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  1. #1
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    When it comes to fragrances I would say, and I will assume there are three absolute requirements or qualities that most of us seek (I do)

    1- Pleasant smell. (to each his own standard)
    2- Sillage. Lets be honest, we wear fragrances for us but also for others. To smell good in a given environment and send certain intended message. Therefore, I will assume most people will appreciate a decent amount of sillage, not very intrusive but yet present and noticeable.
    3- Longevityy. The longer the better , that is what we pay for. Dont we? (at least 6 hours in the worse case )

    Taking into consideration that the above three statements are correct (IMHO they are) , I have a few questions:

    Why is that some niche fragrances that cost a significant amount of money have such a poor sillage and longevity? Seems houses such as Creed, deliberately create their fragrances with poor sillage. I don't get it. I don't think making a particular fragrance to last longer will increase the cost of it in a prohibitive manner.

    Before I tried Yatagan I thought that a strong oriental will always have a very noisy sillage and longevity, I guess I was wrong. Yatagan, on me, has a very potent longevity but a very shy sillage. What I am trying to say is that Houses can play with sillage and longevity to their will. I assume if a fragrance that cost you more than U$ 100 has poor sillage or longevity is simply because they want it that way, which puzzles me.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Id say that some times is not deliberate. It is just how the raw meterials work.
    Can last for too long. I like Kouros, CK Be and Black Aoud... but after they pass the 12 hour mark I get a little tired of them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    It's also worth remembering how many variables we, ourselves. bring to the equation. My girlfriend convinced me to buy the new Gucci by Gucci for Men because she loved it on me, whereas I thought it was just pleasant. I soon discovered that it seemed to disappear after less than an hour. Others, however, have commented on how great I smell 5 or 6 hours after application. It was news to me.
    Of course there are scents, especially many citruses, that don't have good longevity on anyone, but I have become suspicious when people are constantly complaining about longevity. It could have more to do with their skin chemistry or their ability to smell the fragrances on themselves than with the actual perfumes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I completely disagree with the whole sillage/longevity being completely in the perfumers hands. You are simplifying it far too much. You have to realize that everyones skin chemistry is different. When creating perfume I'm sure that, that thought has to be taken in to account. My skin for example soaks up everything. If everything was created to last long and project on my skin it would practically suffocate the majority of the rest of the wearers. Another point you may be missing is that not only is smell subjective so are the other two points you bring up. Different scents are for different times. Some scents are made to be worn in less social situations that don't call for the types of sillage that, say clubbing, calls for. And again bringing up what Irish said, longevity is subjective as well. He states that when a scent crosses the 12 hour mark it tends to get sort of boring. For me I prefer 6 hours as an ideal lasting time so anything from 4 to 8 hours is perfect. You cannot assume that all the perfumer has to do is flip a switch and make it a sillage monster that lasts for 24 hours because not only is it not practial, its not always necessary.

    Darn, fool! You beat me to it. Just a little slow.
    Last edited by mtgprox05; 27th October 2008 at 05:51 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    Why is that some niche fragrances that cost a significant amount of money have such a poor sillage and longevity? Seems houses such as Creed, deliberately create their fragrances with poor sillage. I don't get it. I don't think making a particular fragrance to last longer will increase the cost of it in a prohibitive manner.
    That's easy.

    Your fragrance has poor sillage? Then you'll probably spray more.

    Your fragrance has poor longevity? Then you will probably re-spray more often.

    What is the consequence? The bottle will be empty sooner, and you will buy another overprized bottle of Creed sooner ('coz you can't escape the marketing).
    Last edited by Hubert; 27th October 2008 at 05:53 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I've found with a few designer scents that using their scented counterparts of aftershave balm and shower gel combo works miracles for longevity and sillage. Sometimes the deodorant.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I still have not figured out how to determine if i am getting good or bad sillage from each scent other then asking someone?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Men's scents have traditionally had low sillage and were (and sometimes still are) deliberately designed as such. This is based on the idea that a mans perfume should create an aura rather than send out a strong "attractant" signal. This convention has been broken more often recently but is still evident. Personally, most of the time I want a scent with moderate sillage at most so as not to overwhelm. I would rather someone else smells a little whiff of something truely beautiful from me than a torrent of intense blinding nose-colour.

    In addition to this raw materials are often an influence. Naturals generally have either good sillage for a short time or low sillage for a long time. Synthetics are used in attempts to compensate for both. This may be at cost of quality of smell sometimes.

    I personally have a place for scents with low longevity too - for example I love my Eaux De Colognes as short lived scents - great for a morning lift and I can wear something else later on.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  9. #9

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Quote Originally Posted by denec View Post
    I still have not figured out how to determine if i am getting good or bad sillage from each scent other then asking someone?
    While this isn't fool proof, the way I like to test sillage personally is spraw some on my wrist and wave my wrist/arm about 8 inches to a foot from my nose. This way it allows for you to test the distance from your skin that people can smell you. I actually prefer to test the general smell this way as well because I have learned recently that a scent most definitely smells different from close up as apposed to the way the sillage smells. Considering most people will smell your sillage as opposed to your direct skin, doing this technique allows you to smell what others are smelling.

  10. #10
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Longevity and sillage have to do with body chemistry and the specific weight of molecules: molecules of citrus oils are lighter than molecules of spicy and woody oils. Thus, you can't expect a citrousy fragrance to have remarkable longevity, unless a fixative is applied, which will alter its nature - there is a local brand of eau de cologne with a huge amount of fixatives in it, and believe me, it does not smell good.

    The solution would be to apply these light molecule scents more often through a spraying device.
    Last edited by Pollux; 27th October 2008 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Orthography

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtgprox05 View Post
    While this isn't fool proof, the way I like to test sillage personally is spraw some on my wrist and wave my wrist/arm about 8 inches to a foot from my nose. This way it allows for you to test the distance from your skin that people can smell you. I actually prefer to test the general smell this way as well because I have learned recently that a scent most definitely smells different from close up as apposed to the way the sillage smells. Considering most people will smell your sillage as opposed to your direct skin, doing this technique allows you to smell what others are smelling.

    Thanks I will try that so here is a question.


    It probably better to do that after a drydown correct? If you do that right after a spray that will not be an accurate sillage?


    So lets say after a drydown you smell nothing about 8 inches aways assuming your nose does not have fatique you should spray say 2-3 more times on the same spot? that should increase sillage? or that is just a limitation of the scent then?



    For example with Creed Himalaya?
    Last edited by denec; 27th October 2008 at 07:25 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Quote Originally Posted by denec View Post
    Thanks I will try that so here is a question.


    It probably better to do that after a drydown correct? If you do that right after a spray that will not be an accurate sillage?


    So lets say after a drydown you smell nothing about 8 inches aways assuming your nose does not have fatique you should spray say 2-3 more times on the same spot? that should increase sillage? or that is just a limitation of the scent then?



    For example with Creed Himalaya?

    Well, I mean you can spray there a couple more times, but that is not always doable when your not home. Make sure you dont just smell from afar, wave your arm in front of your nose. This is not testing continuous sillage, this is testing how people who walk past you are smelling you. I find that sillage that is persistent (i.e Joop) is obnoxious and nauseating. You are testing the "good" sillage, the "passer-by" sillage. I bet you are going to be surprised that you actually smell it. And as far as when to do this little "experiment". I do it from first contact till last wiff. That way you can truly appreciate how it progresses.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I want a sillage that is smelled by my wife when she kisses me, a good friend at a hug or a colleague at work who's looking over my shoulder at the computer screen. I want people to think when they are close to me: "hey, this guy smells nice". I can't stand people who fill the whole building with their perfume.

  14. #14
    Basteri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Thanks for all your input I guess I let out of the equation body chemistry which is important.
    Recently I have been very amazed how my skin sucked XS to the point it is none existent after a few minutes. On the other hand I sprayed Yatagan on my hand 12 hours ago and is still there.
    Allure gives me also great miles, 12 hours longevity. Kenzo 2 hours most.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I dont have an issue at all with very strong room filling fragrances , as long as I like them of course

    As a new comer to the world of niche fragrances I was very surprised last week when a batch of samples came through from 2 different houses . Serge Lutens seemed to last for hours and hours on my skin with great sillage , while Parfumerie Generale smelt fantastic seemed very weak and absolutely no sillage at all despite being over £20 more expensive , it wasnt until my nose was touching my skin that I could really smell it

  16. #16

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    i enjoy sillage...i like colleagus to say 'that guy smells good' within a 20cm/close contact radius. In the Uk colgnes are damn expensive, and so if im paying £40 (approx $60) for 100mls, i would hope that the liquids last a decent amount of time, otherwise that fragrance doesnt get my money.

    there have been many fragrances that i have enjoyed but never bought a second bottle because of the poor lastign power

  17. #17

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    true, it depends on the bodycem..

    On me for example, any scent that have musk in it gives me a sillage beond hardcore :-) I didnt realise that it was the musk before, so i remembered laughing at people saying burberry london had poor longlivety and silage, cz even with a half a spray of that stuf, people told me that i had oversprayed.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Longevity greater than about 8 hours annoys me to no end. Sorry fragrance, even if I love you, you aren't welcome to stick around all day and all night.

    Besides, my experience has shown that those with the longest lasting power are usually subpar and overly synthetic concoctions.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Longevity greater than about 8 hours annoys me to no end. Sorry fragrance, even if I love you, you aren't welcome to stick around all day and all night.

    Besides, my experience has shown that those with the longest lasting power are usually subpar and overly synthetic concoctions.
    SoS, I agree word for word with the above statement. Spot on!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I find that longevity is not possible with certain genres of fragrances. To enhance longevity the style of the perfume would be greatly compromised. There are certain types of fragrances that will always require frequent reapplication. Fragrances such as Imperiale by Guerlain for example are worth the small inconvenience of having to reapply IMO.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 28th October 2008 at 06:21 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    It's not just niche scents, in designer scents test out Eau D'Orange Verte, Eau Sauvage and most anything with the word "Eau" in the name (except for Issey) and you will find many very short lived, but not inexpensive scents.

    But you're basic premise is correct, in general, with the exception of Lutens, Villoresi and most MPG, very many of the other other niche brands have very poor longevity and sillage - and Creed definitely aren't the worst of them, as they do have quite a few long lasting ones (and several ultra weak affairs).

    I've railed against short lasting scents many times here, but the general response has usually been that they go for the scent itself rather than for longevity. And to be fair, there are indeed some scents that seem to last longer on others than on me.

    I think the most curious nichey scent I have is Annick Goutal's Sables - longevity wise it is a killer, almost rivalling Joop Homme in how long in the number of days it hangs around. But sillage wise, well it's projection power is very poor on me.
    Renato
    Last edited by Renato; 27th October 2008 at 11:48 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    I read once in a Estee Lauder biography that the grand dame of american cosmetics and fragrances said - men do not like their fragrances strong they like a quick smell of the fragrance in the opening and then for the scent to fade very quickly.

    I never understood that quote. But it sure does sum up a lot of Lauder's new men's scents like pleasures for men that blast you with alcohol and then an hour later the scent is gone.

    and....who are these men? that want to pay at least $50+ for a scent that last only an hour? Do they carry the bottle with them to refresh the scent every hour?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    The idea that you can play with longevity and sillage to your heart's content is just wrong. As many have noted, it comes down to the ingredients used. Also, typically, the more 'supporting notes' used to add depth and naturalness to an otherwise synthetic accord, the more likely longevity is to suffer.

    But the idea that longevity and sillage can be controlled at will is like the idea that a construction crew could build anything an architect could draw up, even if it defied the laws of structural engineering. It would be nice if it were so (as someone who works with only naturals it would be a godsend!), but unfortunately it isn't that easy. Given a decided upon formula, the only way to increase longevity and sillage is to increase the concentration, but this doesn't work forever either. Many have seen how various scents that come in EdT and EdP version, the EdT actually has greater sillage but lesser longevity.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 28th October 2008 at 04:34 AM.
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    and more!
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Sillage/Longevity.. why?

    Although I consider myself a hardcore enthusiast, I'm not hardcore enough to be willing to cart decants or bottles along in order to reapply. I never reapply, so I go for perfumes that last at least six hours. If not, I pass and try something stronger. I agree that great longevity doesn't necessarily equal good sillage, but good sillage in my experience often means above average longevity. And yes, hugely synthetic juices tend to have nuclear sillage.

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