The Black Narcissus


Vol De Nuit, a masterpiece from 1933 that is still in production, is perhaps the house of Guerlain’s most difficult, troubling, and mysterious perfume. Of the handful of still extant creations by Jacques Guerlain, it is this scent – Night Flight – based on a delicate and poetic novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, that is the most unreachable and impenetrable of his perfumes: strange, distant, opaque. Where the heart of Après L’Ondée, from 1906 – wistful, exquisite, a sigh of melancholic longing in its heliotrope and violet-touched rain-drop transparency, does wear its heart on its sleeves (and is all the more vulnerable and beautiful for it), and L’Heure Bleue (1912) a delectable confectioner’s joy suffused with more melancholic, crepuscular consciousness, is never really afraid to emote, Vol De Nuit is held back; shadowy, and wary. Where we are quite sure of Mitsouko’s mossed, woodland austerity, its almost grave and ceremonious…

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5 responses to “JOURNEY INTO LIGHT : VOL DE NUIT by GUERLAIN ( I933 )

  1. Lilybelle

    How absolutely breathtaking, Neil! Bravo!

  2. This is so lovely and moving on many levels. Thank you.
    I was for many years a drama teacher in an elementary school. A small school with smaller classes. The Little Prince was a script I pulled out nearly every year for 17 or so years, as I contemplated the perfect vehicle for each eighth grade’s play. Their signature collaborative creative expression. Each class had a particular flavor and personality that required a special play as I never repeat directed an eighth grade play because of this. But back to The Little Prince. I would read it and wonder, is this the group to do this play? Never found it. But I always enjoyed rereading it.
    I love reading about this story as scent. You capture it remarkably well. All the complexity and nuances. Just beautiful.

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