Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1

    Default Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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)?

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    McLean, NYC, & Búzios
    Posts
    83,650

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  3. #3
    Dependent
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    3,652

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    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.
    But why would a perfumer choose to create an EDT with poor longevity if they could control it?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sol invictus View Post
    But why would a perfumer choose to create an EDT with poor longevity if they could control it?
    That's rather like asking a painter why she chose to paint a 5' x 5' portrait when she could have painted a mural across an entire wall. Size or persistence isn't commensurate with aesthetic value.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

    cacio

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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

  9. #9

    Default

    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 10:04 PM.

  10. #10
    Overcome By Fumes
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    3,366

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by keagz08 View Post
    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
    I understand your confusion but I think you're misunderstanding the perfumer's intent. His intent is to target a particular smell or experience. Its like an artist who wants to draw a flower - perhaps he wants to accentuate the features of a flower that people don't notice. That's his perspective. To bring this analogy back to perfume, sometimes the idea that the perfumer is striving for requires a specific combination of ingredients which result in a given longevity. Using alternative components - like one citrus note is replaced by a synthetic, longer lasting version - does not yield the same artistic creation. So, if said perfumer were striving to be pure to their artistic perspective the result may be something short-lived, though unintentionally.

    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.
    Fall/Winter Rotation:

    Versace Man by Versace
    Iceberg The Fragrance by Iceberg
    Amber Intense by Prada
    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
    Burberry London
    Lanvin Avant Garde

    If smelling good was a crime, I'd be serving a lifetime sentence....

    - OE (olfactoryexperience)

  12. #12
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    6,989

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    They control everything but time and money.

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    london
    Posts
    878

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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!.....


  14. #14

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sol invictus View Post
    But why would a perfumer choose to create an EDT with poor longevity if they could control it?
    Why batteries bought in chinese stores dont last s***?
    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
    IMO

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by keagz08 View Post
    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
    I think is pure marketing...bad longevity, smells good anyway, you buy more
    Last edited by uruk-hai; 30th November 2012 at 02:18 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Synthetic components can.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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?

  18. #18
    Basenotes Member Luís Carlos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    São Paulo
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Made in California View Post
    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?
    Maybe not completely, but it changes. Each perfume has its own balance. If you compare an EDT and EDP of the same brand, you will see that the range notes are slightly different. That is two different perfumes and not just two versions - a "stronger" and other "weaker"- of the same perfume. Otherwise all perfumes could be supplied in two or three versions of aromatic concentration for all tastes. Doubling the concentration will not not necessarily double the longevity and silage too. This means that the perfumer works taking into account that the perfume concentration will have.

    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…

  19. #19
    Super Member racuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Made in California View Post
    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?
    That would be a very easy and interesting experiment to do!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Made in California View Post
    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?
    I would have thought that it meant you had a fragrance that was twice as strong. This has nothing to do with changing silage or longevity.

  21. #21
    Super Member racuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    I'm guessing that a fragrance that was twice as strong would have more projection.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  23. #23
    Dependent
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    3,652

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    It also depends on the solvent. Alcohol will disperse it fast and oil less quickly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So technically then, wouldn't the weaker perfume give greater projection because there is more alcohol evaporating?

    Maybe only intially?

  25. #25

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    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...

  26. #26

    Default Re: Can perfumers control sillage or longevity?

    Of course!

Similar Threads

  1. Are Modern Perfumers Concerned with Longevity or Sillage? What's the Industry Saying?
    By OlfactoryExperience in forum General Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 21st January 2012, 12:36 AM
  2. Which of these have the best longevity/sillage?
    By TheDarkDefender in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 4th May 2011, 10:42 PM
  3. Longevity VS Sillage
    By PaulyBoy777 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 14th April 2011, 10:18 AM
  4. Sillage/Longevity.. why?
    By Basteri in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 28th October 2008, 04:44 PM
  5. Longevity and sillage
    By emes in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 9th January 2008, 01:38 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000