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Roll-on, Spray, or Solid? Which perfume is best?!



So is solid perfume... better??? 

Has to be one of my top FAQs in the shop. Usually asked while someone is sniffing one of the solid perfumes I have in stock! 😆

The answer, is that no, solid perfume isn't better (or worse) than a roll-on or a spray in terms of wear time, or the "strength" of your fragrance. 

And of course there is no "winner" when it comes to choosing the best packaging or application method for your natural perfume - it really comes down to personal preference. 

Roll-ons, sprays, and solids each have their own set of unique benefits, which I'll break down for you in this post to help you narrow down your options and decide which one is best for you! 

First, let's talk about roll-ons, since that's what I carry the most of around here. (Although I will make any scent in a solid for you if you order via this listing and leave a note letting me know what you'd like!) 

But, roll-ons: 

aromatherapy roll-ons twinkle apothecary

Twinkle Apothecary signature, aromatherapy, and single note roll-on perfumes are based in fractionated coconut oil. (A shelf-stable form of coconut oil that doesn't turn solid in lower temperatures.) I do have some roll-ons based in alcohol (The Asterisk Collection, amber single note, and some of the perfume junkie scents,) but for the sake of this blog post, let's just discuss the oil based roll-ons. 

Top benefits of oil based roll-on perfumes: 

Travel friendly and purse/pocket sized, with minimal chance of leakage. ✅

Great for touching up on the go! 

Applied directly onto the skin and meant to be enjoyed in close range, (so you don't have to worry about your scent overpowering everyone in the elevator.) ✅

Blends well with most essential oils. ✅

Fun fact: some essential oils/resins/plant extracts don't like to dissolve in oil, and some don't like to dissolve in alcohol. You may notice that some of the oil based perfumes can look a little cloudy or goopy in the roll-on bottle. This doesn't mean that they've gone bad - it's just because the ingredients aren't oil soluble. The main ingredient that I use in my fragrances that's not oil soluble is benzoin extract, which is in the amber blend.

So if your pétiller, close, or cardigan roll-on looks a bit funky and it bothers you, I'd recommend getting the spray instead. 

Other reasons to avoid the oil-based roll-ons: 

You're sensitive to essential oils and don't want to apply them directly to your skin. 🚫

(Get the spray!) 

You're worried it might spill or leak during travel. 🚫

(Get the solid!) 

You've noticed that your perfume doesn't last as long as you'd like on your skin. 🚫

So this one really comes down to your individual body chemistry and personal preference. Some people feel that the oil based fragrances last longer on their skin, while others smell the alcohol based sprays longer. 

Personally, I find that the alcohol based sprays last longer on my skin, while the oils kind of melt in and fade away, but that's not necessarily true for everyone. This is why I offer mini samples of the oil based and alcohol based perfumes - so you can try both and see what you prefer! 

Even though I feel like the sprays last longer on my skin, there are some fragrances that I prefer in the roll-on, (Pétiller and Nicora No. 6 for example,) because they just feel more mellow with nice, rounded edges in the oil to me. 

Like I said, personal preference. Get the samples and see what you prefer! 

Moving on..

goddess spray perfume twinkle apothecary

Top benefits of alcohol based spray perfumes: 

Sillage. ✅

Sillage is the term for the trail of scent that you leave in your wake when wearing a perfume. The sillage when you wear an oil based roll-on or solid perfume is usually pretty minimal, whereas there's much more potential to make a bigger impact with your personal scent with the sprays.  

This is a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation. 

Hot date? Spritz freely. 

Doctor's appointment? Not necessary. And probably not at all appreciated by the other people in the waiting room, sorry. Either take it easy, or choose a roll-on or a solid with aromatherapy benefits for you (and you alone) to enjoy. 

Side note: even though the bottles are tiny and portable, and I personally love to spritz myself like crazy before I leave the house, I think we can all agree that it's tacky AF to apply spray perfumes while you're out in public. Don't ever let me catch you spritzing one of my perfumes in a restaurant or bar. Let people enjoy the smell of their own food/drinks/date/self. 

They don't have to be applied to your skin. ✅

This is great if you have sensitive skin and are worried about essential oils causing a reaction. The sprays can be applied to your clothing, hair, pillowcase, or around the room. Just keep in mind that darker oils could potentially stain light fabrics so proceed with caution. Also, maybe don't spray it on your pillowcase if you're sensitive... common sense! 

Reasons to avoid the sprays:

You want something you can easily apply on the go. 🚫

I think I've sufficiently covered this one, yeah? Choose the portable, less obnoxious to apply around other people roll-ons or solids! 

You don't want anyone to smell you coming. 🚫

Sprays = more sillage, roll-ons and solids = less sillage 

The materials. 🚫

Usually I take care of this one for you. For example, vanilla doesn't dissolve in alcohol, so I chill it before filtering to get the solids out, However, there may be some particles left in the bottle so if they bother you, get the roll-on!  

Cannabis gets weird and cloudy in alcohol, which is why Dope Queen is only available in the roll-on. 

Coconut CO2 is more likely to solidify in the alcohol when it gets cold, which is why Island Spice is oil based! 

You feel like the oil based perfumes stick around longer. 🚫

Again, this is really a personal thing. There is no right or wrong choice, which is why I offer samples of both. 

You think the alcohol based perfumes smell different. ❓

Ehhh... ok. I don't know what's happening inside your nose and I believe you, but I do think you're overreacting a bit. The spray may smell different when the alcohol is first atomized out of the bottle - there is a tiny hint of sugary-sweetness to the grape alcohol - but once it evaporates, the fragrance that's left on your skin is exactly the same. 

In fact, I think that the alcohol based perfumes are usually a "cleaner," more true to life version of the original scent that I designed. To me, the nuances of all the different smells can get lost in the oil. This is why the Asterisk Collection fragrances are alcohol based. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the oil based or solid fragrances more. You do you! 

Now, solids! 

solid perfume twinkle apothecary

I have no idea why solids got the reputation for being "better" than roll-ons or sprays. Someone out there is clearly a marketing genius for getting that in everyone's head! 

Solids are lovely, and fun. I love making them and wearing them, But they're only "better" if you think they are. 

Benefits of solid perfumes: 

The most travel friendly of all the perfumes. ✅

There's definitely no chance of it leaking in your bag. However, I do not recommend leaving it in a hot car. 

The most intimate application and sillage. ✅

Solids are easy to apply anywhere on your body, even in fun, unexpected places. Use your fingers like you would a lip balm, or just turn the jar over and rub it on your skin! The "strength" and sillage to me is on par with the oil based perfumes. 

Less waste! ✅

Solids are packaged in reusable/recyclable glass jars with aluminum lids. No plastic roller ball or spray tube to throw in the trash.  

 More product. ✅

Solids are more expensive per/ounce because they take a lot more fragrance to make. However, they last a lot longer than the oils or sprays, so it's more bang for your buck! 

Reasons to avoid the solids: 

You want something stronger. 🚫

The solids are well concentrated, but if you want more oomph, definitely go for the spray. 

You think they smell different. 🚫

I do agree here! The smell of the wax does come through a bit at first, but shouldn't be noticeable once it's on your skin.

You can also change the scent on purpose by adding a scented floral wax. Choose rose or jasmine wax for a fun twist! 

You have sensitive skin or are sensitive to essential oils. 🚫

Again, applying the spray to clothing is the safest bet here. Just because something is natural doesn't mean you can't be allergic (or sensitive) to it!

You need to try a sample first. 🚫

I'm sorry, but there is no good way for me to package solid perfume samples. You'll just have to trust me. 

If you're curious about solid perfumes but afraid to buy one without smelling it first, I recommend signing up for the perfume junkie club subscription for $20, which is a $10 savings vs. ordering a signature fragrance solid.


September 2019's scent is going to be a solid so you're just in time! 

(So crazy how that works, am I right?! 😜)

Sign up anytime before September 1st to get on the list for the subscriber price of $20 - I can't wait for you to smell this one! 

And I hope that this post helps you narrow down your options when you're deciding which perfume to go for. Of course, they're all wonderful in their own way so you really can't go wrong! 



Edit: I can't reply to comments made on my blog posts, but FYI, Phenylethyl alcohol is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in rose. It's also in neroli, geranium, champaca (magnolia), and ylang ylang. So technically all natural rose perfume does contain Phenylethyl alcohol. 🙂