Savvy with Scents – A Guide to Fragrances

Whether youre buying a fragrance as a gift or youre looking to replace that empty bottle sitting on your dresser, youll find that there are a number of different perfume types that can make the process of choosing a tad overwhelming. But aside from the qualities of the scent itself – which can be confusing all on its own – many of us tend to overlook the type of perfume were buying.

That little indication under the name of the scent – eau de toilette, eau de parfum, and eau de cologne, to name a few – all tell you a little more about the fragrance youre buying. So before you settle on a choice, make sure youre making a scent-savvy decision by learning what those terms mean.


There are different ways that you might find parfum indicated on a fragrance bottle. Some perfume brands will phrase it extrait de parfum or pure perfume, which basically means that it has the highest scent concentration compared to other formulations. These are typically the most expensive, boasting a concentration between 20-40%.

Manufacturers also usually incorporate less alcohol in parfumfragrances because the scent can be powerful enough without the added ingredients. Lasting up to eight hours, parfum can be a great gift choice for big events like anniversaries and weddings.

Eau de Parfum

The perfect marriage between potency and longevity, eau de parfum formulations are the second highest concentration. Typically containing 15-20% fragrance, this type of scent will last for up to five hours. Of course, because of its slightly lower concentration, it does cost a little less than parfum. A popular eau de parfum selection is Black Orchid perfume which demonstrates powerful floral notes with rich woody undertones that can keep you feeling clean and confident for most of your day.

Eau de Toilette

Averaging 5-15%, eau de toilette fragrances are cheaper still. This is the most common fragrance concentration because theyre generally affordable but still provide potent scents that last just long enough, which is about two to three hours. Inspired by the French term faire de toilette which translates to getting readyor preparing, eau de toilette is often advertised as a suitable day-wear fragrance. Spritz generously to achieve its full effect.

Eau de Cologne

At just 2-4% fragrance, eau de cologne formulations typically come in oversized bottles because youd have to use far more of the product to achieve a lasting scent. They also contain quite a bit of alcohol in order to balance out the lack of fragrance, which means they might not be ideal for sensitive skin. The upside however is that they are far cheaper than the other choices described above, so theyre great for budget buyers who still want to exude a sophisticated scent.

Eau Fraiche

Similar to eau de cologne, eau fraiche contains just around 1-3% fragrance. The difference is that the rest of the formulation incorporates water instead of alcohol. Thats why it makes a great selection if youre buying for small children and even babies because of the mild scent and water-based solution that doesnt risk irritation.

what is your preferred type of scent?




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