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Definition of Sillage

Definition: Sillage

Have you ever been alone on an elevator, but judging by a lingering smell of cologne or perfume, it's quite apparent that someone else was just there? Like a snail that leaves a trail behind, perfume can also leave a trail behind, too. It's called sillage, which is French for "wake," as in the stream left behind a boat.

It's a term used by perfume enthusiasts to describe how close a fragrance stays to the skin. Does it stick to the body or does it diffuse, leaving behind a wafting aroma? So the next time you're sitting next to a pleasantly perfumed lady on the bus, perhaps she was light on the sprays, or perhaps it's that her perfume has minimal sillage.


Join The Conversation
ivygreene ivygreene 8 years
Jello, I'm sorry it sounded like that woman was rude. But I have the same with peoples fragrance, sometimes certain strong ones will trigger a severe asthma attack and I've had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The worst are places like theaters where I'm trapped in a specific seat and can't get away. I've never asked some one else to move, but I've ended up standing in the back or even leaving.
Jello-Wanabe Jello-Wanabe 8 years
One time, about 10 years ago, sillage of my Allure pure perfume got the pants irritated out of someone sitting next to me in the theatre. The funny thing is, all I put on is one dab on each wrist and behind the ears as you would with pure perfume. During the intermission this woman asked me if I had any fragrance on. Thinking I was about to get a compliment I told her I was. That is when she went totally berserk on me demanding that I move or better yet leave. In the end, since there was no policy against fragrance in the facility, I won the argument and she moved. I have never worn a scent to that facility since, just in case I came across someone like her.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I hate having to walk into someone else's lingering cloud of perfume. Thanks for giving us the word to describe this annoyance! :) Hey, what happened to our member/silver/gold/diamond status thingies?
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
No wonder I can always smell the woman who lives below me...whenever I come home I can tell she just left since the hall smells...
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