Sillage Vs Projection [Everything You Need To Know]

Written By Lamaya Mahboob

Why do you think people around you become enchanted by your perfume, and even after leaving, they keep smelling your alluring scent?

It’s because of projection and sillage. These terms are quite confusing, and I often see others referring to projection as sillage.

Well, they are close in terms, but if you are into perfumes, you must know their differences.

In this write-out, I will clarify your confusion and describe how sillage differs from projection, including how to increase your fragrance’s projection and sillage.sillage-vs-projection

So, to know the details, tag along.

What is Sillage and Projection?

To describe your fragrance’s performance, the most common terms are projection and sillage, so it’s important to know what they are and their importance in perfumery.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.


Sillage is the trail that your scent leaves behind. You all have experienced this scenario where you are walking on a busy day, and suddenly a familiar aroma hits your nose, and you immediately know who walked by the same road before you. To leave your presence behind sillage is the most crucial factor.

Another beautiful way to put it, sillage, is the trail of aroma that your perfume projects.

And, through your sillage, you can leave an impression on someone! It’s seductive and exciting at the same time. Don’t you think?

Suppose you want to impress your crush, and every time you pass by him, you want him to know it was you. In that case, you must buy a fragrance with strong sillage, like La Vie Est Belle L’Eau de Parfum Intense Lancôme.

Do you know how sillage is measured?

To measure your perfume’s sillage level, spray it on a paper blotter and leave it for 15 minutes. Your fragrance has a strong sillage if you clearly smell the aroma after that significant time.

Now that you have a clear idea about what sillage is, let’s find out about projection.


Every time you are at a party, you get the captivating aroma of someone when that person is around you or standing close to you, and after they move, their perfume’s smell fades away. That is projection.

In a word, Projection in a perfume is how far you can detect a scent or the length your fragrance radiates. Depending on that length, you can determine the projection level of your scent.

If you get a perfume’s aura from far, it has a strong projection, and if you get a soft aroma, its projection is weak or moderate.

Moreover, depending on the fragrance’s density, projection differs from weak to moderate to strong. Longevity also affects projection, so keep that in your mind.

I personally prefer medium projection. So, those who are around my arm’s length or so can get my perfume. If you are just like me, you can try outstanding floral fragrances like Gucci Bloom.

My best friend is quite the opposite in this sector. He is all about strong projecting scents such as Sauvage Elixir Dior.

He wants his perfume to last, and thus he always selects the projection beasts.

Sillage Vs Projection: What Are The Differences?

The main difference between projection and sillage is that they both identify perfume emission raiders or the length you sense them. Other than that, there are several factors that set them apart.

Let’s find out what is the difference between sillage and projection:

  • Sillage is the trail your fragrance leaves behind. And projection is the bubble of aroma around you.
  • Projection changes over time. Meanwhile, sillage changes depending on the weather and the type of perfume.
  • Projection is affected by the longevity of the fragrance. Sillage is affected by the formulation of perfume and the climate as well.
  • You can sense the projection of your own fragrance. But, only people around you can feel your sillage.
  • A perfume can have strong projection with weak sillage. On the other hand, a fragrance with mighty sillage can have moderate to weak projection and longevity.
  • You can increase projection in many ways. Sillage can also be improved, but there are a few methods to do so.
  • The middle note affects projection the most. But, the strong-smelling notes of the perfume affect sillage.

So far, you have got all the details about sillage and projection, along with their differentiating factors. Now it’s time you know the ways to improve them.

How To Increase Perfume’s Projection and Sillage?

Not all fragrance comes with bold projection or sillage. There are a number of designer and vintage aromas that radiate further and enchant a vast area.

But you may not like their scent, or your budget is limited as long-lasting perfumes are mostly expensive. So, knowing a few tips on intensifying them is wise to enjoy your scent for long hours.

Let’s dive deep into how you can increase your perfume’s projection and sillage:

Improve Perfume Projection

  • Apply your perfume right after showering. The damp skin helps to hold the aroma longer.
  • Avoid rubbing your scent, and thus your fragrance will project more.
  • Moisturize your body before applying fragrance and if the lotion comes with the same ingredients as your perfume or is from the same brand. That’s much better for achieving more projection.
  • Use perfume on your pulse points to have better projection.
  • Make sure your perfume has very good middle notes.
  • Find scents with floral notes or hydroxycitronellal or geranyl acetate to improve projection.
  • Check out diffusive materials such as ambroxan and ionone, as you can smell them right away, and they remain for a long time and improves projection.

Increase Fragrance Sillage

  • Use perfume with less alcohol concentration. Low alcohol means higher oil density; thus, your fragrance will have stronger sillage as oils hold the aroma longer than alcohol.
  • Apply your scent to the pulse points like your wrists, naval points, and elbow. These areas are warmer, and that’s why these strategic points heat up the perfume and help to radiate longer.
  • Buy perfumes with stronger notes or synthetic ingredients like ambroxan or hedione. These chemicals make the sillage more strong.
  • Select splash fragrance. These perfumes don’t have an atomizer or spray mechanism. This way, you can directly apply the aroma to your skin and get more sillage.
  • Use scent on your clothes instead of skin to improve your perfume’s sillage.

If you apply your favorite fragrance correctly, that will serve you much longer despite having moderate or minimal projection and sillage. So, use the proper methods and enjoy your perfumes longer.


What is projection time in perfume?

Projection time is the time period through which an aroma radiates. This duration is from the application of fragrance to around six hours. During this time, your perfume reaches its peak projection period.

Where do you spray for sillage?

You can spray fragrance on each side of the ear, on your chest, at the base of your neck, wrists, elbow, naval points, and even on your clothes to increase sillage.

Does Eau de Parfum project more?

Yes, Eau de Parfum projects more. The main reason is the richer perfume oil concentration, and thus it lasts longer and projects longer than EDT versions.

What affects perfume sillage?

The weather, temperature, oil concentration, the form of your perfume (EDT, EDP, etc), and even your mood affect fragrance sillage.

Parting Thoughts

Without your perfume’s projection, you wouldn’t be able to show the aura you want others to notice. And sillage helps to hold your impression even after you leave that place.

So, it’s clear that sillage and projection work side by side to give you the best experience with your fragrance.

From this context, you have got all the nooks and crannies about the definition and the differences projection and sillage have, along with the ways you can increase them both.

Thanks for engaging, and for more queries, comment below.

About The Author
Perfume has always been Lamaya's passion as she grew up smelling all the perfumes her mother had. And sometimes she would spray them on her secretly. Lamaya likes doing doodling art as well. If you ever see her in person, you can request a doodle art. You might get one. She wants to be an Environmental & Animal rights activist in the future.

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