Perfumes 101- Longevity VS Sillage VS Projection


Perfume jargon's might be a bit complex for an amateur or simply put a lay man. It’s however rather imperative to know what certain perfumes can render and perform to make sure you make the most of a particular type of perfumes.

People who buy perfumes are usually concerned about two very important things:

  • How they Smell
  • How good do these perfumes perform

Smell of a perfume is usually what suits each one personal preference and they could be pleasing or displeasing to the others. How good a perfume performs is usually content to how long does it last, can people smell it and from how far can the scent be noticed amongst others.

While buying a perfume a lot of common perfume jargon's are thrown at people some which may confuse the buyer at times and some that might be overlooked. It’s always essential to know what your perfume can do and what its true potential is.

Whilst buying a perfume, there usually pertains a small confusion regarding the Longevity, Sillage and Projection of a perfume. You can follow the simple deconstruction of these perfume terms and educate yourself to make a rather informed choice while choosing perfume for you.

Longevity: Longevity of a perfume is what is also called the lifetime of the perfume. This means how long a perfume lasts on the skin. This is from when the top notes open and eventually journey through the middle notes to melt into the base notes. The longevity of the perfume is based on the time one can still get a whiff of the perfume from their skin. Longevity of a perfume can depend on a variety of elements like:

  • Skin Chemistry: Everyone’s skins reception of perfumes is different and how they react to your skin is also very individualistic. For example perfumes are usually more lasting on oilier skins as compared to dry skin types.
  • Weak Perception of Smells: Tired olfactory senses can also be a reason for you to turn smell blind of the perfume you wear. However, just because your nose cannot detect the redolence does not mean that the people around you cannot smell it either that however depends on the projection and sillage of the perfume you wear.
  • Anointing the right points: It’s not about the amount of perfume you have sprayed on yourself but the places you have smeared the perfume oils on that really help in the perfume last for longer. The places that are advised to anoint the perfume include the   wrists, under your knees, behind your earlobes and at the base of your neck.

Sillage: Pronounced ‘See- Yahaaj’ stands for the trail your perfume leaves behind. Every living being leaves behind a sillage as they roam around. It’s the unique smell that is individualistic to you. Sniffer dogs usually follow the sillage of a human body’s unique scent to track them. In the perfume world the implications are the same. It’s the smell that lingers around you when you walk around. It’s the smell trail that you leave behind. It’s that whiff you detect in the air after someone passes by wearing a perfume.

Projection: Sillage and Projection are often terms that are confused for the other. However the difference between them is that while sillage is what trail your perfume leaves behind, projection is the length your perfume radiates to. Projection is how far a perfume pushes out into the air. Projection changes over the longevity of the perfume. The projection is very loud at the opening of the perfume and then dies down during the lifespan of the perfume.

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