Not many fragrance lovers or Perfumistas speak about ‘projection‘ or ‘radiance‘ and yet everybody enthuses about a person’s perfume when they enter and their olfactive aura can be sensed.
With this in mind, we introduce ‘radiance’ and ‘projection’ in the context of perfume.
Perfumery is an art form that embraces the senses, and beyond scent alone, a fragrance’s radiance and projection are essential aspects of its allure.
The way a perfume projects and radiates can enhance its impact, leaving an impression on others in its scented wake. In this article, we will explore the concepts of radiance and projection in perfumery, their definitions, historical significance, how to find a perfume with good projection, and highlight both classic and contemporary fragrances known for their excellent projection.
For the avoidance of confusion, projection and radiance are different from sillage. To find out more sillage, we refer you to this article about sillage.
Radiance and projection are interrelated terms that describe a perfume’s ability to emanate and diffuse its scent. While they share similarities, they represent different aspects of a fragrance’s presence.
Radiance refers to the luminosity and sparkle of a perfume, its ability to shine and create an aura around the wearer. It represents the fragrance’s brilliance and the way it illuminates its surroundings, captivating attention and drawing others in.
Projection, on the other hand, refers to the distance and strength at which a perfume’s scent travels from the wearer. It embodies the fragrance’s ability to extend its olfactory reach, leaving a noticeable trail and making its presence known.
The pursuit of radiance and projection in perfumery has been prevalent throughout history. Ancient civilizations recognized the power of scent and its ability to captivate and influence others. Perfumers in these cultures strived to create fragrances that radiated beauty and projected their olfactory artistry, leading to the development of techniques and ingredients to enhance these qualities.
In more recent history, perfumery evolved to cater to changing tastes and societal preferences. With advancements in perfumery technology and the availability of a wider range of aromatic materials, perfumers could further explore the concepts of radiance and projection, pushing the boundaries of olfactory creativity.
What is Projection?
Projection, in the context of perfumery, refers to how far and strongly a fragrance extends from the wearer’s body, creating a noticeable scent trail. It represents the perfume’s ability to fill the air and be perceived by others even at a distance. A fragrance with good projection will capture attention, leaving a lasting impression on those who encounter its aromatic presence.
How to Find a Perfume with Good Projection:
When seeking a perfume with good projection, consider the following factors:
- Concentration: Opt for perfumes with higher concentrations, such as eau de parfum or parfum. These concentrations contain a higher proportion of aromatic oils, allowing the fragrance to project more prominently and last longer on the skin.
- Fragrance Families: Certain fragrance families, such as oriental, chypre, or spicy, tend to have better projection due to their rich and potent compositions. Exploring perfumes within these families can increase the likelihood of finding a fragrance with excellent projection.
- Perfume Strength: Look for keywords like “intense,” “extrait,” or “concentré” in the perfume’s name or description. These indicate a higher concentration or a more potent formulation, often resulting in enhanced projection and longevity.
- Test and Experience: Visit perfume boutiques or counters to test different fragrances on your skin. Allow the perfume to develop and note how it projects in different stages. Consider how far the scent extends and if it leaves a noticeable trail. Sampling perfumes in various environments and climates can provide a more accurate assessment of their projection.
How To Increase Projection & Radiance?
Once you have found your radiant perfume, how can you make its projection on you? The trade-off for making your perfume projection stronger using the techniques we describe here, is that it won’t last as long.
- Pulse Points: to make your perfume projection stronger, apply it to areas of your body that are warmer because the blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin, e.g. your pulse points.
- Area: the bigger the area you apply your fragrance to, the stronger the perfume projection will be, as it will have a bigger surface area from which it can evaporate. If you want strong fragrance projection, don’t just apply it to your pulse points but also your neck, décolletage, hair, arms and even your scarf and clothes (as long as you have tested that your perfume doesn’t discolour them).
- Don’t cover it: to make your perfume project strongly apply it to your exposed skin, e.g. the neck, bare arms & hands, … or your hair. Don’t apply it to areas that are covered with the clothes you wear, e.g. the body.
- No oil: don’t apply your perfume to areas where you applied lotion or oil, as the oil will bind with your perfume and will hold it back. In other words, it will project less strong.
There is one technique that we do not find makes a perfume project stronger:
- Layering: we see fragrance enthusiast recommending that you should layer different fragrances to make the overall perfume project stronger. They obviously feel that it works. This is, however, easily explained because if you spray a perfume several times it will project stronger, regardless of whether you spray the same or a different fragrances. In other words, it refers back to ‘concentration’ we explained above, i.e. your perfume projects stronger the more you apply, … which is obvious. Equally, if you layer a strongly projecting perfume over a weak one, the overall fragrance projection becomes stronger but why not apply the strongly projecting perfume twice, as it will dominate the overall note anyway. In other words, there is nothing within the technique of layering that makes a perfume project better.
Here is a list of fragrances with excellent projection, both classic and some contemporary ones.
- Dior Poison: Launched in 1985, Poison is a bold and intense fragrance known for its powerful projection. Its complex blend of spicy notes.
- Guerlain Mitsouko: Introduced in 1919, Mitsouko is a timeless chypre fragrance with a rich and complex composition. Its blend of fruity, floral, and woody notes creates a captivating scent that projects elegantly and leaves a lasting impression.
- Estée Lauder Youth-Dew: Launched in 1953, Youth-Dew is a classic oriental fragrance with a warm and spicy character. Its alluring blend of spices, florals, and rich amber creates a scent that radiates with confidence and projects assertively.
- Yves Saint Laurent Opium: Opium, released in 1977, is an oriental fragrance renowned for its bold and intense projection. With its opulent blend of spices, florals, and resinous notes, Opium demands attention and leaves a distinctive aromatic trail.
- Tom Ford Black Orchid: Introduced in 2006, Black Orchid is a modern fragrance with a mesmerizing projection. Its luxurious blend of dark florals, spices, and woods creates an alluring aura that captivates those around you.
- Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb: Flowerbomb, launched in 2005, is a captivating floral fragrance known for its explosive projection. Its blend of rich and sweet florals, complemented by warm and creamy undertones, creates a radiant and enveloping scent.
- Roja Parfums Elysium: Elysium is a contemporary fragrance that showcases exceptional projection. With its vibrant blend of citrus, spices, and aromatic notes, Elysium projects a fresh and invigorating aura that leaves a memorable trail.
- Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540: This modern fragrance has gained acclaim for its remarkable projection. Its exquisite fusion of floral and woody notes, paired with a touch of sweetness, creates a scent that radiates elegance and sophistication.
- Amouage Interlude Man: Interlude Man is a contemporary fragrance known for its powerful projection. With its rich and smoky composition, featuring spices, oud, and amber, Interlude Man creates an intense and captivating olfactory experience.
- Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace: By the Fireplace is a modern fragrance that exudes warmth and comfort. Its smoky and woody notes, combined with sweet accords of chestnut and vanilla, create a cozy and inviting scent that projects beautifully.
These fragrances exemplify the artistry and craftsmanship of perfumers, showcasing their ability to create scents that project and radiate with distinction. With their excellent projection, they have the power to captivate and leave a lasting impression on those who encounter their aromatic presence.
Finding Fragrances With Excellent Projection?
When trying to find fragrances with excellent projection, we highly recommend our Natural Niche Perfumes and we invite you to visit our Online Perfume Boutique.
Another way to discover the projection and radiance of a variety of fragrances is by using ‘Fragrance Libraries’, ‘Discovery Boxes’ or ‘Perfume Experience Boxes’. Here at Pairfum London we offer a wonderful Perfume Experience Box with 12 x Eau de Parfum Intense and it allows you discover each one of our perfumes and experience their Projection.