Perfume, Eau de Toilette & Cologne - What’s The Difference?
 

What’s the difference between Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Cologne? Fragrances have so many different names and titles, that it can all become a bit confusing. Understand what a base or middle note is? We want to make sure you know what exactly what type of fragrance you’re buying, understand what you want and be happy with your choice!

 

Types of Fragrance
Types of Fragrance
So what do they all mean?
 
perfume

Perfume

Ok, so any fragrance that is described as a ‘parfum’ (not eau de parfum, we’ll get to that). These scents are usually between 15 and 40% fragrance oil. It is the strongest version of any scent, so if you find something you love, then try the parfum to make it last longer.

How far the fragrance extends from your body in the air around you is usually more noticeable with pure perfumes. They tend to seem thicker and more dense in the air. Parfums are usually a speciality item and often the most expensive scents.

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Eau De Parfum


This one you will probably be more familiar with. This is what most fragrance brands create, along with eau de toilette.

The standard dilution level for an eau de parfum is between 10 and 20%. Eau de parfums tend to last longer than an eau de toilette and have a stronger scent.

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Eau de Parfum
eau de toilette

Eau De Toilette

An eau de toilette fragrance is most people’s choice for an everyday scent. They tend to provide a lighter, fresher fragrance than an EDP and don’t necessarily last all day long.

Eau de toilette fragrances can be anything between 5 and 10% fragrance oil so are usually the cheaper option. You may think that the EDP and EDT versions of scents have the same ingredients but that isn’t always the case, some EDP’s will have heavier notes such as woods or patchouli and some EDT’s may have lighter notes such as florals or citrus’.

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Eau de cologne


Don’t get confused and think cologne just means for men. Eau de cologne is the perfect option if you want something very light and inoffensive. Eau de cologne usually has less than 5% fragrance oil and they often have lots of citrusy notes. It is cut with more alcohol and will only usually last a few hours.

Colognes are great to spritz on throughout the day or to freshen up but not if you’re looking for something that is going to last all day.

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Eau de cologne
Understanding perfume notes



Different notes are needed to make a perfume. When blended together they create a harmony of scents. However, they each have their own separate purpose.

 

Top Notes

Top Notes

Top notes can also be described at the opening notes or the head notes. You can smell the top notes immediately after you apply a fragrance. They are generally the lightest of all the notes and therefore tend to be the first to fade. The top notes of the fragrance will give you the first impression. If you spray a fragrance and take an instant dislike, then it give it a bit of time to mellow out and let the top notes fade and you might be surprised. Most commonly top notes are light and fresh, citrusy, fruity or herbal.

Middle Notes


The middle notes, or heart notes, become more apparent once the top notes have dried down and faded slightly. They are considered to be the heart of the fragrance. The heart notes are usually well rounded, a smooth combination of floral or fruity tones. Heart notes will last longer than top notes and have a stronger influence on the base notes to follow.

Middle Notes
Base Notes

Base Notes

Once all the top notes have fully evaporated you will begin to notice the base notes coming through. Base notes mingle with the heart notes to create the true scent of the fragrance. This is the scent that will be left for the rest of the wear time. These are often richer notes that will linger on the skin for longer and leave an impression. Most commonly you will find notes such as cedarwood, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, patchouli and musk in the base

TYPES OF SCENTS

Your favourite type of scent is completely personal preference, but perfumes and fragrances usually fall into one of four categories; floral, fruity/fresh, oriental and woody.

 

Fresh & Fruity scents


A fruity fragrance tends to be vibrant, sweet and light. They are often loud scents that make an impact, reminding you of the sweet juiciness of your favourite cocktail. Fruity fragrances are perfect for summer or holidays! Fruity notes you’ll often see are cherries, mango, peach, blackberry and guava.

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Fruity scents
Floral scents

Floral scents

Floral perfumes and fragrances are the most popular scent of all. The floral tones tend to be charming, mild, romantic and mellow. Often a very feminine scent that combines a number of different flowers to create floral fragrance. The most popular notes in a floral fragrance are peony, jasmine, iris, lily and rose.

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Woody scents


The compositions that usually make up a woody perfume are warm, dry and sharp notes. These fragrances are usually based on the notes of trees, not surprisingly. Woody fragrances tend to be thought of as masculine scents however sandalwood, vetiver, amber and musk all combine to make the perfect scent for women too.

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Woody scents
Oriental scents

Oriental scents

Oriental fragrances are often categorised as spicy scents that are bold and appealing. Oriental scents usually have a distinctive bottle and vivid colour. Think YSL Black Opium for a gorgeous oriental scent perfect for evening wear.

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