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Perfume Guide

Fragrances for Beginners


Just What Is the Difference Between Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Cologne, and Eau Fraiche?

Fragrances are available in perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, cologne or Eau Fraiche form. The main differentiating factor of these is the concentration of aromatic compounds in a solvent – that is, how much fragrance is in the formula’s composition. The more actual perfume concentrate it contains, the longer the scent will last on your skin, and the more expensive the product. Following is a breakdown of these categories.


Eau de Parfum

Eau de parfum, also called eau de perfume, is the next most concentrated formula, and one of the most popular purchases. It consists of 10-15% aromatic compounds.


Eau de Toilette

Eau de toilette is also a popular choice, and is less expensive than the perfume or parfum formulations, although its scent will not last as long when applied to the skin. Eau de toilette contains 5-20% aromatic compounds.


Cologne, or Eau de Cologne

Eau de Cologne originated in Cologne, Germany. Today, it is a generic term that defines a class of scented formulations by its typical concentration of about 2-5%. Cologne products are available for either men or women, and are sometimes mistaken for aftershave, which is actually a formula containing moisturizer, an antiseptic agent, and perfume. In addition, aftershave can be a gel, lotion, or liquid.


Eau Fraiche

Eau fraiche is similar to eau de cologne in that the scent will generally last for up to two hours. Eau fraiche has an even lower concentration of fragrance than eau de cologne, normally only 1% to 3%. While eau fraiche has a low fragrance concentration, it does not contain a high amount of alcohol. Along with the fragrance, the remainder of eau fraiche is mostly water.


For any perfume concentration, be sure to keep the bottle tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dry place away from windows or direct sunlight or heat sources to maximize its shelf life. For best results, store opened bottles inside their boxes.