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

Well hello there! 

If you're reading this and you're interested in learning more about natural fragrances, you're in for a treat, because you've just virtually stumbled into a totally unique, artisan botanical perfumery! 

This post was written a while back so some of the products mentioned are no longer available, but there are plenty of amazing, 100% natural, plant based perfumes in-stock here. ($5 samples are available for every scent!) 

But please, do read on to learn more about the differences between roll-on, spray, and solid perfumes!

- Enjoy -

Twinkle Apothecary

(Updated September 2022)

 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 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. 

There is no "winner" when it comes to choosing the best packaging or application method for your natural perfume - it all 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: 

Sundays perfume - available in a roll-on or spray bottle! 

Twinkle Apothecary's signature roll-on perfumes come in a base of organic fractionated coconut oil. (Fractionated coconut oil is a shelf-stable form of coconut oil that doesn't turn solid in lower temperatures.) I do have some alcohol-based roll-ons, 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, purse/pocket-sized, with minimal chance of leakage. ✅

Oil-based fragrances are great for touching up on the go! 

Applied directly onto the skin to be enjoyed in close range. ✅

Meaning: oil-based perfumes are perfect if you don't want your scent to overpower 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, while some don't dissolve in alcohol. You might 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 turned bad - it's just because the ingredients aren't oil soluble. The most common plant extract I use in my fragrances that isn't oil-soluble is benzoin extract, which is in the amber blend.

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

Reasons to avoid oil-based roll-on fragrances:  

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. 🚫

This 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 - 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 everything - so you can try both and see what you prefer! 

Some fragrances I prefer in the oil-based roll-on, even though I feel like the sprays last longer on my skin. For example, I love how Pétiller and Nicora No. 6 have mellow, rounded edges in the oil.  

Again, personal preference. The only way to find out what you prefer is to order a sample and try it on your skin!

Moving on... let's talk about spray perfumes!

Adore perfume - available in a roll-on or spray!

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 minimal, while there's much more potential to make an impact 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 appreciated by the other people in the waiting room! 

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

Spray perfumes can be applied to your clothing, hair, pillowcase, or around the room for maximum scent impact. With natural fragrances, understand that darker oils can potentially stain light fabrics, so proceed with caution!

Reasons to avoid alcohol-based spray perfumes:

You want a scent that you can apply while you're out and about. 🚫

Listen. Here's something every fragrance lover needs to know: 

when to apply liberally versus when to take it easy and choose and roll-on or a solid for you (and you alone) to enjoy. 

Spray perfumes are best left at home. 

Can we all agree that it is tacky to apply spray perfumes while you're out in public? No matter how much you love the scent, you don't want to risk accidentally spritzing someone who is out minding their own business. Don't be rude with your perfume! 

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

Sprays = more sillage, greater scent impact. 

Roll-ons and solids = less sillage, more intimate enjoyment. 

You feel like the oil-based perfumes last longer. 🚫

Again, this is really a personal thing. There is no right or wrong choice, which is why I recommend trying both! 

You think the alcohol-based perfumes smell different. ❓

Ehhh... ok. I hear this sometimes, but I think it's an over-reaction. The spray may smell differently than the oil-based perfume when it's first atomized out of the bottle, as there is a tiny hint of sugary sweetness to the grape alcohol. However, once the alcohol evaporates, the fragrance that's left on your skin is exactly the same. 

Personally, I think that the alcohol-based perfumes are a "cleaner," more true-to-life version of the original scent that I designed. In my perfumer's opinion, nuances of all the different smells can get lost in the oil. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the oil-based or solid fragrances more. You do you! 

Now, solids! 

Tuberose Vert solid perfume - a green, earthy floral!

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

Solid fragrances are lovely and fun. I adore making them and enjoy wearing them, but they're only "better" if you think they are. 

Benefits of solid perfumes: 

The most travel-friendly personal fragrance choice. ✅

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 is on par with oil-based perfumes. 

Less waste! ✅

My solid perfumes are packaged in reusable/recyclable glass jars with aluminum lids. No plastic rollerball or spray tube to throw in the trash. 

 More product. ✅

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

Reasons to avoid solid perfume:

You want something stronger. 🚫

If you need more fragrance oomph, the spray is a better choice.

You think they smell different. 🚫

I do agree here! The smell of the wax does come through a bit but shouldn't be noticeable once the fragrance wears on your skin.

You have sensitive skin or react badly to essential oils. 🚫

Because natural solid perfumes use more fragrance material, they are not the best choice for sensitive skin. 

You need to try a sample first. 🚫

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

I hope that this post helps you narrow down your options when you're deciding which perfume to choose. I happen to think that they're all wonderful in their own way, so you really can't go wrong. Scroll down to shop my extensive natural fragrance collection, and enjoy your perfume discovery journey!  

-XO- 

Stefanie