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  1. #1
    Thalia's Avatar
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    Question How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    I've only been getting seriously into perfume for about a year, and now I really love it and have been trying everything I can get my hands on. I like to wear something every day, and most days, that means to work.

    I'd like my fragrance to be pleasantly detectable to other people nearby, but not overwhelming -- but how do I know? I was wearing L'Heure Bleue last week and I could smell it quite strongly myself, but my coworker had to practically put her nose on my wrist to tell it was there at all. Most of my frags are in mini splash bottles or sample vials, and I know I probably get less sillage applying like than than from a spray. On the other hand, when I wear something like Coco Mademoiselle (which I do have in an atomizer), I'm afraid I'm choking everyone in my vicinity.

    My husband has a ridiculously acute sense of smell, and no matter what I apply he can smell me from across the room -- so he's not really much help.

    Oh, and while we're at it -- how do you pronounce "sillage" anyway?
    Last edited by Thalia; 27th April 2010 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2
    *bloomy*'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thalia View Post

    Oh, and while we're at it -- how do you pronounce "sillage" anyway?
    Pronounce the *i* like a long E as in feet and the double ells like a Y as in Yacht, the a is pronounced like a short *o* as in father and the *g* is soft like a *j* as in gendarme...sorry, I can't think of any English words where we use that sound, it's like a blend of Z and H ...seeyazh.

    Hope this helps and I haven't totally confused you

  3. #3
    Thalia's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    That was great -- a really clear explanation, thanks!

  4. #4

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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    I think *bloomy*'s seeyazh is a good one and pretty much exactly the way I say it.

    As for the trickier question in the OP I think it is difficult for us to judge the vapor trail we leave behind. Plus there are so many different tolerances for scent that what is overwhelming to one who is sensitive, like your husband; can hardly be noticed like your co-worker who had to get close to notice. My wife claims some of my scents wake her out of a deep sleep when I spray them on in the morning, I guess that's really some seeyazh.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    It's a great question. I always assume that if I can smell it strongly, others certainly can. And I have been entirely wrong in that assumption, too. There are times when I can barely detect a fragrance on me, and others comment on how nice I smell. At other times, I feel like I must be gassing out the world, and nobody notices. I'll even ask, "Can you smell this on me?" and have heard, "Nope, not a thing."

    I guess the best way to check: just ask your friends. Your close, trusted friends.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    This is an interesting question. I wonder how people judge the sillage of a fragrance they are wearing themselves? Isn't this nealry impossible without feedback from others? I find it funny when people say something like "Black Aoud just has really poor sillage" when in reality the person wearing it is annihilating the room they are in.

  7. #7
    teflondog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    What I do to test a scent's sillage is to spray a Kleenex and leave it on my dresser. If I catch whiffs of it when I walk by then I know it's good.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by Partagas View Post
    Black Aoud - in reality the person wearing it is annihilating the room they are in.
    This is so very true for this masterpiece. One of the few I really have to be careful with.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Plus
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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Hiya,
    here is a procedure to self-test sillage posted back in january by one of BN's nose extraordinaire, mrclmind:

    Spray the back of your hand once with your fragrance. Leave the place where you sprayed, i.e. move to another room. Avoid smelling your fragrance up close, try to avoid the smell all together as much as you can until you leave the place where you actually sprayed your hand. If you can smell your fragrance with your arms at your side then, sillage is strong. If not, bring your hand slightly closer to your face (a couple of inches at most). If you can smell your fragrance, your sillage is moderate, etc. Keep moving your hand closer to your nose inch by inch until you can smell your fragrance. If you have to have your hand close to your nose, then it is a skin scent.

    Remember this test is done with a single spray to self-test sillage.

  10. #10
    reine's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Both the tissue and the hand techniques are great! It is frustrating not to know if you are radiating your fragrance or hiding it!

    Reine

  11. #11
    LilyValley's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Thanks for the self test ideas, I'll try them and see if I get better at adjusting the # of sprays I can use!

  12. #12
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    Thumbs up Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Quote Originally Posted by knit_at_nite View Post
    Hiya,
    here is a procedure to self-test sillage posted back in january by one of BN's nose extraordinaire, mrclmind:

    Spray the back of your hand once with your fragrance. Leave the place where you sprayed, i.e. move to another room. Avoid smelling your fragrance up close, try to avoid the smell all together as much as you can until you leave the place where you actually sprayed your hand. If you can smell your fragrance with your arms at your side then, sillage is strong. If not, bring your hand slightly closer to your face (a couple of inches at most). If you can smell your fragrance, your sillage is moderate, etc. Keep moving your hand closer to your nose inch by inch until you can smell your fragrance. If you have to have your hand close to your nose, then it is a skin scent.

    Remember this test is done with a single spray to self-test sillage.
    What a great answer to a question I have been wondering about myself. Thanks. (Love the Kleenex test as well).

  13. #13

    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Wouldn't sillage off of a Kleenex differ greatly from sillage off of skin? The hand test seems interesting.
    I find the main concern with sillage is hours after the spray, not within 30 minutes of putting it on. The hand test might be a little more difficult for that, as it's a little more difficult to avoid the smell and get desensitized to it before you test it.
    Current lineup: YSL Opium pH, YSL Rive Gauche pH, Burberry Brit, Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin, Animale Animale for Men

  14. #14

    Default Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    Put on your perfume, then go into a crowded place and yell "Who can smell me?" and count how many rows back you see raised hands.
    One man's conspiracy is another man's business plan

  15. #15
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    Talking Re: How Can I Tell How Big My Sillage Is?

    I remember an old thread on this subject in which...Bigsly, I think it was, said he just walks around in a big circle while sniffing the air.

    A perfectly sensible suggestion, though one that cracked me up at the time (still does, actually) for reasons passing understanding.


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