There’s no mistaking En Avion as anything other than a Caron. Everything comes from a well-established rulebook – flip to page ten for the stinging clove topnote of Poivre, the smoky, medicinal amber tilting its cap to leather, well, that’s Tabac Blond, and the piles of soft, mossy, licorice-and-rose-scented face power are lifted straight out of the drydown of Nuit de Noel.
But I have a sneaking fondness for En Avion above and beyond these other, possibly better regarded perfumes. It could be because that first big whoosh of scent mixes the ridiculous with the sublime – expensive jasmine mingling with the tack of sun-warmed pleather, an opulent amber against the spicy shaving soap of opoponax, or a stick of clove-scented stick of rock or bubblegum (vaguely Brighton Beach-ish) dropped into an exquisitely ornate pot of pink face powder, the kind that the sales assistants retrieve wordlessly from beneath the counter the minute they catch sight of your American Express Centurion.
Mostly, though, I love that it has this opaque texture halfway between smoke and cream, and no underlying structure to speak of. En Avion gives you all its glory upfront and then does a slow, graceful fade out that simply lowers the saturation level with each passing minute. Wearing it reminds me of being in one of those glider planes that drift so smoothly from one altitude to the next that you are unaware of your own descent until you suddenly see the ground. In the end, all that remains is a pouf of spicy powder from a big red tin of Imperial Leather talc, which makes me wonder if that’s all it ever was to begin with.
Source of sample: I bought a 15ml bottle of En Avion extrait from Parfumerie du Soleil d’Or in Lille in late 2015. I should have bought more. It is half gone and doesn’t seem to be available to buy anymore.
Cover Image: My own photo. Please kindly do not reprint or reuse without my permission.