Learning about fragrances: Sillage

During the course of my life I have merely dabbled in the fragrance world. Before last year, I could tell you every single cologne that I had ever owned. As you can imagine it’s a very short list with about 99% of them being received as a gift. After a near lifetime of showing little interest in fragrances, suddenly as I was at the doorstep of my 40s some unknown interest sparked within me. The aftermath has been a journey of knowledge and exploration into the fragrance world. Throughout my journey, the one fragrance term that has consistently stuck out to me a being foreign is sillage.

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The sillage on this is amazing.

According to Oxford’s dictionary, sillage is defined as the degree to which a perfume’s fragrance lingers in one spot when worn. The sillage of fragrance can be easily confused with its projection as both properties are highly desired and speak to the potency of the fragrance itself. Projection refers to how far a fragrance radiates from your body. With sillage the question is not how far away the fragrance travels, but how long does the smell linger in a specific point once you have moved on.

The added value that the right fragrance can bring is a concept that was foreign to me for most of my life. Age has beget maturity which has beget a new-found exploration into the unknown. I wonder what this new fragrance journey will teach me next.


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