Apr 15, 2016

Difference Between Perfume, Cologne, Toilette, and Other Fragrances

Fragrances are complex mixtures of what people in the industry refer to as raw materials. These raw materials can be extracts from natural sources or synthetic raw materials.

Oils are dissolved in a solvent (usually alcohol), to preserve pleasant scents. The higher the concentration of oils, the greater the strength of the fragrance. The strength determines how long an application lasts on your skin.

All fragrances are largely the same, but they are given a name based on the concentration of oil in alcohol and water, such as:

    Eau Fraiche – The most diluted version of fragrance, usually with 1% – 3% perfume oil in alcohol and water. Usually lasts for less than an hour.
    Cologne (Eau de Cologne) – Oldest term for perfume, used in North America for masculine scents. Light, fresh and fruity, typically composed of 2% – 4% perfume oils in alcohol and water. Usually lasts for about 2 hours.
    Toilette (Eau de Toilette) – A light spray composition with 5% – 15% pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol. Usually lasts for about 3 hours.
    Perfume (Eau de Parfum) – Historically genderless, used to describe both men’s and women’s fragrances. The best term used to describe a fragrance. Contains 15% – 20% pure perfume essence and lasts for about 5 to 8 hours.
    Perfume – A corruption of the Latin phrase per fumum (through smoke). The most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. Slightly oilier, perfume is composed of 20% – 30% pure perfume essence. A single application of perfume can last up to 24 hours.

Usually, the amount of concentrate a fragrance contains will affect its price.

Major brands create perfumes that are part science and part marketing. They have a familiar feel to all their perfumes. Ralph Lauren perfumes are made to have a family of familiar scents, such as the newest Polo perfume should smell comfortable, even though it is not the same original scent.

The shelf life of an average bottle of perfume is 3-5 years from the date of manufacture.

More money does not necessarily mean better colognes or perfumes. Some of the most popular fragrances are relatively cheap forumalea. It is possible to mix expensive raw materials and create bad fragrances. Most often price is determined by the marketing cost and the image associated with a brand, but not necessarily the cost of raw materials comprising the scent. Buy the scent, not the name.

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