Post by Tina G
“Too well we know a man’s failings, his cowardice and lapses, and our writers of today are all too proficient in exposing these… but we stood in need of one to tell us how a man may be lifted far above himself by his sheer force of will.” Preface – Vol de Nuit. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1931.
Vol de Nuit by Jacques Guerlain for Guerlain 1933
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum, petit grain
Heart: Jasmine, daffodil, spices
Base: Earthy woods, iris, vanilla, amber, woodsy notes.
What powers you on, to reach beyond what you thought was possible?
The heartbreakingly beautiful night-scape slides silently below. The endless shades of silver and midnight blue, white mountain peaks and low clouds reflecting the half-moonlight, the never-changing stars lost to the deep horizon. Flying feels like a time outside time, meditative, reflective, but never quite lonely as there is always that presence of the person who is so often in your thoughts, close enough to be at your shoulder but in reality so very far away.
Who brings your thoughts home?
Back in an age where air travel was in its infancy, the activity of night flight (vol de nuit) was much more immediate. Surrounded by dinky light globes, basic electrics and feeling every bump & jolt of the aircraft, night navigation was a treacherous task at best of times and drew on the absolute strength of spirit of the pilot. The 1931 novel Vol de Nuit, on which Guerlain based its fragrance by the same name, finds our heroic-hearted pilot flying through heavy clouds and raging winds of an unpredicted cyclonic storm – all distances skewed, fuel is ebbing, location is unknown and any minute all could be so easily lost.
Where does the heart’s comfort lie when the end is looming?
Spring. The rich earth of the garden bed outside the small country cottage has been recently turned, but the rebellious daffodils and irises are sprouting directly from the edges of the lawn. On the warm air is the intoxicating scent of sweet jasmine. Wandering inside, the kitchen hearth is still smouldering, bringing a warm amber glow the room. On the rustic wooden table sits an old resinous wooden bowl, holding a few oranges and bumpy skinned lemons.
But…there is a feeling that someone has just been here, the swish of an apron, a laugh, the trail of gentle vanilla – moving through the cottage, the rooms get slightly darker and mustier until the boudoir is reached. A side dresser has evidence of feminine presence. A well-worn pink powder puff lies temporarily discarded, picking it up, breathing in, that musky-powderiness is like every act of comfort and kindness in your life all rolled into one, deep, breath.
Home is where the heart is.
Our fated night pilot, surrounded by biting gale-force winds and lost to the world of men, fighting with every sinew to survive, sees the clouds break for an instant and the cold stars shine up above. This is his one impossible chance at freedom, at reaching home and the person who holds his heart. He turns the plane, up and up, and with all his might and sheer force of will aims straight for those stars….