Reveling in Rollerball Fancy – The more affordable, portable, fragrance path

Now, this post isn’t going to be a review of the fragrances you see here which are Philosophy’s Amazing Grace, Stella by Stella McCartney, and mom’s Diptyque Eau Rose, I’ll do individual reviews later on.  This is to present to you my newfound delight in the convenience of rollerball fragrance vials.

Though the concept and working of this isn’t new, the rollerball device has been around for years (more for deodorants, treatment oils and eye cooling serums) but  in the realm of fragrance they just didn’t catch on as popularly as atomizers did for some reason, the lack of the “pfffft” sound off perhaps.  Although Travalo atomizers (which I like very much) are extremely convenient for decanting scents for transit,  in my opinion rollerballs just totally steal the show because they’re still more “legit” and prettier to carry around in your handbag, especially at more formal occasions, thanks to improved digital glass-printing technology today.

I think not everyone caught the concept of the marketability of roll-ons and their convenience early on but now they’re having a moment in the beauty sphere.  Many known brands offer rollerballs today either in-store like in Sephora, online, in multiples as gift sets, as a gift with purchase, or as samples to take away with you.  I think that these are, as the English say, bloody brilliant.  There are 3 insights I’ve hung onto for today that I’d like to share with you in 4 seconds explaining why these are so great.  First off, the discretion of application.  Let’s just say that if I were to assassinate myself with fragrance and I wouldn’t want my boyfriend/husband/people around me to hear and suffer from how much I’m putting on, I’d prefer a weapon with a silencer.  While some people might like the entire room plus the world to know they’re spraying on fragrance, I personally wouldn’t.  I’d prefer people to think that my fragrance is a part of me and that it came with me and the sounding off of a spray when topping up your scent just reminds me of moments when someone thought they smelt someone or something bad nearby or that they didn’t smell good enough or right suddenly…do you get what I mean?  I may sound fussy, please don’t think I get offended when people SPRAY on fragrance, that’s not the case.  I’m just saying I enjoy the silence of rollerballs for all these frilly reasons that make sense to me.  Caught that?  Hung it up?  Carry on.

Secondly,  I think rollerballs conserve  more fragrance even if you’re given a small amount which is great for if the rollerball contains a more concentrated eau de parfum or parfum.  I’m inclined to think that if you spray on something, no matter how close the proximity the majority rests on you but a good third of it probably vanishes into thin air…waste.  The only drawback when it isn’t a spray I think is you don’t experience the fragrance in the air surrounding you (which some experts say is the way to go). Rollerballs carefully pour fragrance directly onto wherever you choose, there’s no spillage and none of it goes anywhere else unless you rub and say so.  Nuff said…I like.  Lastly but most importantly, for someone like me, who likes trying and non-obsessively collecting new fragrances, roll-on scents are the more affordable route and if you love to travel and hit the Duty Free, like I do, it would be nice to have a collection of rollerball scents from different destinations.  One rollerball of original fragrance at Sephora, for example, is at the minimum cost of about US$18 (now under Php750) and who’s to say you’re going to repurchase when you get to the end of it?  Only you can decide once you’ve had it for awhile.  Anyway, relating this feature to the holiday season, original rollerball scents would make great stocking fillers (if you’re in a country that traditionally puts up Christmas stockings, invite me over).  They come boxed so don’t worry about them breaking or anything.  They shouldn’t just be available in Sephora, I’m sure abroad you can ask any fragrance counter if they offer the roll-on version of a certain fragrance.  Oh another thing I like ’bout these is that it’s less imposing to ask someone to bring a rollerball scent home from abroad for you.  So if you’re a fragrance bug Filipino (also translates as “If you’re Filipino”)  the next time someone generously asks “Anong pasalubong gusto mo?  (What take home gift would you like?) rollerballs are a great, less imposing, lightweight choice and, in most cases, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for more than one.  Thank you to Wella and her husband, Budjette Tan (the author of Trese comics who just got slapped with ANOTHER national book award) for making this post possible.


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  • Remember back in high school we all had rollerball-type fragrances? Mine was a version of Cool Water for Men. Loved it coz it was quite a sturdy bottle too and didn’t decant any of its contents into my skirt pockets.