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Fragrance Hierarchy - Understanding Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, and more...

Fragrance Hierarchy - Understanding Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, and more...

When it comes to choosing a fragrance there are so many options and lots of terms that can be confusing if you don’t know what they mean. So, we’re breaking down fragrance concentration terms for you. Eau de parfum? Eau de toilette? These terms, often found on perfume labels, denote different fragrance component concentrations.

Perfumes are composed of essential oils, aroma compounds, and a solvent (usually alcohol) that helps disperse the fragrance. The concentration of these aromatic components varies from one type of perfume to another and is indicated by name.


Parfum, also known as extrait de parfum, has the highest fragrance concentration, anywhere from 15-40%, but usually in the 20-30% range. Parfums with their high dosage of aromatic compounds have long lasting scents, around 8-10 hours or more. Parfum also commands the highest price of all fragrance types, but you’re not paying for as much alcohol compared to other liquid forms.

Eau de Parfum (EDP)

Typically, EDP contains between 15-20% perfume oil, with the remaining content being alcohol. This higher concentration of fragrance oils allows for a long-lasting scent on the skin. With EDP, you can expect the fragrance to linger for 6 to 8 hours or even longer, depending on the specific perfume and individual body chemistry.

Eau de Toilette (EDT)

On the other end of the fragrance spectrum, we have eau de toilette. EDT has a lower concentration of perfume oil, usually ranging from 5-15%. As a result, eau de toilette scents are generally lighter and fresher. They are ideal for everyday wear and tend to be more suitable for warmer climates or situations where a subtler fragrance is desired. EDT scents usually last for about 3 to 4 hours on the skin.

Eau de Cologne (EDC)

Eau de cologne has a much lower concentration of fragrance than the above types of perfume. EDC generally has a 2-4% percent concentration of fragrance and a high concentration of alcohol. It is cheaper than other types of fragrance, but the scent typically only lasts for up to two hours. Applications tend to be frequent and large EDC bottle sizes reflect this.

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, 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.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

Strength and Longevity - If you prefer a stronger and longer-lasting scent, an extrait de parfum or an eau de parfum is the way to go. A higher concentration ensures that the fragrance stays on your skin throughout the day. However, keep in mind that this also means the scent may be more intense.

Occasion and Season - Eau de toilette is often preferred for daytime wear or casual occasions due to its lighter and fresher nature. Eau de cologne may be preferable in warmer seasons when heavy scents can become overpowering. Eau de parfum, with its stronger presence, is generally more appropriate for evening events or special occasions.

Personal Preference - Fragrance experience is subjective and unique to each individual. It's important to sample and test various perfumes on your skin to see how they interact with your body chemistry and determine which concentration suits you best. Personal preference should always take precedence over general guidelines.

Make Your Choice

The choice between fragrance concentration comes down to personal preference, occasion, the desired strength and longevity of the fragrance, and availability. Eau de parfum and parfum offer more intense and longer-lasting scent, making them ideal for special events or those who enjoy a stronger olfactory experience. Eau de toilette and eau de cologne with their lighter composition, are perfect for everyday wear and warmer weather. Whichever concentration you choose, you’ll smell great.