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.
Guet Apens, Attrape Coeur, Royal Extract, 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.
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…
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.
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.
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