What Is Sillage?

perfume sillage

What have boats, snails and perfumes got in common? They all leave a trail behind. A perfume trail is called sillage (pronounced see-yazh) and comes from the French word for “wake”. When a fragrance diffuses well around the wearer, it means it has strong sillage. On the contrary, a fragrance with minimal sillage is said to “stay close to the skin”.

But don’t confuse sillage with the intensity of the composition. While rich fragrances, such as my beloved L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville A L’Aube or Christian Dior Poison, tend to have a strong sillage, it is possible for light and delicate notes, such as fresh floral ones, to project well too.

Besides, just because a fragrance has minimal sillage, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. There are days when you just want to wear an intimate scent that stays very close to the skin, such as Prada Infusion d’Iris or Givenchy Dahlia Noir Eau De Toilette. Plus, these scents can easily be worn on most occasions, including at the office, as they won’t really bother those around you.

Do you prefer scents with strong or minimal sillage? Or, like me, do you like to alternate between them depending on your mood and the occasion?

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Comments

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Icaria, I love Poison, but I agree, it was everywhere for a while. It all got a bit too much, didn’t it? It’s definitely a scent to wear in moderation. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, you’re welcome. I like perfumes with strong sillage, but I don’t think they are very appropriate for confined spaces where people are very close together because there’s always the risk you’re gonna bother someone who’s allergic or sensitive to them. They should be used with caution.

  1. Marianthi says

    Late reply, but thank you for saving me from tons of humiliation! For whatever reason, I thought it meant how long it keeps its smell.

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