Women's Perfumes

What's the difference between a cologne, eau de toilette and parfum?

Perfume is generally used to describe a woman's fragrance, although Perfume and Eau de Parfum is not gender restricted but indicate the longevity and concentration of a fragrance. There are Perfumes and Eau de Perfumes for both men and women.

Perfume, or parfum – also sometimes referred to as ‘pure perfume’,  ‘perfume extract’ or ‘extrait de parfum’ – features somewhere between 20-30 per cent of scented perfume ingredients, along with alcohol and/or water, which explains why the ‘perfume’ version of any fragrance is always the most expensive, within a range. ‘Perfumes’/parfums are generally the longest-lasting on the skin – up to six or eight hours (and sometimes well into the next day and beyond). These true perfumes often available in glass-stoppered bottles for dabbing, rather than the sprays and spritzers which lower concentrations tend to come in.

Eau de Parfum (also referred to as EDP) offers a 10-20 per cent concentration of oils (typically somewhere around 15 per cent). These tend to have plenty of ‘waft’;  staying power of anywhere from four to five hours is a fairly common expectation depending on the dominant fragrance notes (top, middle or base notes). Top fragrance notes are lighter and last a much shorter time frame.

Eau de Toilette (a.k.a. EDT) offers somewhere between 5-15 per cent of aromatic ingredients, in that water/alcohol base. Ideal for work, for interviews, for when you want to wear scent for your personal pleasure, rather than to help get you ‘noticed’.  One to two hours of wear is all you can reasonably expect before the last traces drift away.

Eau de Colognes or cologne (a.k.a EDC) are the lightest concentration at 2-5% – and generally feature more light flowery or fruity top notes with ‘volatile’ ingredients like citrus and herbs in the blend. Eaux de Colognes are great for a wake-up splash, in the morning – or a cool-down in the day – but don’t expect this strength of scent to hang around for long:  you’ll be lucky to get two hours out of an eau de cologne.

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