Scent Sample Sunday: Vol de Nuit

Within the last few months, I scored a purse spray of vintage Vol de Nuit extrait de parfum, a Guerlain masterpiece. I had previously been able to buy what I think is actually the most beautiful Vol de Nuit bottle, which doesn’t contain liquid at all — it is the limited edition shimmer powder’s blue-green flacon, the twin of the famous propeller bottle of the original parfum.

Blue green atomizer bottle of Guerlain's Vol de Nuit shimmer powder

Vol de Nuit shimmer powder; image

Propeller bottle of Guerlain's Vol de Nuit parfum

Vol de Nuit parfum;

But honestly, when would one have the opportunity to wear them? What occasion? What ensemble to wear with them?

Last night was the night.

My husband and I went to a benefit auction last night, and after much pondering, I decided that a simple cocktail dress in black velvet with tiny black sequins and short sleeves would be my outfit, combined with a necklace of white baroque pearls that was given to me by one of my dearest friends. I couldn’t decide what fragrance to wear, though. Amouage Gold EDP was a leading contender, as I’ve worn it before to dressy events and I always enjoy it. Then I thought of the Alaia extrait de parfum I bought last year, which is also beautiful. And it hit me — I could finally use the shimmer powder! And now I had the parfum to go with it! So Vol de Nuit it was.

Victoria at Bois de Jasmin reviewed the shimmer powder when it came out in 2011:

The powder itself is tinted a silvery shade closer to mother of pearl than polished metal. It is a complex color, with peach and blue creating an ethereal effect. Although Guerlain suggests using the powder for both face and body, I find that it is too cool for my warm complexion. However, it looks beautiful sprayed lightly on the shoulders and chest. The sparkling particles are quite fine, so the impression is opalescent and soft, rather than disco ball glitzy.

I took her advice and sprayed it on my neck and chest, plus a bit on my arms. It is possible to apply it very lightly, for just a hint of glimmer. I think it’s important to have well-moisturized skin before using it, but the moisturizer should be unscented. as the powder itself is scented, albeit lightly. The baroque pearls looked beautiful against the slight shimmer on my neck.

The parfum went on the pulse points behind my ears and inside my elbows. I often apply on my inner elbows instead of my wrists when wearing short sleeves. It’s easier to control the spray, and I can diffuse it on my skin just by bending the crook of my elbow instead of rubbing wrists together (which some perfumistas discourage).

My theater artist daughter did my makeup for me; I don’t usually wear much makeup, so I’m not the best judge of what will work. I may never look so chic again!

How was the fragrance? It was celestial. Neil at The Black Narcissus has described Vol de Nuit better than almost anyone: “Journey Into Light: Vol de Nuit by Guerlain (1933).”

And yes, this is how I felt, although any resemblance is strictly fanciful and internal:

Ad for Guerlain's Vol de Nuit shimmer powder

Vol de Nuit limited edition shimmer powder from Guerlain.

What fragrance makes you feel most glamorous? When do you wear it?

20 thoughts on “Scent Sample Sunday: Vol de Nuit

  1. That sounds transcendent! I have never tried Vol de Nuit – it is so expensive to find vintage, and I’m afraid I would be underwhelmed by the modern version. I would buy that shimmer powder just to stare at the bottle! What a lovely evening, and to have your makeup done professionally too!

    My glam perfumes: Jungle l’Elephant is my go-to for nights out. I love spices and it’s so big and present. I don’t really have any other “glam” scents because I don’t have anywhere to wear them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very few opportunities (none at all actually) for me to dress up or feel glamorous but if the opportunity did arise I guess Casablanca might be my go to. I also feel very ladylike and pretty when I wear Nocturnes de Caron which has been with me since 1983.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful evening and made the perfect perfume choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How beautiful; black velvet cocktail dress, pearls, and Vol De Nuit perfume and shimmery. I picture you very elegant and stunning. Such a treat to have an occasion to dress formal. This rarely happens in my life, but when I go out selecting a perfume is just as important to me as my outfit. My most glamorous perfumes are my vintages such as Chanel No 5, No 22, and Coco; Guerlain Shalimar and L’Heure Bleu; Givenchy L’Interdit; Coty Emeraude or L’Aimant. I don’t necessarily associate glamorous with any of my moderns perfumes; however, Chanel Les Exclusives or Amouages are contenders.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a terribly sophisticated evening! I’m so glad you chose to wear Vol de Nuit and “celestial” is a perfect description. It fits the novel, and I’m sure that’s what Jacques Guerlain originally intended.

    Guerlain should bring back the VdN shimmer powder. Body shimmer has become trendy again and this is definitely the most sophisticated form of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Notes on Notes: Galbanum – Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities

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