How to Apply Men's Fragrances for Long-lasting Sillage

The fragrance you wear is a huge part of your personal identity. With strong sillage, people will be able to smell you before they see you and still experience the aroma long after you’ve turned away. But what does sillage actually mean? In this article, we explain all.

We’ll explore exactly what it means to have strong sillage and share tips on making cologne last longer and where to apply cologne to ensure it makes a long-lasting impression.

What does ‘sillage’ mean?

Sillage is a term used in the world of cologne and perfumery and gives a name to the lingering aroma a fragrance leaves behind as the wearer moves. It is used to describe the level at which a fragrance is able to project its scent into the surrounding area and leave a notable and lasting impression on those who can smell it in proximity.

A fragrance with high sillage will have a strong and noticeable presence, leaving a lingering trail of aroma as the wearer walks by. A cologne or perfume with low sillage will stay closer to the wearer's skin and will have a far more subtle presence. Some people prefer high sillage (strong smells), while others prefer lower sillage (more understated scents).

Sometimes, you'll also see a fragrance's sillage referred to as its 'throw'—they both mean the same thing. What is important to note is that sillage (or throw) is not the same as longevity. Sillage is about how far an aroma can project in distance, rather than how long the scent lasts in terms of time.

A fragrance’s sillage is determined by things like:

  • Quality of the fragrance
  • Ingredients used to make the fragrance
  • Whether it’s an eau de toilette or an eau de parfum
  • How much fragrance is applied

Next, let’s explore what you can do to make your signature scent linger for longer…

Where to apply cologne on the body to improve sillage

Whether you’re a Bourbon & Oak kind of guy, a Citrus & Mint Leaf person, or think you might have a penchant for Palo Santo Reserve, where you apply cologne on your body has a big impact on how far the fragrance can throw and how long it will last.

If you only apply fragrance under your clothes, for example, the sillage won’t be as strong as if you apply it to skin that’s more exposed. So, for an impactful aroma that leaves a robust trail, where are the best places to apply cologne? Here’s our advice:

  • Inside the wrists - Wrists are key pulse points so you should apply your cologne here to help project your scent. Wrists are also a great place to put fragrance if you are going to be shaking hands and want to make a great multi-sensory impression on somebody.
  • Neck - The sides of the neck are also pulse points, which encourage the fragrance to diffuse as your blood pumps and you move around. Don’t forget to apply your cologne to the back of your neck too, to help enhance sillage as you come and go.
  • Behind the ears - Dab a small amount of cologne behind each ear—as your blood pumps, this vascularised area will boost the sillage of your scent.

  • In the crook of your elbow - The creases on the inside of your elbows are also warm areas, making them the ideal place for cologne application. Your favourite fragrance is sure to radiate from this sweet spot.

The reason why all of these key spots are the perfect place to spritz your scent is because they all experience the highest body heat. This allows the fragrance to become warm and blend with your body’s chemistry, making for the best projection and longest-lasting aroma.

More pearls of wisdom on how to make cologne last longer

As well as choosing where to apply fragrance strategically for the strongest scent and best sillage, there are a number of other things you can do to make your cologne last longer. So, next time you’re finishing off your ensemble with your chosen scent, heed the following advice on how to apply cologne for optimum impact.

Opt for air drying over rubbing in

It can be tempting to rub fragrance into your skin once you have applied it but resist the urge. Leave it to air dry because rubbing will only break down the scent molecules and affect how the fragrance develops. You run the risk of altering the aroma’s profile and hindering its chance of lasting longer.

Apply on your skin, not on your clothes

It’s a common misconception that applying cologne or perfume on clothes is an effective way to extend sillage and the presence of the aroma. However, applying fragrance on fabric actually often renders the scent flat and one-dimensional.

Applying to pulse points, on the skin, on the other hand, warms the fragrance and projects it beautifully. Plus, some fragrance formulas can damage fabrics, so run the risk of ruining your clothes.

Dab, don’t splash

If you’re using a cologne that doesn’t have a spray nozzle, hold your finger over the open bottle, turn the bottle upside down, and apply what’s on your finger to your skin. Don’t pour into the palm of your hand and splash as you will only end up over-applying and wasting product unnecessarily.

Don’t over apply or you’ll overpower

Remember, you very quickly get used to your own scent and once you’re accustomed, you can’t smell it even a fraction as strongly as everybody else can. So, start with a small amount and go from there. Maybe even ask a friend or family member how you smell—somebody who will be honest and tell you if you’re wearing a little too much.

Find your signature scent (and make it last) with Cremo

Now that you know what sillage means and how to apply cologne for a long-lasting scent, it’s time to find the perfect men’s fragrance for you. Discover our collection of cologne sprays so you can smell out-of-the-ordinary without overpowering.

Interested in more premium grooming products made for the modern man, created using timeless traditions? Look no further. Here at Cremo, we’ve got you covered from your head to your toes, from barber-grade beard oil and hair products to body and skin care.

Explore the Men’s Grooming and Advice Blog today for all the guides, news, and advice you need to keep your grooming routine tip-top.

Some other articles we think you’ll love… A Guide To Skincare For Men | The Difference Between Eau De Toilette and Eau De Parfum