I am chuckling to myself as I write this, because every time I’ve typed the phrase “rollerball,” I keep picturing the 1975 movie of the same title with James Caan (there was a remake made more recently, if I’m not mistaken). So that gives you an idea of my age, although I wasn’t legal at the time. 🙂
Anyhoo, let me get back on track. Not long ago, I had the happy occasion to get my hands on a rollerball of Cartier’s La Panthere, which from previous posts, you all know that I am quite taken with (as are many of you.)
Now I don’t have many fragrances in rollerball in my collection but do enjoy the few that I have. In my travels, Sephora seems to have more scents in roll-on form than anywhere else, and I’ve also come across empty ones for your own fragrance.
There’s something very sleek and smooth (and dare I say, even sensuous) about gliding scent across your wrists, neck, and other pulse points. No dbout it does feel more decadent than swiping your wrists with the plastic dabber of a sample vial.
In addition, the resulting sillage is softened, and you are less likely to offend others in your vicinity as you’ve not allowed as much scent into the air around you as with a spray. Not to mention their spillproof nature and handy portability. On the downside, I know there can be qualms about sanitary issues with the rollerball being in frequent contact with skin.
But have any of you found that the scent itself seems different applied this way? Of course, that makes sense, as fragrances do tend to smell slightly different when dabbed and when sprayed. Oddly enough, though, when I applied the La Panthere rollerball, I got the heart and lovely, mossy, musky base notes very quickly, very little of the top notes at all, at least on my skin. But when I dabbed it from my sample vial I got a more traditional development of the scent. So when I want a dose of the mossy, musky goodness of La Panthere right away, I know I’ll be reaching for mine.
What about you? Do you have any rollerball scents and what are your favorites? And does the scent seem slightly different to your nose when you wear it this way?
I keep meaning to venture into rollerballs because they seem perfect for touchups throughout the day, but i worry that they won’t give me the proper sense of a new-to-me scent because of the method of application?
Hi, Jaime! I know what you mean, so perhaps you could try a rollerball in a scent that you know you already like and that smells good on you? I’ve not debuted a fragrance in roll-on form but I, too, might hesitate to do so. They are so cute and portable, though, definitely worth a go.
The only rollerball ever tried was Kate Walsh Boyfriend. Ordered it from Sephora and the rollerball wouldn’t roll! Took it to my local Sephora and the SA looked at me like I was crazy and then tried to roll it herself and it wouldn’t work. I ended up paying the difference and buying a small spray bottle.
Oh, no, Barbara — so sorry to hear this! Who’d have thunk it — a non-rolling rollerball? But I hope you’re enjoying the spray version. And don’t give up; surely that experience was just a fluke and not the norm, I hope.
I’m not fond of rollerballs. They tend to damp down sillage to the point that anything I apply with them doesn’t radiate. Case in point: even CARNAL FLOWER, applied from a rollerball, doesn’t radiate! Applied from a vial, it does (I’ve never sprayed it, actually).
My daughter has a rollerball of Hanae Mori, and that seems to do well in the roller – less berry, more caramel vanilla.
Howdy, Mals! I’m thinking Queen Carnal Flower would never, ever consent to be put into a rollerball 😉 She was made to radiate! I’m such a light spritzer that rollerballs do make sense for me. Of course, as you noted, it all depends on the scent; I can see that Hanae Mori being nice that way — I like the idea of less berry, more caramel.
I’m wearing something from a rollerball today, Philosphy Falling in Love. Which I got at Sephora, of course! I’ve never tried this one sprayed, other than quickly in the store so can’t say how it compares. I would think rollerbal would be similar to dabbing from a vial. I do my perfuming mainly at work – opposite to most here I’m sure, as my husband gets migraines from scent and one of my daughters has eczema, so no scented products at home! I’ve recently brought a little stash of stuff to work and I have 5 rollerballs in a mug on my desk, plus some other decants and bottles of summer favorites.
I bet that Philosophy scent is great in a rollerball. I love your idea of putting them all in mug — very cute. Can I borrow that idea from you? 🙂
But of course 😉 Falling in Love is great in rollerball form – I think it would probably be too sweet for me sprayed. And rollerballs are great for non-offending at work.
Just purchased a rollerball of Bobbi Brown Beach. Strikes me as the perfect way to apply it for some reason.
Yum, Catherine, you lucky girl! That does sound like the perfect scent for a rollerball. Hope you enjoy it this summer!
I tend to keep rollerballs in my purse. I don’t worry about them spilling nor about the cap coming off and spraying the inside of my bag. The contamination thing doesn’t bother me. It is my skin and I can’t think it is much more gross than using a lipgloss wand. I actually wish more samples came in rollerballs (or sprays, I love spray samples) as the first time opening one of those little vials usually results in strongly scented fingers and whatever surface I manage to spill on.
Liz, I hear you! I live in fear that I’ll spill a sample vial, especially when the top is on so tight that you really have to fight to get it off.
I’m confused about why skin contact with a rollerball would be an issue. Perfume is usually more than 70% ethanol, which is what we use to clean surfaces in the lab, as well as what is used to sterilize skin before a poke. Is it what is on your skin already that can “physically” contaminate the fragrance (lotion, dead cells, sweat), even though the material would be biologically inert? I’d rather have perfume in rollerballs than none, but I like dabbing best, then spraying, rollerballs last…somehow they are reminiscent of lip smackers era to me, a little preteen pleasure.
Bonne Bell lip gloss – the sticky kind! I am transported back to 5th grade, ca. 1979… I had a blueberry one, the smell of which haunts me, and a crush on Todd Massie, when he didn’t even know I was alive.
Michelle, I think that’s it. People might get yucked out if something from the skin got into the juice in a rollerball. BTW, I love the Bonne Bell lip smackers mention — takes me way back! My flavor of choice was the Dr Pepper one. Thanks for the fun memory lane road trip, ladies!
I have a small rollerball of Gucci Envy purchased from *bay, and it’s been a good one. Love Envy. I’ve also got a small rollerball of Kai oil which is nice in the summer, especially at the beach. That’s it for rollerballs for me. I don’t mind them, but I don’t seek them out.
Dina, I am “green” with Envy (pardon the pun)! I think Envy would be so cool in a rollerball. I, too, have had the Kai roll-on and loved it (that was what I wore and got me through when my son was hospitalized several summers ago). So great minds really do think (sniff?) alike, right? 🙂
I don’t know much about rollerballs in that I don’t have any.
But I DO enjoy your post’s!
Then one leads to another Bingley vs the Lemon and I’m in heaven reading about fragrance
and the comments from others.
Cheers to all!
Oh, thank you, Bevfred, that is so nice of you! Love seeing you pop into the Posse as well! Next time you’re fragrance shopping, do try a rollerball scent and see how you like it.
Just ordered half a dozen mostly Demeter rollerballs. An office mate complained about sprayed perfume even when he was not in the room at the time. Hoping rollerballs are therefore acceptable as most perfumes do not last the day on me.
Annie, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rollerball application does the trick for you. Enjoy those fun Demeter scents!
I don’t really like rollerballs Ann but I do wish that Pacifica sent to Australia.
Oh, no, I can’t believe that — bummer 🙁 !!! But with all your travels, you probably could snag some somewhere.
portia, they dont have the whole range, but David Jones have ’em
Hi Ann! I am fine with rollerballs and I agree about the pleasant application and softer sillage. I have Stella and Kate Walsh Boyfriend in rollerballs. I don’t find them especially portable though; they seem fragile to me, but it’s always nice to have a lower price point.
Hi, dear! I bet Kate Walsh Boyfriend is great in a roll-on, and sounds like something I’ll have to try next time I go Sephora-ing. Especially since I like the KWB body cream and think the spray is a bit too much, for me at least. Thanks!
I’m on my second rollerball of Boyfriend; I really like the scent, but it seems way more vanilla than a spray of the fragrance.
Thanks, Jett — that’s good to know! I definitely will have to try it on my next Sephora run. Thanks!
I have a few rollerballs but honestly I can’t say I prefer them. They’re okay for carrying in a purse to freshen up a scent but overall I prefer to spray. I do like them to try out perfumes because they last longer than a sample vial and are usually affordable.
Howdy, Poodle! They are a nice way to sample scents and all the ones I’ve seen at Sephora seem pretty reasonably priced. I’m with you, I don’t think I’d want them exclusively, though, because I like to spray and dab way too much.
I don´t have much experience with rollerballs, but I had this set of Jovoy samples and they were 2ml rollerball vials, cute and really handy. I enjoyed them a lot. It´s the old series, now discontinued. The Boise I prefer sprayed from the bottle, but Chypre, I think, is better when applied from the rollerball sample, much softer that way. Curious you should mention rollerballs, just the other day when I was applying Fate Woman (gorgeous scent) I thought it would be just perfect applied from a rollerball. (I imagine sprays of it can be rather potent).
Hi, Katrin! Oh, those little 2ml rollerballs just sound so cute. I know what you mean about Fate Woman; I think that one would be a good one to try in the roll-on format. If you do slip a bit into a rollerball to try it, do let us know how it worked. Thanks!
5 ml rollerbals is my format of choice for decants. Easy to apply and carry around, last way longer than a spray and yes, it is a sensuous way to apply. There is the dead skin cells contamination issue, but this is why I get my rollerballs 5 ml, so they’ll end after a while. I think sillage is between that of dabbed and sprayed, which I find another plus.
Solanace, that sounds perfect — you can get through 5 mls pretty quickly. I agree with you on the sillage; it seems to be a happy medium, which is a good thing for the big, room-clearing scents.
My fave rollerball is Madonna Truth or Dare. I prefer it to the spray and have even worn it this summer. It’s softer and the tuberose blends into the sweet base notes. It becomes comforting and feminine, whereas with the spray it can venture in to obnoxious fume territory. The spray I can only do in winter, in small amounts or when I have the house to myself and spray away!
Just ordered this, since it was crazy-cheap. With luck I will like it too…
Jill, that is one of my prime examples! The TD scent was waay too much for me sprayed, so dabbed (or rolled on) it is great. Annie, hope you will enjoy it!