By Deborah Fulsang A decade ago the late Lee Alexander…
By Deborah Fulsang
I fell in love with Roja Dove. Well, sort of. When the fragrance expert served as the perfume encyclopedia for Guerlain more than a decade ago, I had the pleasure of his company one cold and drizzling day.
It was the late 1990s and Dove was walking me through a blind selection process to find my perfect Guerlain scent.
By the process of elimination, we worked through the decades of spritzes created by the iconic perfume house, finally landing on Vol de Nuit. Fruit and spice and powder and something inexplicably mysterious. So to be more accurate, I fell in love with Vol de Nuit, although Dove was ridiculously charming, smart, impeccably dressed and smelled amazing.
He told me I had sophisticated taste. He told me of the story of Vol de Nuit, how the fragrance was created back in 1933 to celebrate the introduction of air travel, which allowed the era’s jetsetters to travel to what were considered the time’s most exotic destinations. He smoke of Modernism and conquests. He spoke to me of romance and how the perfume had been created by Jacques Guerlain in tribute to his friend, the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
And yes, Guerlain maintains that the spritz was dedicated to “women of action, [who] cultivate a love of danger.”
I was hooked, and went directly to Hudson’s Bay where I bought a bottle of the perfume which was housed appropriately in a small, art deco-inspired zebra-striped box.
This month, the house celebrates the 80th anniversary of the scent with an exquisite and rare bottle of Vol de Nuit. The flask, inspired by a vintage bottle plucked from the Guerlain archives, was crafted by Raymond Guerlain in collaboration with Baccarat. The fluted front of the bottle and the gilded metal logo represents Saint-Exupery’s airplane propeller. It is most beautiful.
Only two of these Vol de Nuit special-anniversary bottles are available in Canada. And indeed, they are meant to seduce the most rare of fragrance collectors given their $8,200 price tag.
But no worries. You can enjoy the iconic perfume without taking out a bank loan. The spritz that Jacques created—in all of its warm, spicy, powdery floral and woody glory—can be purchased for $334 (30 ml) at your nearest Guerlain counter.