My grandmother wore Shalimar, perhaps the most famous Guerlain perfume. The first notes of Vol de Nuit are of my grandmother, and beneath that, a scent that is evocative of spaces and surfaces from a lost era. Too bad that grandmother so often recalls a woman whose femininity has become a burden or joke (pink bedroom slippers, doilies). My grandmother smelled like the time when deep-pile carpet was luxury and Lucite was the future. She smelled like the high polish of wood waxed regularly. So does Vol de nuit, and then it lifts right off.
— Julia Berick examines four perfumes inspired by novels. Read more at The Scent of a Novel at The Paris Review. Hat tip to Kevin!