Interesting first question. I would guess that they can influence longevity or sillage with the formula or concentration, but not sure they can control it.
When a perfumer creates a fragrance, do they have any control over how much sillage or longevity it will end up with? or is it beyond their control?
I understand that it can vary from person to person, but a fragrance will generally have a certain characteristic in this area.
What actually gives one fragrance good sillage over another since they will both have the same medium (alcohol)?
Interesting first question. I would guess that they can influence longevity or sillage with the formula or concentration, but not sure they can control it.
The answer is yes.
The longer answer is, perfume is a balancing act and in order to get better performance, sometimes other areas must be sacrificed, like price, depth, complexity, character, etc. There is a lot of subjectivity involved, and certain types of compositions (e.g. orientals) lend themselves to longevity while others (eaux de cologne) do not.
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agree - no only is size not important but every scent has a sender and receiver - if you want to receive the message of less intense scent you need to get closer and closer to the skin - get the point? Smelling "Ocean" on some guy in the elevator is one case where the sender has shot his bolt - we get the message and no need to get closer. Personally I like the more subtle watercolor scents where I have to engage to receive the message.
As others have said, longevity depends mostly on the chemical characteristics of the aromachemicals themselves. Some substances (musks primarily, but also things like patchouli, some woods etc) last a long time, others do not (eg citrus). Some fixatives (like certain musks, civet, etc) can help a given scent last longer, but these materials also change the way the perfume smells.
So you cannot really change longevity at will for a given scent. For instance, you cannot make orange last a long time. Increasing the percentage of aromachemicals (relative to the alcohol) can help a bit as well, but only up to a point.
But I still don't understand why someone would knowingly make something last for a short amount of time? I do understand that the wearer would have to reapply quite often, making them buy more = more money for the fragrance house. BUT when doing something will we not do it to the best of our ability? If I read a review and 9/10 people say the scent has bad longevity, I will not buy it no matter how good it is.
Just my 2 cents
They can control longevity and silage but only by selecting different materials It's to do with the weight of the molecules. Light molecules like citrus evaporate fast - therefore have good fast diffusion early in a scent's life and generally smell bright. Heavy molecules evaporate more slowly, thus tend to arrive later in a scents development. A perfumer may attempt to extend longevity but adding heavy molecules to a blend but this may also "weigh it down " and reduce silage. It will also effect the smell.
Perfumes come in many types - from a quick light blast of very refreshing citrus that is a classic eau de cologne to the heavy slow orientals. And the complex compositions which progress from one to the other.
There is room for them all and it seems silly to rule out one type completely. It's like saying I only want to eat meat not salads or rich cakes and never a sorbet.
I use different ones depending in mood, time of year, appropriateness for social environment etc.
A good wardrobe should have a range of options...
Last edited by hirch_duckfinder; 29th November 2012 at 09:04 PM.
It's chemistry and physics. Some chemicals are quite volatile and go from your skin into the air fairly quickly and are used up. If one such chemical smells fantastic and a perfumer wants to use it in a fragrance, there is nothing he can do to make it last an especially long time other than some minor trickery as pointed out above. On the other hand, if a certain chemical tends not to enter gaseous form much at all, it can last for days, even at low concentrations. So, generally a perfumer has to balance longer lasting chemicals with those of shorter duration. Creating a fragrance solely because it has many chemicals of low volatility, which would last a very long time, eg. the musk of a skunk, is not a strategy most perfumers would seek to undertake. If you can figure out how to make every scented chemical have low volatility, and thereby last a long time (at typical skin temperature), you could make some money. But I'm pretty sure you would have to violate the principles of physical chemistry.
I can assure you, few perfumers set out with the goal of creating something ephemeral and short-lived as their main objective. Sometimes its just a by-product of the art.
Versace Pour Homme
Kenzo Pour Homme (vintage)
Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (vintage)
D& G Masculine
Christian Dior Dune
Guerlain Homme (EDT)
Bond No9 Riverside Drive
If smelling good was a crime, I'd be serving a lifetime sentence....
- OE (olfactoryexperience)
They control everything but time and money.
i read it from natural perfumista, profumo.it that
he cant control the longevity , that noone really cant its pure luck when you strike a longlasting perfume, and i somehow tend to believe so...
synthetics can be controlled, but naturals cant...you cant make yilang yilang longlasting loud perfume if you dont add synthetics...i am no expert there but from all i have smelled and read this would be my conclusion...or you can but the price would be staggering?? i also would like to know that answer
there are natural ingredients that can last for 400 hours (info from natural perfumista and she also said its somethign she would like to explore further...why natural only perfumes can not be as longlasting and radiant as the mixes ....
but i think some perfume creators just fall in love with a creation they make..and risk it , so those who like longlasting stuff will drop it...
on the other hand.....i think if you wear only stuff that lasts for 12 hours you also get fed up with it!! and you appreciate to have some break! i sometimes really enjoy when some scent goes ayway after 4 hours! and when its not so scremy loud. but nice gentle composition....
its like wearing sandales and boots you wear them for different purposes!
taste chnages quicker then you may be aware of it!.....
Because they are so cheap that you go there several times and buy more
Perfumes work same way, an EDT lasts less so you can buy more and more
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Last edited by uruk-hai; 30th November 2012 at 01:18 AM.
Perfumers can control longevity and silage, and always have to. You must remember that the vast majority of fragrances are created because of a customer brief, and this brief will outline various characteristics that are required. You must also remember that perfumes are created for other applications, not just fine fragrances and here it is even more important to control the performance of the fragrance. A fragrance in whatever application must work at the right time. Think of a fabric conditioner and a dish wash liquid and the most suitable type of fragrance in each. One (Fab Con) will have a lot of base note and fixative to enable it to remain of fabric; the other (Dish Wash) will have a lot of top note and very little fixative so that the dishes do not smell of perfume after they have been washed.
It is the perfumer's skill and knowledge of raw materials that enables him to control longevity and silage. As synthetic chemicals show a simpler performance they are easier to control than the complex mixture of chemicals that make up an Essential Oil. However it is possible to control performance using naturals alone.
Many reasons why a fragrance shouldn't last too long. Imagine a splash cologne, used in the Summer or in hot countries to cool and refresh. The cooling effect is from the alcohol and volatile substances evaporating; they are no designed to hang around.
Synthetic components can.
Let's say you have the blend of ingredients you want. What happens when you take it from 10% aromatic compounds/90% alcohol and proceed to double everything to make it 20% aromatic compounds/80% alcohol? Does the very nature of the fragrance change completely?
The longevity and silage depend on the kinds of compounds of formula and their concentrations. If a perfume has silage and/or longevity too low or very high it contains flaws in the formulation. But longevity and silage are things subject to subjectivity…
I'm guessing that a fragrance that was twice as strong would have more projection.
It does sometimes but not always. It is much the same as wearing twice as many squirts as you normally would. The strength would be more powerful certainly, but it would not necessarily last any longer nor the projection go any further. There would just be more of it to smell.
This particular OP's question is the very point of the perfumers quest. To make it last longer means it demands the heavier materials of which means it belongs in a heavier bracket in perfume style. The balance is to catch the light and retain the heavy and lose nothing of either....
No easy feat and I know because I have been practicing for some time. Easier said than done!
Anyone can play the piano but the higher echelons of mastery take determination, hard work and a lot of practice to achieve.
If more perfume is applied (which sometimes but not always happens with higher concentration), the sillage/projection will technically not increase, but in practice it might perceptually increase, as there are more perfume molecules to detect at all distances, including the farthest.
It also depends on the solvent. Alcohol will disperse it fast and oil less quickly.
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So technically then, wouldn't the weaker perfume give greater projection because there is more alcohol evaporating?
Maybe only intially?
Not sure which fragrance(s) you have in mind about longevity, but since fragrance sales are front loaded for immediate likeability at the sales counter, longevity isn;t always the goal of selling a fragrance...
also is there any way to increase silage when making perfume (mixing fragrance with ethanol and water) with already built fragrance??
Thank you David Ruskin!!
made a difference to the longevity. Spray both onto a test medium at the same distance and smell how they progress
over hours and days. I found that the 2 sprays of lower strength progressed through its top / mid / base stages sooner
and started with greater apparent strength but lost it at a quicker rate. Like a tortoise vs hare race between them.
As with so many perfume questions the bottom line answer is familiarity with one's candidate ingredients. If I'm considering 100 ingredients, I have to know the siliage and lifetime on a blotter strip (not just how long it lasts, but how it smells over time) of every ingredient. Then it will be almost obvious what combining the ingredients should do.
If you know what each ingredient does over time, and you know how each ingredient performs as it evaporates into the air, then you wouldn't have to ask the question in the first place.
As far as fine fragrance is concerned, and this is just opinion, it seems consumers care about longevity/silliage more than perfumers, in terms of being huge isolated issues. Most perfumers use some ingredients with expressive silliage and long duration, sure. But more often than not, the overall smell experience rules. A good perfume will normally last as long as it should, and chances are it contains something that projects. These aren't the highest priorities, IMO (unless a problem comes up).
What I regard as very important, however, is what a perfume smells like as it wears over the hours. I care very little how many hours a fragrance lasts, as if 8 hours is so much better than 7. The important thing is that as a fragrance wears, good things happen with the smell. I'd rather a fragrance not last if the drydown isn't pleasant.
And more silliage isn't necessarily better. If everyone on the city block can smell you, what good is that? Patchouli has an expansive silliage, and that's why a lot of people think they hate it (most people who think they hate patchouli really don't, but instead are ignorant about its proper use). What is more important is the nature of the silliage, not the "amount."
Last edited by DrSmellThis; 1st May 2015 at 06:32 AM.
I sometimes enjoy wearing more than one fragrance per day. I can apply something like Ginseng NRG (Jovan) in the morning on gym days and it wears off enough 4-5 hours later so that I can apply something else more apropos for the second part of my day.
It is true that fish stink. It is also true that the river is
beautiful. But the river would be beautiful despite the fish. What
is noxious remains so.
That is not to say that sh*t is not useful when buried in the wheat
field. Bread made from the field tastes sweet, wine from the arbor
sweetest. All things serve a purpose, but that is no reason to
glorify what is abominable. A man must still watch where he walks
and keep his sandals clean. c.21 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Trans: Normandi Ellis
We often deal with different versions of the myth, that there are magic ingredients that perfumers add to perfumes that do these magic things. I used to believe that too. Part of the problem is all the secrecy and mystery surrounding perfume, especially the chemistry part.
David, with all your professional experience, you are usually put in the position of trying to explain all this. For some reason, that myth is quite persistent, no matter how many times it is discussed. Then often, you explain it elegantly and succinctly, and a few hours later you have to explain it again. Usually I sit back and watch you do this, and am very thankful you are doing it and not me, ha ha. Because you explain it better anyway. Paul does a lot of that for us too, these days.
There is nothing that a perfume is or does that doesn't depend on the skilled use of every ingredient contained in it.
If you have a pre made perfume, there isn't much you can do with it as a consumer to change what it is. If you were a skilled perfumer it would be possible to tweak it a little bit, but, still, not with the mindset of adding some magic ingredient. The mindset would have to be changing how something is fundamentally, or in knowing basically what is in the perfume, what kinds of things, and then nudging the structure a little in some direction. But again, that is about having some idea what types of things are in a perfume. You know what the notes are, and have some idea what kinds of things can make those notes. Maybe you know what the base notes are, and you can add a little more of some base note -- then it will last longer, or to be more accurate, that aspect of it will last longer, not every note. You have just added a longer lasting, single note. So there is never a magic solution. All the ingredients have to work together to make whatever effect. If you add something with a lot of silliage, you end up with a perfume that contains one ingredient that will project a lot. To change the whole perfume, well, you have to change the whole perfume. This is one of the points we make over and over, and yet I suppose it is necessary.
Last edited by DrSmellThis; 3rd May 2015 at 08:31 AM.
we are buying fragrance oils mixed due to orders like ''Paco Rabane One million or Boss Orange''.the seller doesnt have any idea of what the fragrance is made of, because that fragrance is made (mixed) elsewhere. thats why we are seeking for magical ingredient that can somehow make all perfumes (with different fragrance oils) have better silage and projection. this mission is difficult but not impossible
one other question: my fragrances of different brands(mixtures) like Blue de chanel, Versage eros, or 212 Vip have all a similar sweet smell. can this be because of any diluent added??
I've fooled around with various "fixatives" (such as glucam), but haven't found they make any difference and, if anything, just diminish the power of the scent. I find, simply enough, that the scent lasts as long as the longest lasting ingredients in its blend. I hesitate to accept claims that certain musks and other ingredients cause a scent to last longer as a whole, but rather that the longest lasting ingredient (such as musk) will be the one that remains on the blotter and skin.
>I find, simply enough, that the scent lasts as long as the longest lasting ingredients in its blend.
Ok. This one I can counter-argue.
I made an experiment the other day. I took a bottle of petitgrain eo and prepared 9 testing blotters, I used a type of cardboard index cards that soak oils fairly easily (this is mostly because I ran out of good testing strips). On each of 8 index cards I put 2 drops of petitgrain and a drop of some fixative (different every time). On the last card I put just the petitgrain oil for control purposes. I left them to sit for about 24hr and here are the results:
Card 1. Ysamber K: Smells woody-orangey, quite a harmonious combination. Petitgrain is definitely there, but wood is stronger
Card 2: Traseolide: Smells musky-animalic, the petitgrain has been reduced to a pleasant fruity nuance.
Card 3: Tonalid: quite faint musky smell, the petitgrain became a shade of fruity woodiness. Some bitter nuances are there as well.
Card 4: Shangralide: Quite noticeable fecal smell of shangralide with some orangey undertones.
Card 5: Ethylene Brassyate: I get an extremely faint orange something
Card 6: Galaxolide 50%: Kind of warm impression overall, quite faint, somewhat musky sweet but very difficult to tell at this level.
Card 7: Exaltolide 50%: Soft orangey musky , quite pleasant, more transparent than others
Card 8: Ultralid: Very faint , a bit of orange left.
Card 9: Pure petitgrain: No smell
As of the dampening effect on top notes, here is my impression at around 10min after putting stuff on the papers. (i waited 10 minutes, so that the order in which I applied chemicals would have less of an effect)
Card 1: YSamber K: Noticeably woody top note, small dampening.
Card 2: Traseolide: small dampening.
Card 3: Tonalid: Very small dampening.
Card 4: Shangralide: Noticeable fecal top note, medium dampening.
Card 5: Ethylene Brassyate: Medium dampening
Card 6: Galaxolide 50%: Large dampening.
Card 7: Exaltolide: Medium dampening, pleasant sweet nuance.
Card 8: Ultralid: Quite large dampening.
Card 9: Pure Petitgrain: smells the best
As can be seen here, the fixatives work, to various degrees. It's not a drastic effect and at the rate 2:1 the smell of fixative itself sometimes overwhelms the oil itself, but it is there. If you want to reproduce the results, keep in mind, precision was not really the goal there, I just wanted to see how it works.
Nice experiment Zemlya. To me the results are suprising, but i don't doubt your findings.
I would really like to understand how that works chemically though. How come a volatile molecule become less volatile in combination with something else?
Do some of the light molecules get stuck under the heavy ones? Do they get entangled? Or was the amount of petitgrain left on each blotter the same, but heavy molecules such as musks act as amplifiers that triggers your nose to notice traces of petitgrain that you wouldn't notice otherwise. Like fat enhancing taste in cooking.
Some of it is certainly physics: in more viscous substances aromatic molecules have trouble getting to the surface and consequently evaporating.
Depending on chemistry, there may also be some bonding between molecules and it becomes difficult for molecules to separate from the surface and fly into the air.
Of course, there may be other effects at play which are more substance specific
With YSamber in particular, I suspect there's also olfactory synergy between it and petitgrain which boosts the overall effect. Perhaps I should try the experiment with some non woody substance, such as PEA.