Our sense of smell is the most powerful of all our senses, instantly evoking emotions and transporting us back to times gone by. I’ve always had a passion for perfume, my collection continually evolving and expanding over the years to become somewhat of a library. I wear scent like I adorn accessories, using it to depict a mood or complement an outfit – two days are never the same. However, until recently I’ve never thought to take a perfume with me for spritz sessions throughout the day; I’ve always applied scent in the morning and hoped for the best. The recent trend for mini vials of fragrance, rollerballs and solid scents has made continual application a real possibility… You can simply pop a small fragrance in your handbag and add a touch of sophisticated scent as you would another layer of lipgloss. Here’s why I’m currently loving this recently reinvigorated format, plus a couple of my favourites.
1. They’re Perfectly Handbag Sized
I was recently in a workshop where we were asking members of the public to empty their bags and show what products they took with them on a daily basis. It was shocking how many women are lugging around giant 100ml fragrance bottles with them every day, hurting their shoulders and backs in the process – those things aren’t light! Rollerballs and solid scents are the size of a lipgloss, meaning you can even pop one in a clutch bag. There’s no need for a tote the size of a suitcase just to pop to the shop.
2. You Can Target Pulse Points
Rather than spritzing fragrance all over (and inevitably getting it in both your eyes and up your nose,) these little vials allow us to specifically target our pulse points – the inner wrists, the base of the throat, behind ear lobes, in the cleavage, behind knees, and the inner elbows. These areas are where the scent can be enjoyed the most, both by the wearer and the sniffer! This also saves a lot of product and ensures you’re only using what you need; we all inevitably spray ten times the amount that’s really required.
3. Oils & Solids Work With Our Skin
Due to the way our skin works, oils and solid formats work much better than liquids when applied directly. Put simply, they’re able to ‘melt’ into the skin and work with our natural oils and secretions – making the result much more natural and complementary to our own odour. This not only enables them to last longer, but the result is much more subtler and just helps to create the illusion you just stepped out of the shower smelling that way.
4. They’re Brilliant For Travel
If you’ve ever struggled packing a case for the airport and had a nightmare with your liquid allowance at customs, solid scents are your new best friends. Just think how many extra lipglosses and moisturisers you could take if you swapped a giant bottle for a teeny vial with just as much power! I now never take perfumes in the traditional sense away with me; they’re always replaced by a rollerball or solid alternative for pure practicality.
5. You Can Layer & Experiment
I love to layer my scents and create something altogether new, but it is harder with spray formats – you have to be a bit more targeted and ensure you’relayering in the right place! With rollerballs and solid scents it’s much easier to mix fragrances and create something unique, massaging the scent into skin for an understated sophisticated edge. These formats are mostly less expensive too, meaning from a cost perspective you’re more willing to experiment!
Although they are more fiddly to store, I just love these formats and have been collecting them like football stickers. Byredo Parfums offer a range of incredible fragrances in rollerball format that are inspired by fantastic stories; this Bal D’Afrique (£47) is described as “a warm and romantic scent inspired by late ’20s Paris and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance.” Diptyque also have a range of roll-on perfume formats, including this new comforting Eau de Lavande (£32) scent that reminds me of my mother. Le Soft Perfume (£20) is the brainchild of Isabelle Masson Mandonnaud (who started cosmetics mecca ‘Sephora’), who has poured her unparalleled beauty and business wisdom to create this exquisite range of solid stick scents. I love ‘Artist’ which is a masculine cedar-wood scent houses in a skin-nourishing, solid perfume base made with shea butter and natural waxes. These are perfume, but on another level. What’s not to love?