The Perfume House & Vol de Nuit (extrait)

I planned to take photos in the Perfume House; small though it is, it houses L’Artisan, Amouage, Annick Goutal, and more… but once I got there, it was a whirlwind!

Tracey greeted our familiar faces at the door, and asked me, “Do you have a list?” which, after nodding enthusiastically, I handed over to her. It turns out that I remembered incorrectly, and they don’t carry the Frapin line (damn it!). They also don’t yet have Jeux de Peau—which I was counting on spraying (I have a sample to dab from), and they don’t yet have Coeur de Vetiver Sacre either. As consolation I sniffed my way through Caron (Yatagan! A revelation!), and a few others Tracey recommended based on the list I came in with. I dallied for a while in the Amber Orientals (no more! just say no!), but that’s not what you want to hear about, is it?

I sprayed the tester of Vol de Nuit EDT on Matt (right wrist) and he was immediately smitten with it. He got a Bois 1920 on the other wrist, and Anderson got Chergui and Muscs Kublai Khan. The guys left while I spent time with Aqua Allegoria, Lolita Lempika, and above mentioned Carons. I know better than to try and make a decision on the spot, so I left, and went to find the menfolk. We did further rounds of sniffing, but there was no swaying the husband: it must be Vol de Nuit.

On returning to TPH, and informing Tracey of our decision, her face fell. “We’re sold out of it!” In the whirlwind, I hadn’t realized that she had to go to the back room for the tester, and that it was not on display. She offered to make me a sample to take with me, and to call me when it was back in stock. A generous consolation, and I agreed, while trying to decide if I really needed that bottle of Figue–Iris. She was gone for a while, and when she came back, she said she had something that I might be interested in, and in her hand was a zebra stripped box. “It’s a pre-reformulation parfum— but pre-reformulation doesn’t mean that it’s bad.”

That it’s bad?! I nearly peed myself with excitement. “I’ll take it.” No hesitation on my part, not for a second. As an afterthought, I asked the price… and prepared myself for the wince I knew would come. The Perfume House has a “Special Reserve” collection of rare and vintage fragrances, but you have to make an appointment for a private viewing to see them. I was shaking in my boots, and thinking of my brand-spanking new bottle of Memoir, when she answered, “Ninety-eight dollars.

While it’s just a quarter-ounce, I still feel like I’ve gotten away with murder. Mr. H thinks that it’s his, and I’m inclined to let him think so—that’s a separate budget, right?

21 thoughts on “The Perfume House & Vol de Nuit (extrait)

  1. Beautiful! Beautiful!

    Okay, so I have not smelled VdeN at all, but somehow the word beautiful seems appropriate, both for the perfume and the experience. And the bottle!

    Do you have views on spraying vs dabbing, by the way? Depends on the fragrance I hear you say. A topic for another post I guess.

    1. It is beautiful! While not my favorite Guerlain, it is distinctly Guerlain—and it’s classic, beautiful, and complex. Mr. H smells great in it!

      You know Anne-Marie, I think it depends—I sometimes feel like I have a very different experience spraying vs. dabbing, but other times it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

      With Calamity J, I fell in love with a sample (ok, two samples), but when I bought a full-bottle, it was a total revelation. It was what I had fallen for, to the nth degree.

      Ambre Fetiche I fell in love with from the sample vial, and I find the experience to be the same sprayed—although I should confess to always over-spraying that one because it feels so decadent, and I’m a heathen.


  2. May I just say: Squeeeeeeeeee!
    Perfect, perfect! “It doesn’t mean it is bad!” Lol!
    Sounds like a perfect day! I am happy for you! 🙂
    One question: Rev. Anderson is a minister, isn’t he? America sure has interesting priests! 😉

    1. HA! i am a Rev. through the ‘Church of Life’ so that i could officiate the wedding of my beloved friends matt and dee!

    2. He’s a real minister in the US of A! I’m not even really sure what that means, but Mr. H and I have documents proving that we’re legally married, so that’s enough for me! 🙂

    1. I opened it last night before bed, and fighting the stopper almost caused a heart-attack. When I bought my (current formula) Shalimar extrait, the stopper was really snug, but no where near the “stuckness” of VdN. I had visions of it exploding all over my desk and computer…

      But I did get it open, and it’s divine. I mean, VdN is beautiful as EDT, but as is the case with so many Guerlain’s, the parfum is par excellence. I remember reading someone describe it as “autumnal” and I think that’s spot on.

      I wish I had a giant bottle so I could share with everyone!

  3. Enjoy!! 🙂 It’s a wonderful parfum and one which when it finishes you won’t be heartbroken to replenish with newer stuff (it’s not that ruined, I mean)
    Unassuming exterior, but the insides of TPH look good!!

    1. Do you think so? I remember reading Victoria saying that she did not like the re-formulation at all! Probably her nose is more sophisticated than mine, though, and I’ll be happy with the new one if I ever do run out 🙂

      The inside of TPH are a wonder—the staff are such lovely people, and they really do have a very good selection for a brick & mortar store.

  4. Lucky, lucky you! Wonder if they have any other “pre-reformulation” Guerlain parfums in that back room?

    Hmm, I’m thinking my next vacation destination should be Portland! 🙂

    1. Based on the items that they have on the shelf (including YSL Champagne… Champagne!), I’d guess that their “back-room” is something wonderful to behold! One of these days I’ll make an appointment to see the Private Reserve! 🙂 Or is it Special Reserve? I can’t remember, but Reservations are required!

      1. Speaking of cave of treasures, a veritable ship-load of treasure arrived at my door today, compliments of my favorite blonde…

        you’re the best! xxxx0x0x0

  5. Congrats on the VdN, Dee. Reading this post is like reading a perfumista fairytale!

    I didn’t buy a pre-reformulation bottle when I had the chance so now I haunt Evilbay hoping one day it will come up again. So pleased for your wonderful purchase and hope it has cheered you after your loss.

    1. Thank you so much Tara! It felt like a fairytale as it was happening; I could not believe my good luck!

      Opinion seems to be divided, on the current formula—I have not smelled the current parfum (just EDT), though I do wonder whether my nose is really sophisticated enough to know the difference… Shalimar pre-reformulation is a totally different beast, and everyone agrees… but maybe VdN is less altered?

      Let us know if you give them a sniff! 🙂


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