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.
Five Main Perfume Types
Table of Contents
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‘Eau de Cologne’ is defined in the dictionary as a toilette water with a very strong scent, originally made in Cologne, Germany.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.
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.
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.
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.
We wish to thank you for reading this post and would invite you to please leave your comments or questions below.