Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Understanding Perfumes // Eau de Parfum, Eau de Cologne or Eau de Toilette

Last time we talked perfumes here we talked the different perfume notes and what they mean. This time we want to discuss what term the different concentrations of fragrance oil, alcohol and water accords a bottle of fragrance. 
When you go fragrance shopping you must have come across fragrance bottles with the words: Eau de Parfum (EDP), Eau de cologne (EDC), or Eau de toilette (EDT)  

What do these mean? 
First, "fragrance" is a term for any smell that is made up of some fragrance oil diluted in alcohol and water. So, no kitchen or gutter smells are not fragrances. 
Now, depending on the concentrations of fragrance oil, alcohol and water here's a rundown of what each term means:
Parfum: This is not the pure perfume essence, i.e the base notes. It has been diluted because pure perfume extract for example spikenard or real musk is not pleasant to smell even in small doses, however 'parfum' is the most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. It is composed of 20-30% pure perfume essence, i.e the base note and lasts up to 24 hours. It tends to be sold with 'stopper bottles' and not sprays because it is too strong and too expensive to be sprayed everywhere
Perfume (Eau de Parfum): The term is genderless and could denote male or female fragrance. it's made of 15-20% pure perfume essence and lasts 5-8 hours. Eau de Parfum may be sold in normal bottles or sprays, but even if gotten as a spray it shouldn't be doused all over from head to toe. 
Toilette (Eau de Toilette): It contains 5-15% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol and lasts for about 3 hours. This is usually sold in spray bottles and can be sprayed liberally. The high alcohol content means the scent doesn't last too long. 
Cologne (Eau de Cologne): This is an old term for perfume and usually for masculine scents. It is composed of 2-4% perfume oils and lasts up to 2 hours
Eau Fraiche: This is the most diluted version of fragrance and usually contains 1-3% perfume oil in alcohol and water. It lasts for less than an hour. 

What to Choose?
It follows that if you're looking for a fragrance that takes you through the day without reapplication then Parfum or Eau de Parfum should be the focus.
And if you want to change things up for different occasions in a day you might want to start the day with Eau de Toilette.

Note that the difference in the concentrations of fragrance oils does not mean that different levels of quality


  1. Hmm, thanks for that. I always knew about the differences but this just clarifies everything.

  2. Interesting article! Love perfumes :) xo, sharon


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