Vol de Nuit Evasion Guerlain

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This elusive perfume has seduced and puzzled even the more experienced perfumistas and fragrance bloggers from the time of its release, through its discontinuation, and even continues still in its legendary “unicorn” status. But if you dig a little, the mysteries begin to unfold.

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Photo belongs to Monsieur Guerlain

Guet Apens, Attrape Coeur, Royal Extrait, Evasion… They are all the same fragrance. Why Guerlain does that I can only speculate, but recycling perfumes is one of their “things”. Attrape Coeur is thick and heavy and on me, wears more like an extrait. Evasion wears like an edp even though it is an edt. Though there are a few complaints about longevity, I get a full 8 hours+ from Evasion. I find it has lots of projection the first 4 hours then it settles down into a skinscent another 4 hours. 

THIS is what Guerlains are all about. Sure it’s a peachy vanilla but it’s not just any old peachy vanilla. Many frags have dupes or similar smelling perfumes. Evasion has none.

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Looking at the timeline of Guerlains’ releases, I see Evasion as their way of saying goodbye to an era. The ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. Au revoir! 2007 seems to have marked the year that Guerlain really let go the reigns of family tradition and allowed the LVMH acquisition to fully manifest itself. As if floodgates were opened, out came flanker after flanker after flanker, reformulations,  les exclusifs this, les exclusifs that, up goes the prices, down comes the quality and worse yet; gone is the inspiration. In comes the Insolence and MORE Insolence then La. Petite. Robe. Noir in 2009. I could pretty much rest my case here but…

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Vol de Nuit is just as much of an icon as Shalimar but where are the VdN flankers? There is JUST. THIS. ONE. There are no Mitsy flankers. There are no L’ Heure Bleue flankers. But they chose to put this juice in a L’ Heure Bleue flacon and name it VdN. If you know the story behind L’heure Bleue then you will see that they are making a statement here. Guerlain could have named it just “Evasion” but they didn’t. This is Guerlain we are talking about here… everything is intentional. They ARE artists after all. And to artists, every little thing, every little detail, is an opportunity to make a statement. And Vol de Nuit Evasion makes a very loud and clear statement I think.

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Evasion combines element from all of the classic Grand Dames of Guerlain: This is Mitsoukos peaches with Shalimars vanilla. And the heart of Vol de Nuit: Iris.  That is the cool “night flight” and the metallic edge of the propellers, flying through a cool blue night. Bittersweet nostalgia. Bottled meloncholy on the verge of heartbreak. Wistful yearning for a bygone era and memories of what once was. 

Ok, Evasion… so what exactly are we “evading” here?  Evading change perhaps? Evading the inevitable degradation of traditions? I think so. Like I said before, they could have just named it “Evasion”, but they didn’t. They named it “Vol de Nuit” Evasion and released it specifically to be sold at airports no less. 

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I think Evasion was intended to be an ode to Guerlains past. It’s a nod to the classics as they were in their heyday. The world of perfumery has changed drastically since the days of Jacques Guerlain. Gone are the days of REAL perfume, before IFRA regulations. But for the moment, just one last thrill, one last romantic joy ride, one last time. Vol de Nuit Evasion was a tribute to the original artistry and romance that was Guerlain and there hasn’t been another since. ❤

Season: Any chance you get!

Top: Peach, Rose

Heart: Iris, Jasmin

Base: Amber, Vanilla, Woods

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Mon Guerlain

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This new release from the house of Guerlain has been getting polarizing reviews and lots of flak for making Angelina Jolie the face of their ad campaign. I’ll admit that I was in no real hurry to rush out and test it. Besides being spoiled by my collection of Guerlain exclusives, I just haven’t been blown away by ANY of their modern mass market releases. From Insolance and La Petite Robe Noir to Idylle, L’Instant, and the Aqua Allagorias with hundreds of flankers in between, none of them have ended up in my wardrobe nor even close to making it to my want list except the original La Petite Robe Noir which I bought online but ended up swapping it for a Black Orchid and Rive Gauche from a lovely Fragrantican because I couldn’t stand that Merachino cherry syrup note.

Guerlain is notorious for reusing their perfumes in various concentrations and renaming them, a la Metallica/Metalys/Reve de Lune or the more known affair of Guet Apens/Attrape Cœur/Royal Extrait/Vol de Nuit Evasion. Or how they diluted some frags and even passed them for exclusives. For example, they took L’ Heure Bleue, diluted the juice, changed the color, threw it in a Bee bottle and called it L’Huere d’Nuit while tripling the price. Same with Mayotte/Mahora and a few others.

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Mon Guerlain, formerly Mon Exclusif,
is also a recycled perfume, however, they went down with the price this time and I can totally appreciate that!  This is a vanilla and tonka bean bomb though the immediate top is a bit weird to me. Lavender is also a big player but it plays a big supporting role and is very mellow and not in your face at all.

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I digress here I know, but I went on a lavender kick several years ago and bought half a pound of organic food grade lavender. I made cocktails, and teas, and scrubs. I even made lavender sugar cookies and while they were pretty and even pretty good tasting, they threw me over the edge and made me lavender sick! I couldn’t smell lavender again without getting nausea lol. Just like after a bad hangover. So I have avoided anything lavender until recently as it seems my tolerance is finally returning, though even still, a sniff of pure Lavender EO still makes my stomach churn.

Mon Guerlain has a fair amount of lavender but it doesn’t invoke any hard feelings (or nausea) in me at all and wears as a light and fresh vanilla with a drydown that recalls Cuir Beluga. It’s definitely a fresh Oriental but it’s not heavy and syrupy like they typically can be.
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My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t seem to last very long with any real projection though I can still detect it as a skinscent after 6 hours.  That’s actually good for many people though I like a bit more projection in my frags. But for the price, it’s something I can live with.

Guerlain wanted to go mainstream and they’ve succeded! And what better way than offering an Exclusives grade perfume at a consumer friendly cost. Because while it DOES smell more “mass market” vs “niche”, it still bears a more sophisticated accord that smells “very Guerlain”, though not in a “Guerlinade” fashion. And though it already was an exclusive in it’s previous incarnation as Mon Exclusif, I can actually see the juice fitting into the Elixer Charnels collection just fine. So that actually says a lot about the juice I think.
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Bottom line: It’s good! And even though I already have a bottle of Mon Exclusif, I think I will still end up buying a bottle of Mon Guerlain and wear it instead, for collections sake lol. 🙂

Season: Appropriate all year round.

Top: Lavender, Bergamot

Heart: Iris, Jasmin

Base: Vanilla, Sandalwood,Tonka