Spray-on perfume may be classic. But that doesn't mean there's not room for iteration, and maybe even improvement. Take, for example, solid fragrances: These blend-on scents, which often come in balm format, are long-lasting, ultra-portable and perfect for travel.
Kevin Keller, co-founder of Fulton & Roark, rattles off a number of benefits of solid perfumes versus their liquid counterparts: "When you're traveling, there's nothing to spill, leak or shatter — and the TSA won't try to take away your fragrance," he says. "It's also great for discreetly reapplying when you're already out for the day without having the, 'Did someone just spray perfume in here?' moment." Solid scents also offer more precision and control, and they're a more personal way to wear a perfume, he explains: "Because of the way the formula works, those close to you will notice your scent, but not the whole room. We heard someone call our solids 'fragrances for introverts,' which I love."
Solid perfumes also have a lower alcohol concentration than liquid formulas, which Keller emphasizes as an important distinction. The evaporating alcohol in traditional perfumes is largely responsible for their surrounding scent trail and helps carry off the top notes until eventually leaving the base notes. (It can also dry out skin and hair.)
"Because solids don't have a high alcohol concentration, the scent tends to wear far more consistently; which means you might miss out on the sparkling top notes when first applying a scent versus a liquid, but after a couple of hours, your solid will smell far more consistent to what you applied than a spray would," he explains.
When it comes to application, not only do solid perfumes allow precision, but a little goes a long way. Rather than scooping out big portions, Keller suggests using "a gentle back and forth motion" with your finger across the balm, which you'll then "apply a little at a time to your pulse points, just below your jawline and on the insides of your wrist. The heat from your body will make the scent a bit more prominent."
Of course, this isn't to suggest everyone bid farewell to their favorite liquid scents — it's all a matter of preference. (Especially for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies, "it might be best to skip any fragrance that makes contact with your skin," Keller advises.)
Without further ado, keep scrolling to see (and shop!) the best solid perfumes to add to your fragrance stash.
Fulton and Roark Cloudland Solid Fragrance, $60, available here
Glossier You Solid Perfume, $32, available here
Lush Vanillary Solid Perfume, $17, available here
Diptyque Eau Rose Solid Perfume, $60, available here
Roots Rose Radish Ylang Ylanh & Grapefruit, $84, available here
Givenchy Beauty Irresistible Eau de Parfum Solid Perfume, $40, available here
Essential Labs Solid Perfume, $42, available here
Good & Well Supply Co. Solid Fragrance Stick, $30, available here
Morgan Madison Next Chapter Solid Perfume, $69, available here
Blk Mkt Brand Indigo Fragrance Balm, $25, available here
Heretic Parfum Oud Butter, $75, available here
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