There are a lot of terms used when it comes to the fragrance world, and while they may seem like variations on the same thing, they all have a precise meaning and specific use.
In a nutshell, perfume types reflect the concentration of aromatic compounds in a solvent, which in fine fragrance is typically ethanol or a mix of water and ethanol.
Here we explain the main perfume terms you need to know in order to make your next trip to the fragrance department as pleasant as possible.
Parfum / Extrait de Parfum
These scents typically last the longest, as they’re usually formulated with between 15 and 40 per cent fragrance oil. Parfum versions are good to try if you have a very favourite fragrance already, and are willing to try a richer scent.
Eau de Parfum / Parfum de Toilette
This formula is what is typically considered to constitute perfume. The standard dilution for women’s fragrances is between 10 and 20 per cent of aromatic compounds, with the products sometimes listed as "eau de perfume" or "millésime". Parfum de Toilette is a less common term, most popular in the 1980s. Eau de Parfums are great for a special event, such as a date or evening out, but be aware that they can verge on the strong side, especially in the office.
Eau de Toilette
These lighter fragrances are great for spritzing on for everyday wear. Eau de Toilettes tend to comprise of less than 10 per cent oil but can range from five to 15 per cent, and are ideal for warm weather days. They are also a good way to experiment with new and unusual scents on the market, without buying the typically stronger Eau de Parfum version.
Eau de Cologne
While usually associated with men’s fragrance, Eau de Colognes are good choice for those seeking a fresh spritz. These perfumes contain around five per cent of fragrance oil, but can go up to eight per cent concentration. Designed to be worn and reapplied more frequently, Eau de Colognes are good for use after a walk or for freshening up after a day outdoors.
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