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  1. #1

    Default Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    As a German and someone who just got into the fragrance thing, I often encounter these two terms on English speaking boards, of which "sillage" is most probably of French origin.

    In my understanding "projection" describes how well the fragrance can be perceived by others, i.e. "stays close to the skin" vs. "surrounding you like a thick cloud".

    Is "sillage" along the same lines or am I completely wrong?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    adonis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Hey, I like king tubby the dub musician!

    Sillage = the scent trail.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    but what about "projection" then? sillage = projection ??

    +1 king tubby is the best

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    Dependent Le Grand Duc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Sillage and projection is pretty
    much the same thing, IMHO!
    A case of potato/potato!

    Welcome on board!

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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    ich meine glauben same thing. lol. Took a semester of German in college.

  6. #6
    Off-Scenter
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    If it's any help, I use the two to express somewhat different phenomena. By "projection" I mean at what distance a scent can be perceived - roughly equivalent to strength or potency. By "sillage" I refer to the degree to which a scent lingers in the air, even when the wearer is no longer present. I see the two concepts as interrelated, perhaps, but not identical. But that's just me...

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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    It might be splitting hairs, but I see the terms sort of the same way Off-Scenter does. I'd say "projection" describes the size of the fragrant cloud around you when you're standing still. "Sillage" as adonis states (and illustrates) is your scent trail, or the wake your fragrance leaves as you move through a room.
    Science is not only compatible with spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. ..Carl Sagan

  8. #8

    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    For me sillage has a dynamic component, it's a perfume trail when the person is moving (walking..).
    Projection is much like a bubble around the person who wear the perfume, i mean you can smell it when you are near but it will not let an odor when the person isn't here.

  9. #9

    Lightbulb Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    According to Cambridge online dictionary, the definition of silage is:
    grass or other green plants that are cut and stored, without being dried first, to feed cattle in winter.

    So one can get an idea from this that the similar is done with pyramid of perfume notes. If I say silage that means how does the fragrances feel to the nose with respect to its freshness.

    And about Projection it says: something that projects from a surface or above the edge of something.

    So exactly, a kind of cloud a perfume creates after it is sprayed. I have noticed some fragrances have really high projection that just a spray can be sniffed from half a mile.

    In my opinion: One man show, Beautiful (by Estee lauder) and Amarige (by Givenchey) have a killer silage and high projection.

    Hope this helps.
    Your fragrance leaves your memory behind you

  10. #10

    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    I would like to add that Guerlain Insolence even in the eau de toilette has incredible sillage and longevity.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    Currently wearing: Rose Ambre by Fragonard

  11. #11
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by plumaria View Post
    According to Cambridge online dictionary, the definition of silage is:
    grass or other green plants that are cut and stored, without being dried first, to feed cattle in winter.

    So one can get an idea from this that the similar is done with pyramid of perfume notes. If I say silage that means how does the fragrances feel to the nose with respect to its freshness.

    And about Projection it says: something that projects from a surface or above the edge of something.

    So exactly, a kind of cloud a perfume creates after it is sprayed. I have noticed some fragrances have really high projection that just a spray can be sniffed from half a mile.

    In my opinion: One man show, Beautiful (by Estee lauder) and Amarige (by Givenchey) have a killer silage and high projection.

    Hope this helps.
    Sorry but l have to correct you there; the "silage" you speak of is an English word spelt with one L. "Sillage" is a French word spelt with two L's, & means a scent trail. Hope this clears things up!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Thanks teardrop! It's always worth a learning from others something new. I hardly ever noticed that it was sillage not silage and second my French is just of learner's level so thank you once again
    Your fragrance leaves your memory behind you

  13. #13

    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Sillage in french is a generic word who means a moving trail. Not necessary for scent.

  14. #14
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by plumaria View Post
    Thanks teardrop! It's always worth a learning from others something new. I hardly ever noticed that it was sillage not silage and second my French is just of learner's level so thank you once again
    You're welcome, glad to help!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  15. #15
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mon-Petit View Post
    Sillage in french is a generic word who means a moving trail. Not necessary for scent.
    Thanks Mon-Petit, of course you are right! l just meant in this context. Cheers!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  16. #16
    taint it sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by teardrop View Post
    Sorry but l have to correct you there; the "silage" you speak of is an English word spelt with one L. "Sillage" is a French word spelt with two L's, & means a scent trail. Hope this clears things up!
    I'm only doing this in good humor, but isn't it "spelled" not "spelt"?....since we're talking spelling...
    Currently wearing: Tam Dao by Diptyque

  17. #17
    Daryl J.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Technically it is 'spelt' not spelled. Much in the same way that something is done, not didded. But we oft use spelled. LoL.

    And thank-you for the clarifications on see-yahzh and longevity.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    "Spelt" is standard for British English, while "spelled" is standard for American English.
    Spray it, don’t say it…
    WARDROBE

  19. #19
    taint it sweet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Yeah, I thought it was spelled...I thought "spelt" was a type of wheat, not past tense for spell...
    Currently wearing: Tam Dao by Diptyque

  20. #20
    PerfumeCollector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Sillage comes from the french and it literally means "the wake of a ship", in perfumery sillage is the "wake of a scent" if you get my drift.
    What Pepe LePew leaves behing is sillage, get it?
    Projection is what people around you perceive of the scent, As you can see they are two different concepts.
    For projection you have to be there so the scent can be felt by others, while for sillage, you do not, somebody passing by will leave a wake and you smell it after he/she is gone.
    Although they are intimately related, some perfumes may have a great projection and poor sillage and vice versa.
    Last edited by PerfumeCollector; 9th October 2010 at 11:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumeCollector View Post
    Sillage comes from the french and it literally means "the wake of a ship", in perfumery sillage is the "wake of a scent" if you get my drift.
    What Pepe LePew leaves behing is sillage, get it?
    Projection is what people around you perceive of the scent, As you can see they are two different concepts.
    For projection you have to be there so the scent can be felt by others, while for sillage, you do not, somebody passing by will leave a wake and you smell it after he/she is gone.
    Although they are intimately related, some perfumes may have a great projection and poor sillage and vice versa.

    Love your insight PerfumeCollector, and I really like your posts. Your reviews are concise without being wordy and/or "flowery". IE., you don't go on in some esoteric rant about the soul of a cologne or some other nonsense. You shoot pretty straight. Keep up the good work sir. I respect what you have to say.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    easiest way i think to define it...

    you are sat at work in a room with other people.
    1) Someone 6 ft away says "you smell nice". - Its because the perfume has "projected" 6ft away without you going any nearer to them

    2) You are in a lift with 2 other people. As you leave, the two remaining people turn to each other and say "she/she smelled nice" as the scent trail gets left behind in the lift.

    Both linked imo but different.

    I may be wrong but i would expect EDT to project better as it evaporates quicker, whereas EDP might have better sillage as its closer to the body, lasts longer and creates more of a scent trail. (just a thought, no proof!!!)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by thefury2000 View Post

    you are at work in a room with other people.
    1) Someone 6 ft away says "you smell nice". - Its because the perfume has "projected" 6ft away without you going any nearer to them

    2) You are in a lift with 2 other people. As you leave, the two remaining people turn to each other and say "she/she smelled nice" as the scent trail gets left behind in the lift.
    These two analogies hit the mark IMO.
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    Default Re: Definition of "sillage" and "projection" wanted.

    Number 2, they could have smelt the scent when she was right next to them in the lift and mentioned it when she left.
    There was a guy that used to work with me, his hygiene left a lot to be desired, he left a trail of body odour wherever he went, it was like a wet donkey, you could pick up the trail and home in on him. Sillage.
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