What is perfume sillage ?

What is perfume sillage

What is perfume sillage ?

You must have heard it or read it somewhere before, but what exactly is perfume sillage?

Have it ever happened to you that someone walk-by you and the perfume trail the person left behind is so strong that the smell is still there despite the person has walk away?  well, that’s the definition of perfume sillage.

Origin & Definition

Trail left by a boat
Image Source

The word “sillage” originated from French word “wake” or a trail that something left behind, like how a boat left a trail on the water when it cruises through. Sillage in French is pronounced as “see-Yahzh” or our own tongue “see-Yash”

However, most read it in english which is pronounced like “village” but started with “s” instead of “v”.

Understanding of Perfume Sillage

SillagePerfume sillage plays an important role in a perfume. After all, this is the main reason of using a perfume. A good perfume sillage spreads a larger area around you and leave the scent lingering behind longer.

However, it doesn’t mean a perfume with the strongest sillage is the best perfume. An overly strong perfume sillage might be overkill for certain occassions where you are with others in a tight spot, like a bus, small meeting room and others. Which is why the saying goes..

“Pick the right perfume for the right occasion”

Perfume Sillage Factors

There are several factors that affect perfume sillage.

Number of sprays certainly plays a big role in sillage strength.

Fabric like clothes are known to have stronger sillage than on our skin.

[Body Chemistry]
If the perfume interacts well with your skin.

Being in a heavy smell area tend to suppress our perfume sillage, vice-versa

How to test a perfume sillage strength?

empty room
Image Source

Although it is hard to measure an exact range of perfume sillage strength, but you can surely get a rough idea of a perfume sillage strength by testing it out this way.

  1. Find a small room and place a clean shirt in there.
  2. Spray the perfume onto the shirt.
  3.  Close the door and leave the room for 5 minutes.
  4. Make sure to stay off any perfume for that 5 minutes so you can smell with a neutral nose.
  5. Return to the room, the smell that lingers there is a rough idea of how strong the perfume sillage.
  6. We say this is a rough idea because other factors like we mentioned before could affect a perfume sillage strength.


Congratulations, you now have a full understanding of perfume sillage. From now on, whenever someone doubt your credibility in perfumes topic, simply shoot them “Do you know what is sillage?” and watch their face go blank.

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Just love the explanation ❤❤I have learnt alot


Great! Simple & yet concise explanation.