Guerlain Vol de Nuit Perfumed Shimmer Powder Review


I am fairly conservative in my makeup preferences, having built a small, but complete collection of favorite products. However, as the holiday makeup collections begin to appear in stores, I always get tempted by all of the new iridescent eye shadows, lipsticks in hues ranging from rubies to tourmalines and various sparkling powders. The latter is something I rarely can resist, and when I first heard that Guerlain’s holiday 2011 collection called Belle de Nuit was inspired by the dusky beauty of Vol de Nuit, I was intrigued. Guerlain usually releases beautiful sparkling powders around the holidays, so I hoped that a scented body powder would be available this year. Indeed, Vol de Nuit Perfumed Shimmer Powder for Face & Body is part of the new collection, and it is my latest sparkling acquisition.

The powder itself is tinted a silvery shade closer to mother of pearl than polished metal. It is a complex color, with peach and blue creating an ethereal effect. Although Guerlain suggests using the powder for both face and body, I find that it is too cool for my warm complexion. However, it looks beautiful sprayed lightly on the shoulders and chest. The sparkling particles are quite fine, so the impression is opalescent and soft, rather than disco ball glitzy. It looks especially beautiful in the light, and I have been complimented on the flawless look of my skin several times whenever I used the powder.

Now, to say that the scent of the powder is related to Vol de Nuit would be a stretch. If so, then the resemblance is very minor in the sweet oriental notes. Overall, the fragrance is very light and sheer, and at first I was disappointed that the scent turned out to be quite weak. However, I loved the angel dust look that the powder created so much that I did not hesitate to splurge. On the plus side, the fragrance does not compete with whatever perfume I choose to wear.

Guerlain Vol de Nuit Perfumed Shimmer Powder for Face & Body is available in the beginning of October at select locations of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman. It costs $87 (17.5g bottle.)



  • Cristine: I sampled this recently at Neiman Marcus and thought the bottle was as beautiful as the powder. At last, I can own a bulb atomizer without the fear of evaporation! November 10, 2011 at 5:48am Reply

  • Suzanna: Glad you got this one, V. I skipped it (lifestyle non-necessity) and just stayed with the Nuit d’Amour lippie. November 10, 2011 at 8:04am Reply

  • Tracy: now I know why you write this…to buy all your lovely choices! November 10, 2011 at 9:39am Reply

  • Natalie: As soon as I heard about this product, I put my name on the waiting list. It was a huge splurge but worth the sparkle in the night…I’m excited to use it for my wedding reception. And is it vain that I really want a photo of this bottle with my rings in my album? It’s just so gorgeous…. November 10, 2011 at 9:53am Reply

  • sweetlife: I have fallen hard (though late) for the automatique lipsticks, so I think I will save my pennies for those and stick with the Meteorites. But they do know how to make things pretty over there at Guerlain, don’t they? November 10, 2011 at 10:40am Reply

  • Ari: Thank you for the review! I have been considering this. The bottle is so beautiful, but as you said, the scent is very weak and is not actually Vol de Nuit! November 10, 2011 at 9:19am Reply

  • Vanessa: Aha, I have just seen this in a Swiss department store and assumed it was sparkling perfume, like that edition of DKNY Gold way back when. Should have investigated a bit further! In my naivety, I would assume that if it doesn’t go on your nose and chin, it isn’t powder.

    : – ) November 10, 2011 at 9:25am Reply

  • Victoria: The bottle is gorgeous! I also have another shimmer powder from Guerlain (tinted gold,) which I bought about 4-5 years ago, and the design of the new bottle is much better. The powder tended to spill out of the old bottle, and my makeup bag was always full of sparkles. November 10, 2011 at 9:33am Reply

  • Victoria: It is a lifestyle non-necessity for me either, but I love the sparkle too much to resist. Plus, I know that it will last me for years. November 10, 2011 at 9:34am Reply

  • Victoria: The scent is very light, and it honestly could be anything–it is hardly obvious, unless you spray paint yourself with the powder (not likely!) 🙂 November 10, 2011 at 9:36am Reply

  • Victoria: Such doctored perfumes are never as good as the originals, as the formula would have to be adjusted.

    Honestly, I cannot imagine spraying my face with this powder, because it is far too sparkling for the look I generally like (and the idea of a scented face product does not appeal to me.) Maybe, if one were is to put a tiny bit on a brush and then brush the powder across the lid or on top of cheekbones for a highlighting effect, it could work. November 10, 2011 at 9:40am Reply

  • Victoria: Just to share my impressions. It doesn’t make any difference whatsoever to me, if someone buys anything I write about or not. November 10, 2011 at 9:47am Reply

  • Victoria: Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    This makes perfect sense to me! My wedding photographer was disappointed that I did not have any pretty perfume bottles to photograph with my rings (I traveled with my handmade decants!) And this bottle in particular would be gorgeous in photos. The color is so rich. November 10, 2011 at 10:13am Reply

  • Victoria: The presentation is beautiful. I also fell in love with those lipsticks, although Chanel’s Rouge Allure have been competing for my attention. Now, they have a new Matte line, which I cannot wait to try. And I just spotted on the website an automatic liquid eyeliner, which I feel is a must for my 50s look. So, there goes my resolve not to buy more makeup. 🙂 November 10, 2011 at 3:22pm Reply

  • k-amber: This review is very helpful. I have been on the fence for a while. That pretty bottle ! Rouge Allure Velvet have beautiful colors, bright red and pink, I have just bought pink one, L’elegante.

    Kaori November 10, 2011 at 9:05pm Reply

  • Victoria: Kaori, please tell me more about these lipsticks. Do they wear well? How is the texture? I was worried that they might be drying.
    I would love a deep red shade. They all look so beautiful. November 10, 2011 at 9:52pm Reply

  • k-amber: I hear that some colors in the States are not available here, according to the SA. I checked 34, 35(this is the one I have). The texture is very smooth and feels like "ground glass". This is matte, might be dry side but I think it is acceptable with a little lip balm. Try them!
    Kaori November 11, 2011 at 2:31am Reply

  • Nikki: Regarding the new matte velvet Chanel lipsticks, they are lovely and very smooth. The sensuelle is a plum red, really nice. However, I just splurged on the Serge Lutens’ lipsticks and they are beyond beautiful, colors are highly pigmented and they feel like nothing on the lips…totally bare but impart the most amazing colors. I love all of the colors, mise a mort is a bright red, roman red is blueish red, pourpre maure is dark fuchsia, garden pink is a perfect pink in my opinion. Much better than Chanel! Regarding Guerlain, of course, Guerlain makes the prettiest make up and their meteorite line is stellar! November 11, 2011 at 9:39am Reply

  • Erin T: You know, I think it is quite clever of them to use the perfume as part of the makeup marketing. I never had much interest in the Guerlain makeup before: the packaging was beautiful, but I was unimpressed with the texture of the lipsticks, glosses, blushes, etc. But my eye was caught by the names of the Rouge Automatiques, and of course, they have turned out to be lovely products in use as well. I wear Vol de Nuit (brown-red) and Chamade (hot pink) – the one thing is that the colors don’t seem to match the inspiration. November 11, 2011 at 10:38am Reply

  • Nikki: yes, and there is Shalimar as Guerlain Automatique, a bright fuchsia, very clever indeed to name lipsticks after perfumes. November 11, 2011 at 11:52am Reply

  • Dain: It may not feel so topical on your carefully edited blog, but I’d love to hear what those favorites are, Victoria. November 11, 2011 at 7:07am Reply

  • sunnlitt: The words that really caught my eye in your article were—
    “a small, but complete collection of favorite products”.
    I know that this is a Perfume Blog, but I would LOVE to know more about your favorites.
    I seem to have ended up with a chaotic mess of products that aren’t quite right!! I so admire women have found their favorite few.
    Thanks. November 11, 2011 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Victoria: Sounds beautiful! I will definitely check them out. Thank you, Kaori. November 11, 2011 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: Dain, I would be glad to share! It would also be a fun diversion from perfume. November 11, 2011 at 2:59pm Reply

  • Victoria: You are the ultimate enabler!! Of course, now I want to try them all. November 11, 2011 at 3:00pm Reply

  • Victoria: I completely agree. I used the powder and some eye shadows from Guerlain before, but lately I have been exploring their line more and more. I bought Habit Rouge pretty much for the name alone, but the color turned out to be beautiful too. November 11, 2011 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Victoria: Bright fuchsia is not something that flatters me, but I loved that shade. So dramatic! November 11, 2011 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Victoria: I will do a post on my favorites, it would be fun. Of course, I try and explore new things, and I am easily tempted, but I do not buy nearly as much makeup as I used to. November 11, 2011 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Nick: I love the Vol de Nuit bottle recoloured. Beautiful.

    On the topic of lipsticks, I used to give a good friend Kiss Kiss lipsticks in a shade called Sexy Tango. It looked magnificent on her, a red with just the right touch of orange, and the slightest hint of coral.
    She would never in a million years wear a coral lipstick, but this referenced it so subtly. Everyone who saw her went and bought the colour. Of course, it was discontinued! November 12, 2011 at 2:57am Reply

  • Nick: Dear Victoria,

    Have you tried the Frederic Malle candles? November 12, 2011 at 3:02am Reply

  • Blue Zinnia: Holy Gods, $87 for a little bottle of powder whose scent isn’t really even Vol de Nuit? (sigh) I’m coming to the conclusion that I don’t belong here. $87 is three to four weeks’ groceries for someone like me. Avon’s $10-ish lower range is a splurge that has to be planned a couple of months ahead; their $20-33 upper range (some of which is excellent) is out of the question. Anything first-rate I own was a gift, generally long ago, or a freak find at a thrift store.

    Which means I have scant little to talk about here. I greatly enjoy the various series on the history and marketing of fragrance, and will keep reading them; but as for posting, I think I’m going back to Basenotes, where there’s room set aside for those who aren’t rich to talk about the cheap stuff. It’s hidden away for shame, but it’s there. 🙂 November 12, 2011 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Nikki: I have tried 2 of the Frederic Malle candles, one is the Lily one which is amazing like a bunch of white Casablanca lilies and my mother got Russian Nights which was created by Sophia Grossman I think. The candles are in a bright orange red handblown glass container, the inside is white though and that makes the candle shine ever brighter and they can be re-used with different candles or tealights inside. If I could, I would buy one for every room of the house, they are that special. November 12, 2011 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Nikki: actually on the lips it is much softer pink… November 12, 2011 at 7:45pm Reply

  • Nikki: That would be great. I have had a lot of different make-up and I still like Revlon a lot, both for price and their moondrops lipsticks were excellent as are some classic colors, i.e. cherries in the snow, perfect blueish red. I also like that Revlon doesn’t test on animals as L’Oreal does. I thought Chanel lipsticks were the best but I don’t think so anymore. I would rather have one Serge Lutens than 6 Chanel ones…and ditto for Guerlain, their packaging and the scent of their products is much superior to Chanel. I don’t like Mac, I think it is not decorative enough, and too simple the packaging, and I have had enough of everything black. Regarding Serge Lutens, the orange red is gorgeous and would suit you well Victoria…I don’t remember the number/name now, maybe you can try it at Barney’s? November 12, 2011 at 8:08pm Reply

  • Nikki: Nick, I actually have 2 unused testers of the Guerlain Sexy Tango lipsticks, full size! Let me know if your friend is interested. November 12, 2011 at 8:10pm Reply

  • Nikki: Victoria, the Serge Lutens number 7 lipstick in Votre Sienne is the one I liked a lot. Beautiful color! November 12, 2011 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Madelyn E: Thank you Victoria, for highlighting this most “beautiful ” Guerlain accessory . I look forward to reading your thought on perfumes.. So this is an welcome bonus . I would love to know your “personal ” favorite beauty products .
    I consider Guerlain cosmetics among thge finest in quality . Just to look at this Vol De Nuit powder is uplifting,
    I look forward to trying it . As a fan and user of iridescent highlighter powders, this one seems quite unique . November 13, 2011 at 5:09am Reply

  • Nick: Thanks Nikki,

    I will find out if she is out of Sexy Tango! Thanks for your comments on the candles. Was interested to get a testimonial from someone who had tried them. They sound beautiful. November 13, 2011 at 7:48am Reply

  • Victoria: Nikki, thank you, I will definitely check it out! I have not tried any of SL lipsticks yet, so something new to explore. November 13, 2011 at 2:00pm Reply

  • Victoria: Hmmm, sounds nice! The color in the tube scared me. 🙂 November 13, 2011 at 2:00pm Reply

  • Victoria: Nick, I’ve smelled all of them and I liked the lily one the most. Russian Nights is a good candle if you like spicy scents. All of his candles are very high quality, and the packaging is great. Have you tried Mariage Freres candles or Cire Trudon? I admit that if I would be in a market for a high-end candle, I would rather go for something from those two houses. November 13, 2011 at 2:03pm Reply

  • Victoria: In some countries, $10 will feed a family for 3 to 4 months. It is all relative. And there is nothing wrong with treating oneself, whether by spending $1 or $100. As for discussions of cheap things, there are those here, but the sad thing about perfume today is that even the mass market brands, are increasing their prices further and further. The low-end Coty line, for instance, used to smell good, now it is of such poor quality that instead of spending $10 on it, I would rather wear nothing. November 13, 2011 at 2:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: They had another shade, tinted gold, but the Vol de Nuit shade is so pretty. I love that mother-of-pearl effect. I wore it last night with a very simple outfit–black V-neck sweater and jeans and it made me feel so glamorous. November 13, 2011 at 2:36pm Reply

  • Blue Zinnia: Oh no, please–I don’t think (and didn’t say!) there’s anything wrong with treating yourself; if you can, by all means go for it. I’m just telling you why I and those in my bracket tend to blanch at these prices, and that personally, my scent wardrobe being what it is, I’m finding it hard to find anything much left to contribute to the discussion. I will say, though, that I like a lot of scents I can afford; if it smells pleasant and has even a little bit of distinctiveness about it, I’ll wear it. I’m wearing good old ten-buck-an-ounce Imari today, bought on sale for seven bucks, and enjoying it very much. November 14, 2011 at 3:14pm Reply

  • Victoria: There are threads here on inexpensive, good-quality perfumes:
    Some are also in “Perfume Discussions.”

    A friend of mine wears Imari, and it smells very good on her. November 14, 2011 at 3:33pm Reply

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