With Vol De Nuit, Jacques Guerlain created a groundbreaking composition which influenced many other perfumeurs, notably the creators of iconic scents such as Miss Dior and Chanel No19. Guerlain was the first perfumeur to use Galbanum in a large concentration and with this fragrance, he created a fresh, powdery, long lasting scent. But there is more to this bottle. Vol De Nuit means Night Flight and Guerlain was close friends with writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who wrote The Little Prince and, you can guess, Night Flight. At the time the fragrance emerged, the general public was excited about planes and flying. There was a desire for adventure, man’s visions and dreams of flying were materialising and becoming available even for “regular” people. The first posters as well as the box for Vol De Nuit contained animal prints, expressing travel to far away countries. The classic bottle design is reminiscent of a spinning propeller.
The fragrance emerged in 1933, along with declarations of war. Vol De Nuit is a dark force, a force that flies through the night, all by itself. There is no seduction, no flower, no sensuality or beauty that served to advertise this fragrance. Only a plane and the pattern of the skin of a wild animal, surrounded by the darkest night. Vol De Nuit stands at the beginning of an accomplishment, it is not here to look pretty or feminine. It is not even a state of mind. It is raw instinct and raw instinct only. A scent that is not to be worn by anyone who wants to please. As an American actress once expressed, “Honey, I didn’t get where I got today wearing anything but Vol De Nuit, and I’m not changing for no-one!”