The first step to choosing your fragrance: knowing the different kinds of labels.
So is there any difference between Perfume, Eau de parfum and Cologne? And if so, what is it?
Yes, there is a difference! Not all of them have the same intensity or last as long as the others, this is depending on the concentration of Fragrance present in the solution inside that glass bottle you love so much.
These products are usually made by suspending essential fragrance oils in a water and alcohol solution, so the more water and alcohol you add to dilute your fragrance, the less concentrated it will be, and those different concentrations will define how your product will be labelled.
Perfume – the most concentrated
Parfum, perfume extract or true perfume, is where you will find the highest concentration of fragrance, it is also the one that will be the most intense, last longer and will generally be the most expensive. Its concentration of fragrance usually varies between 20% and 30%, although it can go up to 40% in some products. This concentration ensures the scent will last for up to 6-8h.
Unlike the other less concentrated variations of fragrance products, the perfume is made to be applied in specific points of the body, where the skin is warmer and consequently allows for a better and more efficient release of the fragrance. These points include:
- The inside of your wrists
- The throat
- The inside of your elbows
- Behind your ears
- Between the breast
The application should be made in a small amount preferably with a dropper.
Eau de Parfum – your everyday fragrance
Between 15 and 20% concentration, you will find an “eau de parfum” label. Being less concentrated than perfume it does not need to be applied with a dropper and will last about 4 to 5h. The still long lasting fragrance makes it a popular everyday use product which doesn’t require frequent applications like less concentrated versions.
Eau de Toilette – “getting ready”
Lasting up to 2-3h, Eau de Toilette is a softer product with a concentration of fragrance not over 15%. Eau de Toillete is one of the most popular types of fragrance, being usually applied after a daily hygiene routine, whether it is bathing or shaving, which is how its name originated from the French expression “Faire sa Toillete” (to make your hygiene routine, or in simpler words “getting ready”). This is why it can be considered a fragrance to apply in the morning, leaving the most intense and long lasting perfume for your nights out. Its application is more liberal than the one for perfume, having no need to use small amounts in specific points.
Eau de Cologne – a cult product
Named after the German town Cologne, where the first blend was created by the Chemist Johann Farina (Jean Maria Farina), Eau de Cologne has a low concentration of fragrance, between 2 and 4%, and lasting only up to 2h. It is generally cheaper than other concentrations of fragrances, and can be liberally applied in a larger amount.
In truth, Eau de Cologne has become a general designation for fragrances of 2-4% concentration, but the original Eau de Cologne created in 1709, is still produced today by the 8th generation of the Farina family.
Eau Fraîche – “the lightest”
Also lasting 1-2h, Eau Fraîche has an even lower concentration than Eau de Cologne, varying from 1 to 3% of essential oils. However, this difference in fragrance concentration does not imply a higher amount of alcohol comparing to Eau de Cologne, being the remainder of the solution mainly water, which is why it is also commonly known as “Fresh water”. Of all the fragrances the smallest concentration of essential oils, makes the Eau Fraiche generally the lightest product also for your wallet ????.
“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting” – Christian Dior