I'm not going to make any friends with this review. I wasn't attracted to this fragrance. It smells of pungent, sweet powder over an extremely bitter leather. Maybe I'm having an off day, but it's too harsh for me. (Lest you consider me faint-hearted, Aromatics Elixer is one of my favorite perfumes.) I greatly admire some of these old Carons from an artistic standpoint, but I don't enjoy wearing them for long. Nuit de Noel is amazing, with its ever-shifting combination of strange notes--fascinating and yet remote. So is Alpona, with its tantalizing sweet candied citrus peel and cake flour confused with dry, herbal notes. My feelings were more straightforward about Tabac Blond, which came across as a feminine tobacco-leather scent, clear in its intent. (The vintage version had a realistic, animalic leather.) En Avion is hard for me to wear for an hour until it smooths into a powdery, cool, carnation that remains pointedly bittersweet. The leather smells more cool and rubbery than warm and barn-like. Emotionally, the enigmatic base of some old Carons gives me the impression of a dark, old house full of antique wood furniture and a bedroom with a dresser full of boxes of powder and powder puffs. It reminds me of a sad, bygone era of fashion made weird by the passage of time.
Well named, this scent certainly smells like the inside of a plane, and not in a good way. As I sniff, I imagine I'm on a cheap holiday jet with not-very-clean bathrooms and leaking aircraft fuel. Someone has just plonked a smoky leather jacket on the seat next to mine, and it reeks like an ashtray. Add to that the smell of cheap soap from the open bathroom door, and I begin to feel quite literally sick to my stomach. This is the reformulated version and in EdT form, but even so, I can't believe this was ever a good fragrance or that anyone would want to wear it. I smell like a stranded holidaymaker who's been forced to sleep in the airport lounge for several nights! Never again!
In the first try i found the neroli and cloves is too heavy that i thought it would be suitable to dress up a dead body. Cloying old floral oils and cloves as simple as the dried ones served in an Jordan restaurant to chew after garlic appetizers to kill your mount smell. After the first hour you can put up with the cloves and then later you can enjoy the remaining powdery florals. But i cannot advice it to anyone as it is hard to endure the first half hour of it.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
Another perfume of the legendary Caron house ruined by reformulation incompetance, if you used to wear En Avion before 2001 you know this has been recently tweaked. Unfortunately vintage En Avion is hard to find but please stay away from new EA, the new one is just a shadow of what it used to be. The new version lacks refinement, grace and elegance, typical of reformulated creations by current Caron in-house perfumer Richard Fraysse.
There didn't need to be an note list for this one to identify he predominant clove ...would be hard to miss, even for a novice, especially in the stinging opening notes. Since I don't know what the other notes are, I can't really tell you why I don't like it, I just don't. It's sharp, pungent and nasty. As it dries down, it is more tolerable, but with all the other great perfumes in the world, why waste time on one you don't really like? Pass.
During my first trial of En Avion (translation: by airplane or in airplane), I developed a comical mental picture: Someone had dropped a lit cigarette on the plane's leather upholstery and (as the clove note developed), I was cinching my parachute, ready to bail out on this ride.
A day or two later, after contemplating the notes and others' reviews, I entered into the experience again. I sought to focus on the leather (a favorite note in general). Present is a coarse, working leather as found on early farms and in industry, not the supple purse leather of Dzing! The problem for me comes from the clove effect of the carnation, which is more intense than can be ignored, and it seared me for a good two hours. After that, the clove died away and soft rose and powder were unveiled. Therein lies En Avion's beauty to me. However, it comes so late, I'm not willing to wait through the clove experience again when Guerlain can take me to this pretty place without such tribulations.