The Vintage Parfum:
The top notes are a mixture of hesperidic impressions, a delicious narcissus and a slightly bitter galbanum; with the latter with a whiff of booziness. The result is a unique impression, where to restrained sweetness of the floral side, the galbanum and the hesperidic freshness are complimenting each other most beautifully.
In the drydown a herbal undertone emerges, with an added gentle oakmoss tartness veering towards a chypre tilt, although there is only a minimal amount of lavender present here; there is more of an iris input evident at this stage.
The base, finally, develops the Guerlinade, which is superimposed on a wood-vanilla dyad that is combined with a smooth ambery aroma. The powderiness is in the backgound initially, but is grows stronger gradually, to become the dominant component during the last hours. On the brighter side, traditional but never stuffy, and with only limited barbershop characeristics, this powderiness is most delightful. It blends in very well with an unobtrusive tonka that detect in the base, an which at stages has a gently spicy undertone - a very discrete spiciness without any pomp or ceremony.
The sillage is moderate, and projection very good and the longevity an excellent ten hours on me, although after after the first four hours it remains very close to my skin.
A grand spring creation, very unique in the base, traditional but original, composed of ingredients of the highest quality that are blended exquisitely. Some limited performance issues are noted, but they are not taking way from the delicious overall result. 4.25/5.
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.
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."
Typical Guerlain. I think I don't like Guerlinade.
LIDG, Habit Rouge and Vol Nuit smell similar to me.
Not bad but nothing to get excited about
I definitely do not have the advanced nose of most reviewers here, but hopefully this review is still of use.
I find the initial spray of the most recent EdT to be quite sharp and green. It reminds me of being in a cool rainy forest and crushing the leaves and stem of some sort of evergreen ground plant or shrub. If it persisted, it would be overwhelming, but it calms itself into the very lightly floral note that I suspect is the narcissus (it does remind me of daffodils). The green stays, but is mellow, and the soft powdery guerlinade starts to appear. I know this is considered one of the more linear of the classic Guerlains, but I find it almost switches back and forth based on my body temperature. Sometimes it is a soft floral powder, then it switches to a warm green crushed stem, then light vanilla and spice. It persists this way for hours, and is really a delight to wear. This is my kind of green floral, never going sour, never cloying. For some reason, the current EdT has excellent staying power on me. I love this as a fall / winter fragrance, or even for a summer evening (perhaps dining at a French bistro!).
Although I can appreciate Guerlain's Vol de Nuit as a landmark in perfume; I cannot say that I like it on me. I get the green notes which are laced with the sweetness of the narcissus but it is barely an on skin fragrance for me and it has completely vanished within 20 minutes or so. I am referencing the current EDT and all I can wish for is that Guerlain made Vol de Nuit in an EDP formulation. I also get the very lovely drydown of the spice and vanilla but it is all so fleeting on me. I cannot see purchasing this and wearing it if I can't even enjoy it. So, although this scent is a true beauty, I am fairly neutral about it. I give it a thumbs up simply because it is from Guerlain!
Another Guerlain's milestone. A classic landmark opening with a sort of fleshy classically chypre mossy (oakmoss-galbanum) vibe combined with luxuriant hesperides and with a traditional Guerlain's smooth "edible-silky" amber not so far in consistency from the one we are historically used to admire in Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue. An enormously beautiful narcissus laces its languid sophistication with musks, floral powder (iris-rose) and balsams. All sounds infinitely classic, soapy-chypre, restrained and familiar inhaling Vol de Nuit. The following development evolves gradually towards a multifaceted spicy-floral-vanillic soapiness of immense classic french "Grandeur". Another giant which unfortunately does not last on my skin (all this beauty faded after 45 minutes, a real pity).