Good insight, Birdboy48 -
A fragrance with a lot of depth and/or breadth in notes will show itself differently upon application when sprayed versus being daubing. It is the effect of the oxidation (or exposure to oxygen) and how the notes "separate" when they are misted onto our skin versus direct transfer to the skin. Over time, the effect is less, but depending on the fragrance...I personally find a different vibe and presentation of the composition.
Two good cases in point - Caron Pour Un Homme. A timeless classic that I adore. I prefer to splash it on or spray at a very
close distance to 'stack' the scent. The way this 3-part composition unveils itself is totally different when sprayed from a bit of distance. The vanilla comes to the fore (a base note) and can dominate the scent. The methods I prefer (splash or very close spray and then lightly rubbing it in allows the lavender to sit on top of the musk and vanilla) - which is the beauty of the scent. This is especially true with current formulation, which has more vanilla and less musk. It can get a bit 'doughy'-smelling with the vanilla being dominant. However, the lavender is there, you just have to give it proper application to let it sit-up and announce itself. The lavender is deeper in Vintage formulation and displays itself beautifully. The herbal (green/sharp) tonality of the lavender connects with the musk while the floral quality finds a connection to the vanilla. A soliflore of lavender - but only if applied by this method. Once you spray from a distance, the composition separates too much and one does not achieve the brilliance and depth in the scent (especially true with current). I still apply Vintage closely to get the best desired effect, but a bit of distance doesn't reveal the same level of vanilla (and, therefore, no 'doughy'-vibe). A brilliant composition of scent, but for me, a textbook case of "how" one applies it is essential to your understanding and perspective of it.
2nd case in point is actually opposite - Vintage Jacques Bogart Pour Homme Witness. I got a couple of 1.6oz splash bottles a while back. There is a lot going on in this fragrance. I initially applied by splash and the notes were rather muddled. It still dried down rather nicely, but the top and heart notes were not able to 'breathe'. I decanted into a nice glass atomizer and now only apply the scent by spray. The top notes are vibrant and the heart notes separate. Truly a very intricate composition that now is able to display itself...the key, being note separation. Still the great dry down.
So, opposite of what the desired effect is with Caron Pour Un Homme (for me), where focusing the scent provides the desired 'effect' or presentation.
It is not about "more" necessarily...but "how" the scent is able to separate. Complexity, richness and depth of a composition do have something to do with it, as well as how far away one should spray.
Saturated, close-in spraying of Vintage Kouros smells and wears different than sprayed from a bit of distance (6"-12" away provides a different wearing). Same composition, obviously, but how it interacts with one's body chemistry in a daub "blob" or close-in spray is actually rather different.
Personally, if I want to project and get a very rich/strong and full wearing but also a complete olfactory experience that is not too overbearing - a couple close-in shots to the neck and back of my hands, with a couple from a bit of distance to my neck and chest is my preferred way to wear it...brilliant, actually.
Originally Posted by Birdboy48
As an Ex-chemistry major with an interest in physics, I can't see a convincing reason why there would be any difference if both methods ended up spreading the same
amount of fluid over the same
total surface area.
The only difference I can possibly see is if somehow there was some kind of oxidation effect that took place during the brief time that the tiny spray droplets were passing through the air on their way to the skin, and at this point in time, I've yet to hear anyone contend that this effect forms the basis of the apparently perceived differences.
If you were to ask me, I could probably go with the idea that a sprayer does indeed tend to pump out more overall juice than one gets when they daub...particularly when it comes to those small wand samples.