Caron En Avion [perfume]

Mmm, look at this. A 100ml bottle of Caron En Avion. Probably doesn’t look like much to you. However, it smells wonderful. I’ve been wanting to stock up on my favourite Carons in case they get discontinued/altered. (I’m still kicking myself for not realising Narcisse Noir was being discontinued until the EDT had sold out everywhere.) This bottle should keep me in stock with En Avion for a few years, at least.

En Avion, 'In the air', is a product of the 1930s, when air travel was dashing and daring, and a crop of aviatrices delighted the newspaper-reading public. It’s by no means the only aviation-themed fragrance from the age; Guerlain’s 1933 Vol de Nuit (Night Flight) is named after a novel by Saint-Exupery and has a wonderful bottle evoking the spin of a propeller, and Lucien Lelong released Tailspin in 1940 (it’s discontinued, but occasionally secondhand bottles show up for sale on Etsy and Ebay).

This perfume is a strange beast. I always think there’s something metallic about it, especially when it’s first sprayed, befitting a fragrance inspired by aviation in a decade devoted to machinery and speed. Yet there is powder and dampness alongside the metal, brought in by the floral notes and then the oakmoss at the bottom (Caron still use oakmoss in their fragrances; its use is restricted nowadays and many firms have switched to treemoss, but there’s nothing quite like it). Some people get leather or suede from En Avion, and others get clove. I can smell those things if I think about them, but they’re not the first things that spring to mind, metal and powder are my main impressions. It is the scent of Metropolis’ False Maria, sharp-edged and inorganic yet desirable in its femininity. Needless to say, it’s a scent I often choose to go with my more dieselpunk outfits.

I purchased my bottle from Les Senteurs, who are pretty much my first stop for niche perfume. (I use online discounters for more mainstream scents.) Their service is simply superb. They also do a sample service, so if you fancy trying one of the fragrances they stock, you can get a vial that will give you a few days’ wear. None of their stuff is cheap, so it’s an approach I recommend.


  1. That sounds wonderful from your description! I have never tried any vintage perfumes - the classic fragrances in their modern incarnations such as Chanel No 5 have never done it for me, but I do like the leathery kind of scents.

    Gosh that website has some wonderful stuff!! P x

    1. Perfumes, like clothes, definitely have an era - my taste leans more towards the 1910s-1939. That said, as with clothes I don't rule out anything from any time. Ormonde Jayne is probably my favourite modern perfume house; their perfumer/owner designs things as she chooses, and I think that it shows that she's not trying to please either the mass market or shareholders.


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