Application Monday: Sprayed vs. dabbed

It’s likely many ( most?) of us would agree that spraying fragrance is usually the way to go, but every once in a while I’ll stumble upon a scent in which a spritz is not where it’s at, but dabbed, baby, dabbed. And I have hit that point with an oldie but goodie that I’m re-discovering: Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille.

I recently got another sample of it, and dabbed up a storm with it, as it was perfect on a chilly evening, so warm, cozy and boozy. I should have been happy with that, but nooo … when I spied a small decant of it, my fingers rushed ahead of my brain and applied a a hefty, full-on spritz. Whoa! Lovely in small doses, this beauty is a bit overwhelming sprayed (at least to my nose). The booziness really blooms on me and I feel like I’ve been soaked in a barrel of something or other, while doing a bit of tippling on the side. But a little while in, and it had receded to its more contained cozy self. Sheesh, when will I ever learn?

This happened with several other fragrance loves, including, most recently, MFK’s Ciel de Gum. After going through one 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 be fully true to my dab experience, except with a bit more oomph, but …

Just as Amouage’s Beloved sprayed seemed a little off-putting in its first spritz on me, so, too, did the Ciel de Gum. It lost a tad of its charm and its smoothness, replaced by something a bit more sharp and brash.

Thankfully, though, all of them it returned to their original loveliness fairly quickly.

With these pricey (and often hard to get) scents, I’m a pretty happy camper, knowing that I can make do with dab samples, enjoy to my heart’s content, and give my cringing wallet some relief.

So what about you — what scents do you wear that just seem to do better dabbed to the wrist and other pulse points?

  • Tara C says:

    SL Cuir Mauresque. I disliked it until I tried just dabbing it on, then it was able to open up and reveal its beauty to me.

    • Ann says:

      Tara, I like that– nicely put! You know, I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried that SL scent. How would you describe it? Thanks!

  • GrandmaGaga says:

    I always wear Alien as a dabbed scent…I love to dab a bit on the top of my hand and fall asleep experiencing the other-worldly ‘trip’ that is Alien…

    • Ann says:

      Nice! A lovely other-worldly “trip” to Dreamland — I will have to try this soon. Don’t usually wear fragrance to bed but might have to change that.

  • Maya says:

    What I do when even one spray is too much, is spray the hem of my jeans or pants or skirts. Then when I walk or sit down, the fragrance wafts up gently around me. I love the effect.

    • Ann says:

      Maya, what a great idea! Good thinking on your part. Plus, it’s low enough that it’s unlikely to be offensive to anyone around you.

  • I have this with Carnal Flower. Dabbed it’s the most wonderful green flower, sprayed it is quite skanky and makes me feel that it wears me instead of the other way around.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, say it ain’t so, Marie! Not Carnal Flower as a skank-meister! 😉 But I hear you, if it doesn’t work for you sprayed, just dab away and enjoy it in small doses. And I rarely wear more than one spritz of it (at least in public).

  • Tatiana says:

    Amouage Lyric is one I prefer dabbed over spraying.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, Tatiana, I can definitely see dabbing that lovely. Which reminds me, I haven’t worn it in ages, so need to go apply a bit — thanks!

  • Gwenyth says:

    Well, then……I’m the one who is immoderate and unrestrained.
    I have yet to discover a perfume which I can only dab. Other than a few bottles which have no sprayer and therefore dabbing is the only means of application, I am a non-repentant sprayer. Even with my “splash” bottles, my dabs are probably very generous, indeed.
    My skin tends to absorb fragrance so I am completely unable to comprehend the notion that “a little dab will do ya”. [grin]

    • Ann says:

      Nope, Gwenyth, it’s not you — it’s me: I’m just a big ol’ application wimp, ha! And if your skin eats fragrance, then you’ve almost gotta spray. So go, girl! 🙂

  • Musette says:

    I’m pretty easygoing, either way, Though I will say that I prefer Amouage Jub25 dabbed – especially in extrait form.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, darling! I forgot about the Jub, but I agree wholeheartedly. But what about Madame Fracas? But you’re one of those who can handle her sprayed, right? 🙂 Not me, baby, so I bow to you…

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I love SDV sprayed and many of my other perfumes sprayed. Extrait sprayed is not a good idea. I had decanted Cuir de Russie extrait in a spray decant and I lived to regret that. The perfume that I have to decant to dab is Amouage Gold for women. That stuff is too potent and over the top for me to spray.

    • Ann says:

      Lucky you to be able to wear SDV sprayed! And I’m nodding my head to your other examples; both are firmly in the “dab” camp.

      • Eldarwen22 says:

        I forgot to add that Obsession (not the flankers since I haven’t tried those) is another one that is best dabbed. The most miniscule amount is more than enough.

  • Sherri M. says:

    I agree with Vernona on the Fracas. MFK Absolue Pour Le Soir is very aggressive sprayed on, but just a dab of i is refined and elegant.

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, dear! Nice to see you. You are so right — that MFK is much more wearable when dabbed (at least on us) — some may be able to get away with it sprayed. You’ve reminded me to get out my little bit of it and wear it tonight.

  • Vernona says:

    I prefer dabbing Fracas. Spraying it just kills me on some days. That’s why I never got a bottle but enjoy the samples. SDV I can do just fine spraying. Also there are many scents I prefer sprayed rather than dabbed. For example, Iris de Nuit. So much better sprayed on, the lipsticky heart of the scent really shows when sprayed while dabbed it is more transparent and vegetal…

    • Ann says:

      Yes, yes, Vernona! That is a prime example. I bow to those who can spray Madame Fracas because she would take my head off if I did it. And I love iris-type scents sprayed; they do seem to expand and bloom.

  • HeidiC says:

    I agree about the Ciel de GUM — thanks for sending both spray and dab decants so I could try! I also feel the same way about Guerlain’s Cuir Beluga — sprayed, there’s a booziness about the vanilla note, and it loses some of the snuggliness. But the big one for me is Chanel’s Cuir de Russie — it’s way over the top on me if I spray it.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Heidi! You’re very welcome, dear. Interesting that you find it to be too much sprayed as well. Good to know about the Cuir Beluga, as I’ve only ever dabbed it, so now I won’t worry with a decant. And I’m with you on the Chanel, it would be waaay too much spritzed on me as well. It’s a great scent but the thought of a lot of it almost gives me a headache 🙂

  • Claudia S says:

    I have AE Perfumer’s Reserve. I have no choice but to dab. I always use a clean finger pad for every application!

    • Ann says:

      Amen, Claudia! And even then, it’s so potent I’m not sure I could even wear it dabbed (altho haven’t tried that version, just the original).

  • Tiffanie says:

    Parfums DelRae Amoureuse is one scent I enjoy more when dabbed, so that it blooms into a narcotic veil of flowers and honey. Sprayed more than once, I feel like I’ve eaten too many bites of something wonderful, all the while knowing I will take another bite and another and then another because I can’t stop myself.

    • Ann says:

      Tffanie, that is a great scent and a great way to put wearing too much of it. A little of something that good does tend to go a long way. Enjoy!