Splash vs Spray bottles discussion - Pros, Cons & Preferences

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
I was thinking about this the other day and it’s something that hasn’t been discussed for a while. What do you guys and girls think about splash bottles vs spray bottles? Do you find scents wear differently from one type of bottle compared to another? What are some of the pros and cons as you see them?

Please feel free to discuss.


Sheik Yerbouti
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
I've never noticed any difference in performance between spray and splash, but I prefer spray because application is more even, and the perfume in the bottle doesn't get contaminated by contact with skin.
 

GoldWineMemories

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
I have noticed that while perfumes can reveal different facets when splashed vs sprayed. Usually splashed is a bit more muted. I like the idea of splashing on fragrances, or applying a small amount of extrait with a glass stopper, but in reality spraying is by far the best way to go.
 

tdem1961

I smell something…
Basenotes Plus
Jun 19, 2005
I dab on extraits and a couple of Serge Lutens fragrances - Fleurs d’Oranger and Ambre Sultan specifically. Otherwise I much prefer to spray.
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
I slightly prefer sprays, but splashes work fantastic for me. The main concern with a splash would be spilling, but so far, no accidents.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
I've never noticed any difference in performance between spray and splash, but I prefer spray because application is more even, and the perfume in the bottle doesn't get contaminated by contact with skin.

Bonnette, comparing performance I couldn’t say I’ve noticed either but I have sometimes noticed some notes stand out more, one type compared to the other - perhaps the more concentrated area a dab or splash gives compared to a spray misting to a wider area.

I agree spray bottles are more hygenic compared to splashes.
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
Spray bottles need not be more hygenic.
I have bought a load (1000 count) of sterile plastic dipsticks which I use to apply my extraits, attars, and splash perfumes.
It keeps them safe and sound!
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Bonnette, comparing performance I couldn’t say I’ve noticed either but I have sometimes noticed some notes stand out more, one type compared to the other - perhaps the more concentrated area a dab or splash gives compared to a spray misting to a wider area.
I think you're right about that. Good point about the mist-to-area issue.
 

hednic

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2007
Is that just for reasons of convenience or something less obvious? Only asking because you’ve mentioned owning thousands of bottles and your experience might lend some further insight.
Well, obviously some sized bottles which I own from years past and currently, never came in Sprays so I had no choice, like with some vintage Creeds and Clive Christian Absolute Oils and Limited Editions releases in Crystal and and a few others, but, given the choice of the two, I would never choose or purchase a Splash. I just find them wasteful and cumbersome.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
I have noticed that while perfumes can reveal different facets when splashed vs sprayed. Usually splashed is a bit more muted. I like the idea of splashing on fragrances ............ but in reality spraying is by far the best way to go.

My thoughts mirror this mostly. I enjoy the tradition of splash bottles that’s rooted in the post shaving ritual and aftershaves, but these days spraying is 95% of my scenting.



I dab on extraits and a couple of Serge Lutens fragrances - Fleurs d’Oranger and Ambre Sultan specifically. Otherwise I much prefer to spray.

Thank you for your insights tdem.

Interesting that many of the highest concentrations and lowest concentrations fragrances both come in splash bottles almost as standard.
 

MisterK

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2003
Don't think I can compare how frags smell in splash vs spray but I prefer spray. I have a hard time figuring out how much to put in my hand when using a splash, and when I do invariably its a lot, probably the amount from an entire sample vial, and probably more (unless using a mini). The mouth of splash bottles I've used are way too wide; they don't have some kind of limiter where the opening is narrow like in an aftershave for some darn reason. I have a bottle of JHL where Lauder was packaged it with a separate atomizer, and if I used it as a splash that mouth is just way too wide, it would come out like a bottle of soda - I never used it as a splash and immediately installed the sprayer for fear of smelling out the entire city.

There are some frags where I would prefer it as a splash though, lighter ones like Hermes Orange Verte (sorry forget the correct name), Eau Sauvage, Lacoste Booster, current Guerlain Vetiver.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
I slightly prefer sprays, but splashes work fantastic for me. The main concern with a splash would be spilling, but so far, no accidents.

Unwanted spillage is something I’ve mostly avoided too. I’ve often heard people mention splashes waste too much fragrance but on the contrary I find it all goes to skin one way or another. With a spray though some is lost to the air and how much is usually dependant on how narrow or wide the spray is.
 

Birdboy48

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2011
I've never been able to figure out the appeal of splash bottles.

What the proper application technique is supposed to be is remains a mystery to me. How are you supposed to regulate the amount you dispense ? Dabbing with a dabber…it can take forever to apply very much.

Are you supposed to pour it into your hand, and them spread it ? A person would end up with a good smelling hand, so I guess there's that.
 

Cook.bot

Common Lackey
Basenotes Plus
Jan 6, 2012
I have noticed that while perfumes can reveal different facets when splashed vs sprayed. Usually splashed is a bit more muted. I like the idea of splashing on fragrances, or applying a small amount of extrait with a glass stopper, but in reality spraying is by far the best way to go.

I agree that a splash can be more muted, but I absolutely love lavishing on handfuls of eaux de cologne. It just feels so invigorating and so... I don't know, abundant? And I love having the smell all over my hands.
 

PotassiumSnow

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2021
I've never been able to figure out the appeal of splash bottles.

What the proper application technique is supposed to be is remains a mystery to me. How are you supposed to regulate the amount you dispense ? Dabbing with a dabber…it can take forever to apply very much.

Are you supposed to pour it into your hand, and them spread it ? A person would end up with a good smelling hand, so I guess there's that.


I don't get it either. I don't have time to sit and dab things on with dabbers, swabs, a turkey baster or whatever else is used. I prefer to strategically spray and go.
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
Moderator
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2015
With splashes, I dab to the back of my hand and then apply anywhere else from there. Or I dab directly wherever. I feel like I'm taking a bath in the stuff, but they seem to last fine for me (if I don't decant from them too much for swaps). They last better than sprays, I sort of feel, but I'm not sure.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
While a spray is closer to ideal, it depends on how close to ideal the particular sprayer is. Old propellant atomizers are highly problematic, and even some "natural" sprayers can be pretty wonky. So, I prefer a good sprayer to a splash, and a splash to a poor sprayer.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
Spray bottles need not be more hygenic.
I have bought a load (1000 count) of sterile plastic dipsticks which I use to apply my extraits, attars, and splash perfumes.
It keeps them safe and sound!

Hey Shadowartist, I take your point about the hygiene issue. I should have clarified, I didn’t mean that splashes are dirty per se. Obviously with a clean environment and good application method it’s possible to keep splash fragrances in pristine condition. Sealed/crimped sprayer bottles are less prone to these types of problems by design.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
Well, obviously some sized bottles which I own from years past and currently, never came in Sprays so I had no choice, like with some vintage Creeds and Clive Christian Absolute Oils and Limited Editions releases in Crystal and and a few others, but, given the choice of the two, I would never choose or purchase a Splash. I just find them wasteful and cumbersome.

Thanks for the response hednic. It is insightful and much appreciated.
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
I agree that a splash can be more muted, but I absolutely love lavishing on handfuls of eaux de cologne. It just feels so invigorating and so... I don't know, abundant? And I love having the smell all over my hands.

I share your sentiments. It just feels so… luxuriously decadent! And for that brief time until I next wash my hands, they smell amazing! Anyway, with the amount of juice currently in my wardrobe I could certainly afford splashing some on… :smiley:
 

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
I think I'm the odd man out because I spray in hand and pat myself, if it's not a splash. I tried spraying directly on myself initially, but didn't like the ways different sprayers behave so I went back to "splashing" the sprays to homogenize the application, making everything wear like a splash.

I therefore can't really compare sprayed-on perfomance versus splashed-on all that much, but can remember some fragrances I tried directly spraying getting wider distribution than I wanted.

I do admit some splash bottles without the reservoir in the opening are hard to apply because they vapor-lock against skin without it. You either have to shake it out (Trumpers) or try and let a little air in as you turn the bottle up (The Baron), which can lead to over-application. A lot of my older Avons were splash-only so I guess that's why I got used to it that way.

Spray in hand, slap it only where you want it, wash hands, go about your day. Doesn't work for many folks, but it's my weird little practice.
 

ascentofdreams

Active member
May 18, 2021
I like the dabbers for extraits or some of the more potent fragrances where I want to apply with a light hand - SL Fumerie Turque as an example. I also find Santa Maria Novellas splash style to be wonderfully vintage in feel and enjoy using it - the process of perfuming becomes a little more special :)
 

Theholyfilament

Well-known member
Jul 4, 2014
I used to be of the mind that it didn’t matter much, until I tried RF Kolonya both splashed and sprayed. Splashed its naturalistic and complex, so much more of it comes through with the slightly rounded lemon opening, sprayed it somehow just smells like a citrusy dryer sheet to me. Likewise with GL Horizon, splashing a huge amount of it makes it smell almost CDG esque and industrial, with a gasoline nuance under all of the caloney oceanic notes. Sprayed it smells like rhubarb, speed stick and mouth wash somehow lol.

There’s definitely multiple factors at play :) top notes getting muted and rubbed out combined with (generally) a splash bottle causing me to apply more. Makes me interested to try and splash on some other favorites.
 

PrinceRF

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 3, 2020
I much prefer spray bottles because they are so much more convenient to use and provide a nicer application/coverage. Not to mention there is no chance of getting any debris or contaminants in a spray bottle.
 

RedRaider430

You smell good! 😄
Basenotes Plus
Dec 18, 2011
I don't like splash bottles and never buy them.

I would always choose spray over splash, given the chance, just because of the convenience. If buying a used fragrance, I would NEVER consider a splash, simply because of the contamination issue. The thought of applying fragrance from a used bottle that someone (stranger) has likely had their dirty hands on is about as gross as it gets.

Really, about the only time I would consider buying a splash is if it's a rare/discontinued fragrance that I've been wanting, and it's still in brand new condition. I would just decant it into a spray bottle. I did this with a 1976 vintage splash bottle of Gucci Pour Homme and I noticed no difference from the spray version.
 

Emanuel76

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2018
I hate the splash bottles.
The spray is much more convenient. Much less worry about spoiled juice when buying, no worries that it may spoil over time, no more spilling anxiety lol, no need for a decant bottle.

The decant bottles I bought have a hose instead of spray - one spray is the equivalent of 3-4 medium sprays.
Now I have to change all the bottles. And I hate moving the juice from side to side. :angry:

I don't like the decant bottles for aesthetic reasons either.


I have noticed that while perfumes can reveal different facets when splashed vs sprayed. Usually splashed is a bit more muted. I like the idea of splashing on fragrances, or applying a small amount of extrait with a glass stopper, but in reality spraying is by far the best way to go.
+1


I've never been able to figure out the appeal of splash bottles.
- habit;
- ritual;
- sentimental;
- for some it may have a different level of involvement;
- it may seem uncomplicated for some, basic, less technological;
- group membership;
- sense of superiority.
 

Mai7

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2020
Splash is more intimate on my skin and lasts longer. Spray gives better sillage, but shorter longevity.
Although, weren't all the perfumes in the past splash only?
Aftershaves were meant to help with desinfection, while ladies would use their perfumes with add on pumps.
For me, it was really only down to how the perfume came packed.

But. Lush used to pack their Gorilla line in bottles with pipettes.
I found it a very convenient splash method, great dosage control and no skin contamination.
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
It depends on the perfume formulation and concentration. Parfum/extraits are generally dabbed on, not sprayed. I like to spray EDT’s and EDC’s. PDT’s and EDP’s vary. Many vintage perfumes are so potent that you need to apply small amounts.

When buying vintage EDT’s and EDC’s, I prefer a good large sealed splash over a spray. I am especially wary of pressurized vintage sprays. I transfer my vintage EDT’s and EDC’s to small glass stomizers, a small amount at a time.
 

Sheik Yerbouti

oakmoss fiend
Basenotes Plus
Jul 20, 2017
After my morning showering/shave ritual today, I shook some Old Spice aftershave into my hands from the splash bottle, hand clapped and applied to my face. I usually wipe any excess around my neck and arms. There is something invigorating about it which I miss when using a spray bottle. Some things get lost to time but I hope this simple pleasure isn’t one of them.
 

Nastka

Well-known member
Mar 6, 2011
I generally prefer sprayers, though I love my 4711 splash bottle. I agree it's incredibly invigorating to apply that all over in the high summer heat.

However, there is one exception. Serge Lutens La Myrrhe. That stuff should never, ever, ever, ever be sprayed. If done so, the aldehydic top notes are so overwhelming that they make Chanel's liberal use of them look incredibly limp and weak-wristed in comparison.

If you don't believe me, then perhaps you will believe The Non-Blonde (RIP):

http://www.thenonblonde.com/2011/07/serge-lutens-la-myrrhe.html#.YUyjQX3TVaQ

In a (for me) rare moment of 'eh, **** it', I actually ordered La Myrrhe whilst having it only tried from a sprayer decant. Thankfully, it's a completely different fragrance when dabbed on.
 

Emanuel76

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2018
Aw, c'mon, that was uncalled for. Nobody here has claimed that splashing was a better method, just that some of us preferred the way it felt to us.
I'm such a nice guy, and you thought I had been biting your @55.
Unbelievable! :sad:

Cross my heart and hope to die that everything I said above has absolutely nothing to do with the colleagues from this thread, or from this forum.

After a minute of exhausting solo brainstorming I came to the conclusion that it's possible that those are the reasons some people may prefer splash bottles. That doesn't imply the same person has to tick all of them.

Group membership
Over time certain people will be attracted to certain groups, because they share the same interests, sympathy for the influential members, safety sensation, surrogate family, sense of belonging, seeking validation and approval, lap dog charachter and so on.

Sense of superiority
Many people feel superior for the most trivial reasons. I don't see why the use of splash bottles would be an exception.
 

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