Dab Monday: When a spray’s not the way to go

dabAlthough many (most?) of us would agree that sprayed is usually the way to go to fully enjoy and experience a scent, I seem to hit a skid periodically where I find a fragrance that demands that I dab it. And I reached that point with a recent fragrance love: MFK’s Ciel de Gum (which Patty loved and wrote about last month). After going through one dab sample vial, I snagged another one, and midway through that one, I decided to splurge and get a spray decant. I was hoping it would live up to my previous experience and just keep the love going stronger longer, but …

Just as Amouage’s Beloved Woman sprayed seemed a little off-putting in its first spritz on me, so, too, does the Ciel de Gum. It seemed to be missing a tad of its charm and its smoothness, replaced by something a bit more sharp and brash. Almost as if the tippy-top notes disagreed and were having it out on my wrist when they landed straight out of the sprayer.

Thankfully, though, just as with the Beloved, Ciel de Gum settles down and returns to its remembered loveliness fairly quickly, into the middle stages and on through the home stretch.

With notes of amber, pink pepper, jasmine, rose, cinnamon and vanilla (per Fragrantica), it’s a smooth yet spicy floriental that starts out a little dark and mysterious but overall ends up hitting my craveworthy sweet spot (slightly gourmand but not too foodie, and very cold-weather comfy). When I wear it, I can hardly keep my wrist away from my nose. Not to mention that it has a plush, elegant feel to it that makes me think Ciel de Gum would not have been out of place had it been released under the Guerlain banner.

Now it makes me happy to know that I can keep getting dab samples, enjoy to my heart’s content, and my poor little wallet can sigh with relief.

So if any of you haven’t sampled this already, please don’t judge Ciel de Gum by my quirky, oddball skin. You might just fall in love with it sprayed. The truth is, if you try a scent first as a spray and really like it, there’s very little need to even venture into dab territory, right? Just spritz away and enjoy.

What about you — what scents do you wear that just seem to do better with a dab to the wrist and other pulse points?

25 Comments
melissapham2015 November 18, 2015

Thank you for sharing. I'd like to try it. Hope to hear more from you.

Katrin November 17, 2015

I have a 0.5 oz bottle of the reissue of Lancome's Magie. I use it every once in a while when I want to be transported back to the old days and its charms or experience something relaxing and reassuring that has a vintage vibe. It's not a spray bottle. I cannot imagine it being sprayed. It would be suffocating, or just too much of the old world I guess!

Queen Cupcake November 16, 2015

I don't own a lot of extraits, especially in the high end perfumery, and what I do have are tiny sample vials so dabbing is what I have to do. But anything that I can spray, I spray.

eldarwen22 November 16, 2015

I find that Cuir de Russie in extrait form is not one to be sprayed. I don't think that anything in extrait should be sprayed because it becomes too much. I have no idea why Nasomatto has all of their offerings in spray form when it is in extrait. Serge Lutens offerings can be iffy depending on what I am wearing.

Portia November 16, 2015

Nothing yet Ann, Still spritzing the shit out of everything. My frag motto seems to be Go Hard Or Go Home. Portia xx

Solanace November 16, 2015

Fumérie Turque!

mikasminion November 15, 2015

That happened to me with Korrigan. Drained several little samples and ordered a spray decant that I've been taking the lid off for every application. I almost always prefer vanilla-heavy scents dabbed or I get a weird scratchiness from them. And some perfumes are just too much if sprayed: as much as I love them, MKK, O Hira, Fracas, and Rien will always be in dab or roll-on form for me. I can wear quite a lot, but MKK gets an odd sweetness that bugs me if I spray it.

furriner November 15, 2015

A lot of Serges benefit from dabbing. In particular, I'd have to say Gris Clair... certainly smells a lot better dabbed versus sprayed. Sprayed on me, it smells chemical. Dabbed, one of the most beautiful lavenders ever.

tammy November 15, 2015

I prefer dabbed in almost everything. I have come to the conclusion that I must not like top notes. I am all about that base. :o)

Heidi November 15, 2015

I keep meaning to try Ciel de Gum -- I really should! Ones that I like dabbed better than sprayed include the parfum-strength versions of Vol de Nuit and Chanel's Cuir de Russie. I love them both, but the spray gets a bit overwhelming.