Solid travel perfume is just one of many ways to cut down on your liquids when globetrotting. You don’t have to worry about spilling an expensive bottle or fitting it into your size restrictions. More and more companies are starting to offer this alternative to bottles. Each company has its own unique scents and features that make it worth testing. We’ve compared four different brands and scents to let you know which ones are best for different types of travelers.
Here are the contenders:
L’Occitane en Provence, Pivione Flora, tub, $12
L’Occitane en Provence started as a soap company in the 1970s, but now creates skincare, bath and body, fragrance and hair care products inspired by natural ingredients from France and beyond. Their solid perfume comes in tubs, made alcohol free for sensitive skin. I tested out the Pivione Flora scent, which is floral, based on peonies. Floral scents aren’t my favorite, but this scent is a good fit if you like them. L’Occitane also makes solid perfume in the Arlesienne, Rose et Riennes and Cherry Blossom scents. You can purchase them at their hundreds of retail stores or on their website.
Pacifica, Brazilian Grapefruit Mango, tub, $9
Pacifica puts an emphasis on vegan, cruelty free and low environmental impact beauty products. I tested out the tub of Brazilian Grapefruit Mango, which smells like summer. I was immediately drawn to the fruity blend of aromas. You can also purchase solid perfumes in Tuscan Blood Orange, French Lilac, Persian Rose, Tahitian Gardenia and many more, on their website.
Lush, Orange Blossom, stick, $10
Lush is one of the best companies for solid alternatives to your favorite toiletries. Among our favorites are their solid shampoos and all purpose balms. Most products are vegan and cruelty free, so you know your products are responsibly made. I first tried out their solid stick perfume a few years ago, but they’ve now switched to making tubs instead. I love the orange blossom scent, with citrus and hints of floral. They make a handful of other scents like Karma and Dirty, which you can buy in store or online.
Aroamas, My Thai, stick, $12
We may be borderline biased here, but I absolutely love my Aroamas solid perfume. Brooke started the company in 2013 as a travel product for ladies. Since then, she’s added dozens of scents to the line and sells worldwide, as well as at markets in her home of Sydney, Australia. The perfume is alcohol free, made purely from beeswax, coconut oil and fragrance oil. The perfume is in small, thin sticks that resemble chapstick. Just don’t put it on your lips!
I have a number of Aroamas, but my current favorite is My Thai, which has a clean, tart scent featuring notes of Kaffir lime and lemongrass. There are dozens of other scents, including limited edition ones, but among the most popular are Almaty Apple, Bondi Beach, Dream and Parisian. You can purchase on the Aroamas website, on Etsy, on Amazon US, or at select markets in Australia.
How they compare:
Tubs vs. Sticks
Solid perfume comes in both sticks resembling lip balm and tubs resembling gloss. You apply solid perfume differently than normal perfume by applying to pulse points like your wrist and behind your ears. I find that the sticks work better in doing this, as when you use the tub, most of the scent sticks to your fingers, not your desired area. But with the tub, you don’t have to worry about smashing the solid perfume against the lid accidentally. The Aroamas stick is better than the Lush stick because it twists to push more perfume out and back in, while Lush has to be pushed back in by touching the perfume itself.
Scents and Durability
The most important quality of your solid perfume is the scent and how long it lasts. Solid perfume is always going to last not quite as long as regular perfume because it sticks to the surface of your skin rather than permeating into your clothing. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing since many people prefer to have a less overwhelming perfume (and people around them might, too!). The sticks tend to last longer on me, with the Lush and Aroamas lasting around three hours of reasonable fragrance, while the tubs lasted around an hour. Much of it depends on how well it sticks to your body and doesn’t rub off, or sweat off.
Scents are up to each individual person, but I definitely prefer the less floral scents. Another consideration is how that particular fragrance sticks to and mixes with an individual’s body chemistry. Everyone is different! Thankfully there are plenty of options, including ones that resemble your favorite designer brands.
Both tubs I tested are the same size, but I preferred the stick size of Aroamas over the Lush stick. It was easily slipped into my pocket or toiletries bag when packing for a trip. The Lush stick, on the other hand, had a much larger surface area, sometimes adding too much solid perfume to my wrist.
All are priced under $20, which is much less than you’ll pay for any other type of perfume, but I think the Pacifica brand is well priced at $9. Aroamas also include free samples with your order, which could help you discover a new favorite scent.