The Real Difference Between Perfume, Cologne, Toilette, and Other Fragrances

The Real Difference Between Perfume, Cologne, Toilette, and Other Fragrances

You might think that the difference between “perfume” and “cologne” is who the bottle is intended for, or which counter it’s sold at—the reality is a little more subtle than that. Simply, all fragrances are largely the same, but they’re given a name based on the concentration of oil in alcohol and water.

The graphic above, from Real Men Real Style, explains that “fragrance” is generally a unisex term for, well any smell that’s a certain amount of fragrance oil diluted in alcohol and water. Depending on the concentration, it gets a different name. Here’s the rundown:

  • 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. Tend to be used in fragrances for younger people. 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, or parfum, is composed of 20% – 30% pure perfume essence. A single application of perfume can last up to 24 hours.

More Details by : Real Men Real Style

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