What Does Sillage Mean In Perfumery?

Sillage refers to the diffused scent that may linger from a person wearing a particular fragrance. The term originated from France, and was used to describe an obvious trace or trail left behind by a traveling ship. Although it is not visible, sillage can correlate with memory. The smell of a particular fragrance may bring back memories of a specific person, even if that person is not actually there at that exact moment or is no longer present in the physical world. 

A perfume’s sillage is considered one of the most powerful characteristics of a fragrance. Depending on where it is applied, perfumes with strong sillage tend to have very rich and alluring scent profiles, meaning they likely have long lasting power not only on the skin, but in the air as well. When the alcohol in a perfume mixture evaporates, molecules from the fragrance are released, and therefore have the opportunity to be captured olfactory by others even from a distance.