Difference between eau de parfum vs. eau de toilette

Eau de parfum vs. eau de toilette: What’s the difference?

Shakespeare wrote, “the eyes are the window to the soul.” We all know very well that’s not the only thing. A signature scent has to be revealing; not only should it reflect who you are, but it should also embody you!

In a world that asks us to be unique, we all want to make our mark, and in more ways than one! While a woody scent can be perfect for a day in a monotonous office, you can easily swap it out for something flirty and floral when you’re off the clock. 

This isn’t you flip-flopping! You just want to express all forms of yourself. Making a statement should never be taken with a grain of salt, and you don’t have to stick to one suit. The world is forever your center stage.

That being said, how you express yourself breaks down to the ingredients. The composition of your fragrance influences how you wear it. An important first step to understanding how and when to wear what is to know the difference between eau de parfum vs. eau de toilette. 

Fragrance frenemies? Eau de toilette or eau de parfum?

Don’t let the French names have you running in the other direction! “Eau de” in French simply translates to “water of,” so think of eau de toilette and eau de parfum fragrances as carrying the essence of a perfume oil in different quantities. In the simplest of analogies: it’s like the amount of sugar you put in your coffee. The higher the concentration, the stronger the aroma effect. 

Eau de parfum (EDP)

Containing a potent 15-20% concentration and packing enough punch to stay on your skin for up to 8 hours, eau de parfum is your go-to for an all-day scent. Ready to hit the town and be the life of the party? An eau de parfum is the perfect complement for attracting awe and intrigue. 

Eau de toilette (EDT)

Consider eau de toilette as eau de parfum’s younger sister. With a 5-15% fragrance concentration, its lighter touch on your skin ensures 3-6 hours. Despite this, its refreshing qualities make eau de toilette your perfect companion if you’re looking to spruce it up for a daytime activity. 

But is eau de parfum always better?

The short answer is no! Or “non!” Just because eau de parfum lasts longer, it doesn’t mean you should run with it. Like the saying goes, “you can’t keep all your eggs in the same basket.” The same can be applied to eau de parfum and eau de toilette. Don’t rush. Keep your options open. Experiment. After all, everything comes down to personal taste and circumstance.

Curious to know how to jumpstart the journey to finding your perfect scent? First, try the same fragrance in both its eau de parfum and eau de toilette forms. Notice how the different compositions interact with your body chemistry and which notes get brought out in a lighter fragrance? Notice how a higher concentration of perfume oil feels on your skin. You never know which one may be your favorite.

The scent spectrum

We always seem to throw around fragrance terms without even knowing the meanings. For example, how do you compare eau de parfum to eau de toilette to parfum to cologne? These aren’t just fussy words on a bottle. They each correspond to a different concentration of perfume oil. Where eau de toilette and eau de parfum fall on the middle of the scale, parfum and eau de cologne make up the top and the bottom of the scent spectrum. 

Polar opposites? Difference between cologne and perfume? 

Parfum (or perfume) is the strongest with 20-30% concentration, while cologne is the lightest, made up of only 2-4% perfume oils.

Parfum’s high concentration creates a luxuriously potent smell that can last between 10 to 15 hours on your skin. When it comes to parfum, a little goes a long way and it makes a big impression.

When thinking of the difference between perfume and eau de toilette, imagine the smell of a delicious candle when you hold it up to your nose vs. the scent it creates in the room when you light it. Because parfum is highly concentrated, it’s often sold in smaller quantities, and at a higher price. 

Eau de cologne, on the other hand, is as light as you can get. It lasts up to 4 hours and is a delicate whisper of a fragrance. Many associate eau de cologne’s soft touch of scent with a more masculine presence, when in fact, eau de cologne’s composition defies any gender norm. 

You choose: spray or solid? 

Who said that fragrances are just limited to sprays? The scent spectrum is a wide scale and a parfum’s higher concentration means it will often appear in a solid or roll-on form. Not only does this provide wearers with the maximum potency available, but also its stick form limits ensure that you don’t go overboard with the scent.

Did you know that our sense of smell changes over time? With all the fragrance options available, you can decide what kind of fragrance concentration suits you best at different moments in your life. Are you looking for something that will linger on your skin and make a statement? Is your vibe more light and discreet?

Or maybe you love it all and want to switch it up for every mood, occasion, and season! No matter what you decide, knowing more about your fragrance is always the key to finding the perfect scent. Or maybe a dozen perfect scents! Stay curious and playful – discovering the right scent for the right moment is a lifelong adventure.


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