragrance that is almost introverted in its sillage and projection until you sit quite close and suddenly you are drawn into its captivating spell.

I have a couple of bottles but the one that gets the most wear is the 2012 EdT in the Habit de Fete cannister. Yes, I know that people complain of the modern versions thinness and lack of base. Sure, it’s different to my vintage parfum and different to the vintage EdT I have a decant of. It’s brighter, more sparkling and I admit a little screechier but it’s still beautiful. Beautiful in and of itself. So wearable and pretty. The narcissus is not so dirty as the vintage and the base is less furry and plush, though they seem to have padded the violet and iris to compensate. My main gripe is that the longevity is affected, becoming a soft whispered wash of itself within 30 minutes and barely there after an hour.

Vol de Nuit Guerlain 2 Portia 2015While Jin and I were in Europe in 2013 I went into Guerlain L’Institute in Prague and I was determined to buy a L’Heure de Nuit but something made me ask if they had the Vol de Nuit propeller bottle. Yes, they did. With my heart beating 16 to the dozen I handed over my card and asked them to “Charge and wrap it. Please don’t say the price.” Every now and then I have been getting the box out; looking at it and holding it, happiness bubbling up inside me. Today, for you guys, I unwrappeed it and finally got to touch my perfect jewel of a bottle so I could photograph it. No, I’m not yet ready to open it, to cut the cord, but it’s one step closer.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin
Guerlain counters often have some in the drawers, ask
Surrender To Chance have vintage EdT samples from $7/ml

giveaway TheTruthAboutMummyPhoto Stolen TheTruthAboutMummy

Vol de Nuit GIVEAWAY


This week we will have 1 winner who will receive:
1 x .5ml sample from my vintage Vol de Nuit parfum quadrilobe bottle
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me (portia underscore turbo @ yahoo dot com dot au) so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Please tell me if you like the old Guerlain stuff? Have you tried Vol de Nuit?

Extra Chance?
Tweet: Guerlain Vol de Nuit GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-493   


Entries Close Sunday 9th August 2015 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winner will be chosen by random.org
The winner will have till Thursday 13th August 2015 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

50 comments on “Vol de Nuit by Jacques Guerlain for Guerlain 1933

  1. Jaybee says:

    I haven’t tried Vol de Nuit, but I want to now. What a lovely-sounding fragrance, made all the more alluring by the Saint-Exupery connection and that gorgeous bottle! I follow by email. 🙂

  2. Elia says:

    Oooh I’d love to try out the vintage Vol.
    I generally prefer vintage Guerlain to the current batches. I’ve tried some old Vol. My favourite vintage Guerlain is Mitsouko.I follow by email.
    p.s. Open it!!!

  3. Jackie b says:

    Please DNEM as I have a small vintage bottle of V de N, total classic and I love it. Also have L’Heure Bleue, I think the older Guerlains appeal to me more than the modern ones. Something to do with the vanilla ish note they seem to have, not so shrill somehow.
    If you are responding to comments, I am going to Prague next week (squeee) do you recommend the Institute you went to? Does it have the iconic fragrances? Shall I go?
    Or is that just….duh Jackie b?

  4. Connie says:

    I have vintage Mitsouko, Shalimar, and L’Heure Bleue and love them all, but haven’t yet tested Vol de Nuit in any form- what a treat it would be. Good luck to everyone!

  5. Tara says:

    Portia, it was so lovely to read your take on what is perhaps my all-time favourite.

    I also find it intimate and love the way it contrasts greens/spring florals against a deep balsamic/mossy base.
    The bottle is definitely my favourite design of all.

    No need to enter me in the your fab draw thanks (as Val knows), I am a VdN bottle hoarder 🙂

    P.S. Cut the cord!

  6. Francesca Belanger says:

    I follow you via email.

    First off, I nearly swooned when I saw that beautiful vintage bottle. Vol de Nuit was one of my absolute favorites in “Perfumista: Then Early Days,” in the 70’s. I don’t think I ever had the perfum; I know I went through several bottles of the EdT. I think it was my second favorite Guerlain (at the time), right after Jicky, which I did have in parfum. I hadn’t smelled it in years and years until a couple of years ago, and sadly, it was nothing like, although after about 20 minutes, there was a whisper of my old fave. I have subsequently gotten a decant of the vintage stuff, and it makes me very happy. It would make me even happier if I won this draw!

  7. Patty Pong says:

    I follow by e-mail. I like much if the old Guerlain stuff. 🙂 Jicky and Chamade vintage especially. I don’t know for sure if I tried Vol de Nuit or not.

  8. Barbara Carter says:

    How do I love the vintage Guerlain? Let me count the drops… My vintage Mitsuoko Parfum makes my heart pound and my head swirl. The oakmoss! I am dying to try the vintage Vol de Nuit which I am lusting for in a propeller bottle one day when I have some mad cash!
    How do I follow thee APJ? Why on the perfume groups which grace my life, and from the lush reviews written by many noses I adore!
    MWAH! Waft on lovelies!

  9. Bernadette Winfield-Gray says:

    Ah, Guerlain! Lucky me was gifted a propeller bottle of Vol de Nuit and I bring her out when I need help in feeling grown up and composed. What I lust after is Parure, first encountered in the mid 1970’s, a warm fruity elegant green, which I suspect is now discontinued. And who could forget the floral powdery brilliance of Chamade, again first discovered when I was too young to wear it authoritatively. I follow APJ via email.

  10. Gara says:

    I am following APJ via email.

    I have tested VdN before and it was not my cup of tea, but I really want to love it. Sometimes it takes me several tries to fall in love. It was that way with Shalimar, and now it is my favorite.

  11. Esperanza says:

    Wonderful review, Portia. Vol de Nuit is my least loved Guerlain I Will re visit soon. Love, love, love your bottles ! especially THE propeller one, pure perfume o my. I have recently discovered Sous le vent vintage and it has become my favorite Guerlain together with vintage Shalimar Parfum de Toilette. Apres L’Ondee pure perfume is on my wishlist to try. Some day…
    Esperanza recently posted…Ramon Monegal Cuirelle My first leather perfumeMy Profile

  12. Esperanza says:

    Oh and I follow by mail and wordpress.

  13. maggiecat says:

    I follow APJ via email, mostly, but also sometimes on Facebook. I love Guerlain (Jicky!Shalimar!) but have somehow missed trying this gem, an omission I now think I should rectify soon!

  14. Portia, cut the cord!!!
    I have a quadrilobe bottle, the only problem is it’s empty. 😀 I love many Guerlain fragrances and their vintage bottle designs stimulate my magpie mind. The propeller bottle design is my favourite but never smelled the actual juice… Maybe one day.
    P.S. You don’t need to count me in the draw. 🙂
    Thinkingmagpie recently posted…Heat Wave and Earl Grey & CucumberMy Profile

  15. Fifi says:

    Portia, I can’t wait to try Vol de Nuit after reading your description. My favorites are Shalimar and Jicky, although the former doesn’t last on me. I follow by email.
    Ciao and thanks!

  16. Jack Sullivan says:

    Hi there P! I’m now following you by e-mail (try as I might I couldn’t find a RSS feed on your page… am I just dumb? please don’t answer just now dear).
    I’m yet to try any vintage Guerlain, and I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with Vol de Nuit a year ago, while visiting the flagship store in Paris. Getting the opportunity to sniff the old stuff would be a dream come true.
    Thanks for the draw!

  17. Tiffanie says:

    The Vol bottle is gorgeous and your excitement is a vicarious thrill! Thank you for sharing your treasures. I love it when your writing pops into my e-mail in-box.

    I’ve never smelled a Vintage Guerlain, but I am in love with Guerlain’s Mon Precieux Necar and the AA Ylang & Vanille. Both are (sob!) discontinued delights. I have an empty sample vial of the Nectar on my desk which I sniff from time to time.

  18. Rene Groyer says:

    Follow on facebook,twitter and e mail.Have never tried Vintage Vol.My favourite vintage is a tiny sample I got as a teen of Naheema.

  19. Andi says:

    I have been hearing raves for this vintage wonder. In all of my years, and thousands of perfumes sniffed, Vol de Nuit has never entered my nose. Sad but true. Same with Meteorites, and Mitsouko. I’m a bad girl!
    I receive your blog emails, as well as follow on fb. Thank you Darling!

  20. Caroline says:

    The current Guerlains I enjoy are Shalimar, Chamade, Liu and Vega. Also love vintage Shalimar (vintage Mitsouko, not so much). Would be thrilled to sample vintage VdN (and the current version too, for that matter–will seek out the next time I’m dept-store adjacent). Follow by email, thanks!

  21. Teri Singer says:

    Never tried Guerlain but would surely love to. I follow your wonderful blog on email.

  22. ElizabethC says:

    Do not need to be entered in the drawing but just want to say that I really love VdN. It is one of the perfumes that I wear when I want to feel like a grown-up 🙂

  23. Mirjam Bayer says:

    I adore Vol de nuit, would love to win! I follow via email

  24. Tena says:

    I have followed you by email for years.
    I have a small vial of vintage Shalimar, and it is heavenly. I would be thrilled to try the vintage VdN. Thank you for the chance

    I agree with Barbra Carter – cut !!!!

  25. Fazal says:

    i actually like older Guerlains more than the latest ones…Guerlain has been quite a disappointment lately, especially, when it comes to their mainstream releases..there have been some good ones in their expensive exclusive line though but Mistsouko or Vol de Nuit were not introduced as high end exclusive fragrances…the last great guerlain in mainstream line was L’Instant De Guerlain pour homme in my opinion.i follow APJ through email.

  26. BB Mc says:

    I follow via email. I love vintage Guerlain. Had the pleasure this year to try some vintage Chamade and Liu and they were simply magnificent! I do own some older Guerlain fragrances from 80s but no VdN. Would love to be able to try it.

  27. Sun Mi says:

    I haven’t tried much of the vintage Guerlain stuff – in fact I haven’t tried much of the newer stuff either. I did succumb to a blind buy of Shalimar Parfum Initial L’eau Si Sensuelle, but only because I had a gift card and the bottle was so darned pretty and feminine. You make this sound lovely though! And as for your special bottle… remember – life is short – so celebrate every day like it’s a special occasion!
    Sun Mi recently posted…Gentlewoman Winner!My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      I totally get that Sun Mi, but sometimes my thrill is just as intense in the looking and holding as the sniffing.Portia xx

  28. JanLast says:

    I follow by email and Facebook. I am madly in lust with an old Guerlain called Dawamesk. A little old lady scent with a black jellybean thrown in. And the vintage Derby, all citrus & green.

  29. gina tabasso says:

    Love love old Guerlain. I follow via email.

  30. Tonia says:

    I love how dear you hold your fragrances Portia. This sounds divine. X
    Tonia recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

  31. flowergirlbee! says:

    i follow by email.i would love to give this a try. i want many old guerlains.i really love mitsouko,apres,l’heure,chamade and nahema and probably loads more if i got to try them : ) thanks for the great photo of your bottles..be still my beating heart and thanks for the draw.

  32. Bec says:

    I love Guerlian but have never tried any of their vintage scents. L’Heure Bleue is one of my favourite frags, and après l’onde is gorgeous but short lived. I have never bought Bol de nuit for the same reason (longevity) but always like it when I try it out. Would love to try the vintage parfum

    I follow via email.

  33. Angela says:

    Follow by bloglovin.
    I have a tiny sample of the parfum and would be interested to see how this compares. I really like the introspective and intelligent nature of Vol de Nuit 🙂
    Angela recently posted…OPI This Color’s Making Waves Review/SwatchesMy Profile

  34. Michelle U says:

    I follow via email.

    Vintage Guerlain scents are treasures. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

    Wish you all the best!

  35. Anka says:

    Hi Portia, fellow Guerlain fan,
    I love Vol de Nuit, never tried the vintage version but my EdT from – I guess – 2013 is lovely. Yes, you put it so well, it is surprisingly discrete and intimate and is one of those fragrances which gets better with each wearing. Or, to put it more precise, I always recognize something new, and that’s half the fun with perfume, isn’t it?
    My favorite „old“ Guerlains are Nahema, Apres l’Ondée and the prereformulated Samsara.
    I’ve never heard of the Guerlain L’Institute in Prague, have to google it. And I have to imitate your credit card story, it sounds so cool to do this.
    I follow via email, thanks for this übergenerous draw!!!

  36. Suzy says:

    Thank you so much for this draw! I follow via email. Loved reading about Vol de Nuit.

  37. Lyubov says:

    My ancient Guerlain love…(sigh, sigh, sigh…)
    Vol de Nuit is my favorite, indeed, but Chamade, L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko and Jicky are fighting for the second place in my Guerlain heart.
    I also have Hermes and Bvlgari hearts, but that’s another matter to discuss some other time 😉
    Thanks for the draw!
    I am in Bulgaria (EU), and I follow by email, Google+ and FB.
    Lyubov recently posted…Prima annusata 8My Profile

  38. Genie says:

    I LOVE the older Guerlains! The older the better.

    The Vintage EDT’s just smell better than the modern day EDP’s to me.

    And the parfums……they are to DIE for!

    Vol de Nuit is absolutely gorgeous in parfum.

    I don’t think I have smelled ONE vintage EDT that I have NOT liked and the parfums I have been honored to smell from samples here & there, well, it’s like having your own private portal to another time & place in history hard to describe, but easy to imagine if you close your eyes!

  39. hotlanta linda says:

    We still!! have none of this gem, CRIMINAL! Thank you for such a right on post about the heavens of classic scents!!
    We follow a la blog,Facebook, and email

  40. Tung NK says:

    I’d love to try the oldies, but never had a chance since vintage fragrances are very rare where I’m living in. My favourite Guerlain is Heritage (new formula).
    I followed by email. Thank you for the fun RAOK.

  41. Nemo says:

    I have not tried Vol de Nuit (modern or vintage), and I am a little worried to try this because…what if I like it? I didn’t “get” Shalimar until I tried some vintage EDT, and then I was hooked. Funnily enough, after I fell for the vintage I also liked the modern version better too. I follow by email, thank you!

  42. Undina says:


    I really like VdN (the current parfum version) and plan to buy it once I finish my tiny decant. It’s such beautiful perfume! I feel the story coming up but it still hasn’t formed completely in my head.
    Undina recently posted…Small Things that Brighten Life: The Beautiful Duck(ling)My Profile

  43. lena says:

    I’ve always had a certain fascination with Guerlain; I think it’s because of its innovations in fragrance over such a (comparatively) long time period. Despite this, I haven’t tried all that many vintage formulations; I daydream (you know, as you do) about finding a pristine bottle of Apres L’Ondee someday. You never know! (I follow by email).
    Thank you 🙂

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