Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parfums Monsillage- Aviation Club

Perfumer Isabelle Michaud is a Canadian artist who after starting her career in soap-making decided to take things a step further and trained at the ISIPCA school in Versailles, France. Returning to her native Quebec, Michaud settled in Montreal and started her own perfumery business, Monsillage, in 2009. The collection today includes four perfumes in EDT concentration that are inconveniently only sold online or in person either in Quebec or in Paris.

Jane of Daly Beauty sent me a link to an article about Monsillage perfumes the weekend I was in Montreal. I owe her one, for sure, as I am now a co-owner of an Aviation Club bottle, the more masculine of the four, at least according to the SA at Jamais Assez (a fashionable housewares store on 5155 Boulevard Saint-Laurent). The display at the store is quite nice, as you get to experience at least part of the perfume's dry-down on the scented black feathers while testing the more immediate effect on the paper strips and on skin.

It was the scent of Aviation Club on the feather that won me over before I even smelled the top notes or heard any other details. Two words: leather and tobacco. I was a goner. The opening notes are a modern take on a green theme. Bittersweet and mixed with black coffee, tasting like an early gray morning in the beginning of spring. You reluctantly get up, get ready, pack an overnight bag, grab an old and weary leather jacket and glare at the rainy city through the big droplets on the window at the backseat of the cab.

A quick cup of espresso, you skip the pastry but the sweet smell lingers in the air behind you, as is a whiff of smoke and wood polish. The sliding doors of the airport are as cold and gray as the sky, but you feel a little better now, warmer and you almost smile as you catch a whiff of a light sweet and gentle scent- is it something that lingered in your scarf or was it the pretty woman in the beautifully tailored coat that just passed you by?

Aviation Club takes you on an adventure and tells a story. Tobacco and leather notes are tactile and rich, full of life and experience. I know some women might find the green streak that is woven throughout the top and heart of the perfume too masculine or barbershopy. My skin makes it considerably sweeter, so I don't actually get the aftershave vibe, and neither do I smell it on the Blond (who insists Aviation Club smells better on him. As if). It dries down into a beautiful and urbane distressed brown leather that lasts and holds its own quietly for 12-14 hours.

Aviation Club ($95 CAD, 1.7oz EDT) is available from monsillage.com (payment accepted through PayPal) and in select locations as listed on the website.

Photo of Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti from myvintagevogue.com.


  1. Wow... this sounds quite amazing. I like the name of the brand, too.

  2. You've surely made me want to try it!

  3. Haven't been to Montreal in ages, but I've been hearing for awhile about the ex-Isipca student who'd settled there, and recently a Quebecer friend left a sample behind. If the cat hasn't batted it out of view, I may be able to dig it up!

  4. I'll be in Montreal this summer -- any suggestions for perfume stores, etc.?

  5. Carrie, I also liked the name. And the packaging is also adorable. The bottle has black birds printed on it and a little black feather attached.

  6. Alice, I hope you get a chance soon.

  7. D., dig it up and let me know what you think. I'm always saving amples and other items from furry little paws. The youngest kittens are still at that stage where everything I own is a cat toy.

  8. Anon, thanks for reminding me to write a little more about shopping in Montreal. I have some stuff to share, though not so much about perfume. It really depends on where you're from. For me, there wasn't that much to smell that I can't find in the NYC metro area. But if you don't have easy access to top department stores, Montreal has both Ogilvy and Holt Renfew in the same block, and combined they have a nice selection of luxury perfume and cosmetics.

  9. That sounds DIVINE. And I love the picture of Sophia Loren. I wish women today would take a page out of her book. She looks amazing.


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