Mon. Dec 5th, 2022
eau de parfum

When shopping for perfume, you may have noticed that there are different types available. Parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne and eau de fraiche are the five most common types of perfumes you will find.

So, what’s the difference you might ask ? What makes some more expensive than others ? What about oil-based vs water based perfume ? Do some last longer than others ?

These different perfume categories may not affect the overall quality of the scent, however, they will help you to determine the concentration of the oils in the perfume

With so many choices, it’s no wonder that shopping for perfume can be confusing! But armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to find the perfect scent for you.

Well my friends, please read on because in ‘Parfum vs Eau de Parfum’, as we will answer these and any other questions you may have about the different categories of perfumes available today.

scent essential oils

Five Main Perfume Types

OK folks, lets get into it ! Here we go……

Eau de Fraiche

‘Eau de Fraiche’ is sometimes referred to as ‘perfume or Fragrance Water’. This perfume category is typically the least concentrated and also is usually the least expensive of all the perfumes available. It will usually contain a perfume oil concentration of 1% – 3%. It will also usually have a higher alcohol / water concentration and will therefore dissipate more quickly lasting perhaps 1 – 3 hours after application.

‘Eau de Fraiche’ is an ideal fragrance to wear perhaps at the beach or whenever you prefer to wear a very light and subtle scent.

Eau de Cologne

‘Eau de Cologne’ is defined in the dictionary as a toilette water with a very strong scent, originally made in Cologne, Germany. The term actually means a very light concentration of perfume oil, usually 2%- 4%, has a little more alcohol and will last about 2 – 4 hours, a little longer than ‘Eau de Fraiche’.

‘Eau de Cologne’ will actually allow you to wear the scent you love at a less expensive price.

Eau de Toilette

‘Eau de Toilette’ has been defined as a relatively light perfume that contains a lower percentage of fragrant essential oils than its cousin, Eau de Parfum. It will contain 4% – 15% fragrance concentration. Due to its lower fragrance concentration and higher alcohol content, it is usually available in a spray bottle and will usually last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. This means when using you will likely need to refresh your scent part way through your day.

Because this form is a little lighter, it makes it an excellent option for the office, and many women choose to wear it during the summer months.

Eau de Parfum

‘Eau de Parfum’ is a scent that contains a higher percentage of fragrant essential oils than all of the above, but a little less than ‘parfum’ itself. Fragrance concentration is about 10% – 15%. with a little more alcohol and water compared to ‘parfum’

It is still a fairly strong perfume and will last from 6 to 8 hours. Those of you that may have sensitive skin should be a little cautious when using ‘Eau de Parfum’ and perhaps use a little less.


‘Parfum’ or ‘Perfume’ is the fragrance version that has the highest concentration of the scents essential oils, anywhere from 15% – 40%. This higher concentration of course means that it will also last much longer, eight hours or more is not uncommon with some scents.

This higher concentration also means that the price tag is going to be a little higher as well. Parfum is also a very good choice for those of you with sensitive skin as it contains the lowest alcohol content. It is also less likely to dry out, meaning you will only need to spray on a small amount to achieve your desired result.

perfume concentrations

Photo courtesy of ‘The Perfume Shop

NOTE: These five Main Perfume Types do not affect the scent nor the quality of your perfume. They are merely a guide as to the concentration of essential oils in your fragrance. Generally speaking, the higher the concentration of fragrant essential oils in your perfume, the longer it will last.

Oil Based vs Alcohol Based vs Water Based Fragrances

Some of you may be wondering what the difference is between an ‘oil based’ fragrance, ‘water based fragrance, and an ‘alcohol based’ fragrance.

An ‘alcohol based’ perfume will undoubtedly provide you with a more powerful scent, but will unfortunately only last from about 1 – 3 hours as it will tend to evaporate much more quickly.

On the other hand, an ‘oil based’ fragrance will last so much longer as the scent will release slowly over the course of the day.

Then we have the ‘water based’ fragrances. These scents are far more subtle and are a very good choice for those of you with sensitive skin. Your sensitive skin issue can be avoided using scents prepared using essential oils and water only, no alcohol.

Fragrance Notes

So, what are ‘fragrance notes’ you might ask. Good question. Basically, ‘perfume notes’ are described as the different layers of scent that will make up your final fragrance. There will be a ‘Top Note’, a ‘Heart Note’, and a ‘Basic Note’. All three of these notes will work together to provide what you know as your beautiful fragrance.  Fragrance Notes

The ‘Top Note’ is the one that you will notice when you first smell a fragrance. The ones that will give you your first impression of the scent.

Next is the middle or ‘Heart Note’. This one will come to the fore as the Top Note begins to fade. These notes tend to be the most identifying scent of that particular fragrance. These will tend to fade rather quickly.

Finally, the ‘Base Note’ will come into play. These are the part of the scent that will remain with you the longest.

Choose Your Right Perfume

Here is a brief guide to help you to choose the right perfume for you.

1. Choose your notes first. These ‘notes’ will determine your overall scent.
2. Select the best concentration for you. The fragrances with the highest concentration are called ‘Perfumes’.

Usually scent concentrations are about 1% all the way up to 40%.
3. Test the perfume. Spray a small amount onto your skin. Smell it immediately, then let it rest for a while, and smell again. Fragrances are subtle and will change a little as they remain on your skin longer.


In this article, ‘Parfum vs Eau de Parfum’, we have discussed at length the ‘Five Types’ of scents including their various concentrations of essential oils and alcohol. We have also talked about ‘oil based’, ‘water based’ and ‘alcohol based’ perfumes as well as ‘Fragrance Notes’ and a little guide on how to choose the best perfume for you.

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We wish to thank you for reading this post and would invite you to please leave your comments or questions below.

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13 thoughts on “PARFUM VS EAU DE PARFUM”
  1. Hey William. Thank you for this great post. I must say, my first business was MLM in health. One part of our products was perfumes and back then we didn’t have such information you provided. That said, I have two conclusions, the business I was part of was very poor, secondly, you know pretty much about perfumes. Anyway, I knew just eau de toilette and Eau de perfume at the moment, so thanks a lot for bringing to my attention the other three. The question is, is the base and heart notes any important? When seeing that the TOP note defines the fragrance.

    1. Hey Julius, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments…Like most people, I was very unaware of the different types of fragrances and their differences, and why some would cost more than others. After doing the research for this article I wanted to share it so that others like myself would be much better informed, especially before making a purchase.
      You might be interested in another article we did entitled PERFUME PULSE POINTS, FACT OR FICTION.
      Here, we talk about where one should spray their favorite scent for a longer lasting effect. Very interesting indeed.

  2. I remember the Eau de Cologne when I lived in Germany, it’s also called “Kölnish Wasser” and it smells nice.
    Some perfumes have a very strong scent and they often make me sneeze, so I am not a fan of the strong-scented ones. I prefer the ones with lighter scents.
    I didn’t know about the three notes, that makes me understand so much more that it is actually an art to make perfume. In my early 20s I once visited a perfume factory in Paris, France, and it was fascinating. They also made some beautiful fragrances.

    1. Hey Christine, thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments. We appreciate it.
      Yeah, I wasn’t aware of the three notes making up a fragrance. Very interesting, right. I’ll bet it was very very interesting to visit those European perfume factories, wow. Yes, it is quite an art to manufacture fragrances, so many things to consider.
      You have actually made some fragrances, wow good for you. I would be interested to know a little more about how you did that.
      In the meantime I have included here a couple of other articles we have recently published that you may be interested in.
      Take care.

  3. Hi Lett & William

    I have never heard of fragrance notes before, It is quite interesting to know. Perfumes have a higher concentration level of essential oils, these tend to last longer. Attar is a natural-based perfume without adding any chemicals. Mitti Attar is a top perfume in terms of smell, it is also called the Scent of Rain. Mostly Athar doesn’t cause skin problems because of its natural ingredients.


    1. Hi Sujith, we appreciate you visiting and leaving your comments. Yes, you are right. Most people are unaware of the different types of fragrances, not knowing a perfume from an Eau De toilette. It is our hope to help as many as possible understand the differences to enable them to select the right type of fragrance for their need.

      Mitti Attar, as you have mentioned is an elegant perfume using Sandalwood as its base, giving it a subtle, dusty intimate and deep and recognizably Indian.

  4. Thanks for explaining the differences in detail. I knew that Perfume is the fragrance version that has the highest concentration of that scent’s essential oils because I used to buy Obsession (for women) by Calvin Klein. OMG. It was more expensive, but the lady at the counter explained that I only needed to wear a little bit because it would last a long time because it was so concentrated. I’m not sure what my notes are, but I do love earthy, warm, musk and vanilla kind of smell. Thanks for your post.

  5. Hi William,

    I am so pleased I came across this article as it is my niece’s and sister-in law’s birthday in December, as well as being Christmas. I have a great idea of what to get them both for both occasions.

    I am going to share this article with a few more family members to give them more of an idea too, but they better not steal any ideas that I may have 🙂

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    1. Hey Tom, we appreciate you stopping by and leaving your comments. Thank you.
      We are pleased that you enjoyed the article. Yeah, I agree with you, perfume always makes an excellent gift for the ladies in our lives.
      Now that you are armed with the differences in fragrances you will be better able to select the right one.
      We do appreciate you sharing the post with family and friends.
      Here is a link to another recent article you may like to read when time permits.

      All the best,

  6. Wow, this was an incredibly interesting article to read as I really had no idea about the differences between the five main perfume types. To be honest, I did not even know there are five types or more. I usually go into the store, spray test some of the perfumes and then just blindly buy without really understanding what I am buying in the sense that I had no knowledge about the different perfume types, how concentrated they are or how long they will last.
    I will certainly pay a lot more attention now when I go to the shop to buy perfume. Many thanks for a very interesting article!

    1. Hi Schalk, thank you for stopping by and leaving your comments. We really appreciate your feedback.

      There are so many types and categories of fragrances available these days sometimes its hard for most of us to make an informed buying decision. There is a lot more to this than just selecting a scent that we like or that we think the lady in our lives will like.
      We are pleased that you were able to take away some information that will help you down the line.
      Perhaps you will consider sharing this article with friends or family that you feel may benefit from reading it.
      Take care,
      Lett & William

  7. Wow, this is wonderful!! I had not before known what I have read about perfumes until now. Thank you so much for this guiding and informative post on the five different versions of the perfumes and their formulations. Thank you for highlighting the differences between water-based, alcohol-based, and oil-based perfume formulations, and the advice to those with sensitive skin. I have at least known that water-based formulations are good for those with sensitive skin. Then the fragrance notes; at least I have understood that these are important in making the right choice of the perfume I want. Once again thank you so much for this informative post

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