Increasing The Sillage Of Your Perfume: 4 Tested Tips

Sillage. Many fragrance-goers love their signature scents and the sillage that is left behind when they wear them. It’s not uncommon to find someone looking to increase the sillage of their favorite fragrance. How can you increase the sillage of your perfume, and what is sillage anyway? 

To increase the sillage of your perfume, spritz your pulse points in addition to an item of clothing such as a wool scarf or a leather bracelet or belt with your fragrance of choice. You can also opt for a perfume or cologne with a lower alcohol ratio or one that utilizes stronger base notes such as oud or vanilla. 

If you are looking to increase the sillage of your perfume but aren’t sure how then keep reading. We’ll go over simple ways you can increase the sillage of your perfume, as well as what affects a scent’s sillage and what high-sillage fragrances to reach for. 

How Can You Increase The Sillage Of Your Perfume?

Spray the perfume at your pulse points, the warm points of your body. Then, gather some clothing items, such as a wool scarf or a leather strap bracelet, and spray those items with your desired scent. Clothes are better at carrying the scent while pulse points are better at projecting the scent. You may also want to reach for perfumes that have a lower alcohol content.

Before we go over how you can increase the sillage of your perfume, let’s take a look at what exactly sillage is and how that differs from your scent’s lasting power. 

What Is Sillage?

Sillage refers to how far a scent can be smelled. It’s how a perfume diffuses behind an individual as they move. 

The word ‘sillage’ comes from the French word for “wake” and is essentially the scent trail that is left in the air when a person leaves a room. Think of sillage as a pattern of waves in the ocean that follow a boat. If you’ve ever heard someone comment (or perhaps commented or thought to yourself!), “Whoa, who was that?” 

Many people love to don a signature scent for this reason. It can remind people of the wearer even when the wearer is not present. 

However, a fragrance does not have to be considered ‘heavy’ (denser and stronger-smelling) to have high sillage. Scents like Dior Eau Sauvage and Dior Poison have excellent sillage yet are fairly light (formulated with notes that are not so dense).

And as a quick tip, remember that sillage is a French word, so it’s pronounced “see-Yahzh.”

How Is Sillage Different From A Perfumes Lasting Power?

The sillage is how far a perfume can be detected, so it’s considered to be the scent trail. The lasting power simply indicates how long a perfume will last. The two are correlated, but they are not the same. 

A fragrance could have a long scent trail that evaporates quickly (due to being made with highly volatile ingredients), such as colognes bottled with bright citrus notes. 

Or, a fragrance could simultaneously have long-lasting yet short-reaching power that remains close to you. Rich and deep notes such as woods, ambers, and vanilla tend to create a strong aroma, but this does not mean they have a high sillage. 

Steps To Increase The Sillage Of Your Perfume

There are different ways you can easily increase the sillage of your perfume or cologne. 

To heighten your fragrance’s sillage, try these methods below:

Spray Your Perfume On Strategic Points

This might be the most obvious tip, but spraying your perfume on the right points is the most important for an increased sillage. You ideally want to spray your pulse points, which are warm points on your body with a lot of blood flow.

Places such as your neck, behind your ears, or on your wrists are great places to apply. The reason for this is that these warm points will heat up the perfume, activating it and making it come across stronger. This, in turn, results in an increased sillage.

Choose A Perfume That Has A Lower Alcohol Content

Alcohol in a fragrance helps a scent diffuse, but ultimately, it’s the fragrance oils that give off the scent. If a perfume has a lower alcohol content, that means there are more fragrance oils, which means it has a stronger sillage You can find the percentage of alcohol in a fragrance by looking at the box it comes in or by doing a quick search on the internet. 

  • Eau de parfum: up to 80% alcohol
  • Eau de toilette: up to 85% alcohol
  • Eau de cologne: up to 95% alcohol 

The higher the alcohol content, the lighter the fragrance is.  Avoid fragrance oils if you are looking to increase sillage. They have low alcohol to fragrance oil ratio, which equates to lower sillage. 

If you are looking to be subtle with your scent, then fragrance oils are the way to go. Since you want to heighten your fragrance’s sillage, steer clear of them as the smell doesn’t travel far (they are, however, very long-lasting). 

Splash Your Scent

Instead of the typical fragrance, you spritz on with a spray button, choose a splash scent instead. A fragrance in the form of a ‘splash’ comes bottled without an atomizer – or spray mechanism – so you can choose to pour the liquid into your palm or dab it. This can slightly increase the sillage. 

Go For Fragrances That Utilize Stronger Notes

Not every scent will smell and project the same. Citruses, for example, are much lighter and will evaporate more quickly than warm and rich notes such as oud or vanilla. These richer notes will not only last longer, but they will also project more and have a better sillage.

In addition, you can go for perfumes that use synthetic notes such as hedione or ambroxan. These are notes specifically created to be used in perfume. They mimic natural fragrance notes but are made in a lab. Of course, they are also made to last longer than their natural counterparts.

What Affects The Sillage Of Perfume?

The sillage of a perfume is affected by the alcohol content and scent notes. 

Eau de toilettes have a higher concentration of alcohol, so they are lighter fragrances than eau de parfums. With the lower concentration comes a more subtle scent. This, in turn, leads to a subtler sillage as well.

Fragrance oils do not have a high alcohol content, so they are a good option for increasing your scent trail. These oils contain less alcohol than most colognes and perfumes, and less alcohol means a somewhat stronger sillage. Alcohol does help to diffuse the scent, which also adds to a stronger sillage, though.

The notes in a perfume can also affect its sillage. Some notes are more volatile than others (meaning they are smelled first and fade fastest), so they will not leave a long scent trail (or as long-lasting) as non-volatile fragrance notes.

Fresh and fruity top notes like citrus and ginger are quite volatile. They smell charming at first on the wearer but then evaporate quickly. Notes that tend to last longer and promote greater sillage are woodsy, spicy notes. Don’t forget about hedione and ambroxan either!

How To Test Your Scent Trail

It’s easy to test the sillage of your perfume or cologne.  

  1. Spray it once in a clean room (that’s odorless as much as possible, though an empty space is best), and shut the door and windows. 
  2. Wait for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Open the door and breath in deeply.
  4. Notice if you can smell your fragrance or not. If yes, then your scent has a good sillage. If not, then see the suggestions above.

Jasper Pieterse

Hi, my name is Jasper and I've been a long time fragrance fan. Ever since 2014, I started to get a huge interest in fragrances and I've had my nose on countless of different fragrances. I'm excited to share my experiences!

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