The Fragrance Trail – How to find your Perfect Perfume

Most people do not have a love for fragrances but use perfumes that match their personality and also their environment and surrounding. The memory of perfumes can be very strong even if the memory dates back to childhood or teenage years. Some smells are so much ingrained in our minds that when we smell it in a perfume it triggers a memory of a bygone era. People might forget the perfume they received from boyfriends in college, they might even forget the boyfriends but the memory of the smell remains. Some perfumes remind people of a childhood fragrance of probable to flowers on their grandparent’s farm and by fragrances that match those aromas. Some fragrances remind people of the advent of spring or monsoon and then people change with time and also start liking new fragrances.

The Fragrance Trail

The fragrance trail or its sillage is an aspect of perfumery that is very important in the industry. The fragrance trail is not about using so much perfume that it converts a theatre into a gas chamber or it is intrusive and overwhelming to people around. The fragrance trail is about a subtle note of fragrance that is present in the air. It is similar to the disturbance in the water left by a boat that has just passed or a vapor trail that is left behind by an airplane. The fragrance trail is a subtle note of perfume left behind for a few seconds. It does not last very long and as people start fixating on it, it simply disappears. The sillage of scent is more of an after effect or aura left behind of scent. It is not overwhelming but it is distinctive and can be felt by people that are around the perfume.



The fragrance trail leaves a memory in the mind of people. For example, if an aunt wears Chanel No. 5 every time, her memory is attached to the fragrance. If then the Chanel No. 5 fragrance is present in the air then it reminds us of that aunt. Perfumes and fragrances are long-lasting and some ingredients make it particularly tenacious. The strong notes of patchouli, vanilla, musk, amber, fruits, and flowers leave a long-lasting aroma in its wake. These are bold and tenacious and long-lasting fragrances which help in creating a distinct memory of the perfume.

Chemistry of Perfumes

Perfume making is an art as well as science. It involves a range of different natural ingredients, alcohols, essential oils, chemicals, and base fragrances. Some fragrances like lemon and bergamot evaporate quickly and are easily recognizable while others like chypre notes of musk and amber are more long-lasting and difficult to smell at once. Usually, perfumes are made using a combination of these ingredients.

Levels of Sillage

The level of sillage is different for every perfume. Some perfumes can be instantly recognized as a person passes by while others can only be recognized by putting it on the wrist and taking a whiff of the wrist. Some scents are so powerful that if a small spritz of the scent is used indoors, an hour later the sillage effect of the perfume remains. Dior Poison and YSL Opium have such an intense sillage effect. Parfums de peau or skin scents have the exact opposite sillage effect and are barely noticeable to other people. The ideal sillage for perfumers is the middle range sillage. The fragrance trail should be noticeable but not over the top. It depends on the perfume but also depends on how the perfume is worn, whether the skin is moisturized and also whether the perfume is applied in a dispersed fashion or a more concentrated fashion.


How to Understand the Level of Sillage

It is very difficult to personally understand our fragrance trail left in the wake. Using it in front of loved ones and asking them about their reaction to the perfume is a great way to ascertain sillage. Some people just simply raise their hand so that other people get a whiff of their underarms to determine the level of sillage. Spraying the fragrance in a room and then coming ten minutes later into the room to determine whether the aroma remains is also a good idea.
The above-mentioned details of the fragrance trail are important for people looking to buy new perfumes and are concerned about the fragrance trail or sillage of the perfume left behind.


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