What Is the Difference Between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum?

Many do not know the difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum. Most people know that one is more expensive than the other. But can you also explain how an "Eau de Toilette" differs from an "Eau de Parfum"? A detailed explanation follows for anyone who has asked this question before.

According to current statistics, the luxury fragrance market will grow by $4.20 billion between 2021 and 2025, with premium and luxury perfumes leading the way. That's not surprising. After all, everyone wants to smell nice and yet unique. And that, although many do not even know the difference between an "Eau de Toilette" and an "Eau de Parfum" - apart from the price differences. 

Concentration in Eau de Parfume and Eau de Toilette

The explanation is very simple: It depends on the mixing ratio of fragrance oils to water and alcohol. So that you know the next time you go shopping, why you spent more or less money on your favorite fragrance, we explain the most essential criteria in detail below.

What is the fragrance composed of?

The concentrated base of a perfume consists of a mixture of raw materials (essential oils, natural and/or synthetic essences): this mixture is diluted with alcohol, which favors evaporation. The concentration is determined by the percentage of dilution in the alcohol. There is no regulation on this, so the concentrations vary depending on the brands and fragrances.

The differences in concentration determine the intensity and the name of the fragrance solution. When you perfume yourself, only the fragrant essences remain on the skin after the water and alcohol have evaporated.

These concentration variations have consequences: a price difference (the more concentrated raw materials, the more expensive) and a difference in application. The concentration also determines how long a fragrance lasts on the skin.

The perfume: An intoxicating concentrate

The highest concentration leads to a higher and longer-lasting fragrance intensity, so a few drops are enough. A luxurious and more fragrant product, therefore it is also more expensive.

Please apply perfume (also known as Extrait Perfume) sparingly to the warmest parts of your skin, such as pulse points. A few drops behind the ears, on the décolleté, on the inside of the wrists, or in the crook of the arm. This allows the perfume to emit its fragrance all day long and even longer.

Eau de Parfum (EdP)

On average, every perfume consists of up to 80 percent alcohol. Other ingredients include (distilled) water, essential oils, and synthetically produced fragrances. The difference between an "Eau de Toilette" and an "Eau de Parfum" is hidden in detail, more precisely in the concentration of fragrance oils. 

In the case of "Eau de Parfum," the proportion is between ten and 14 percent, which is very high. And also the reason why you should use genuine perfume sparingly. Just one or two sprays are enough for the scent to spread and stay with you for a long time. 

This also explains why a real "Eau de Parfum" for men and women is significantly more expensive than an "Eau de Toilette".

Note: An even more potent version is the "Eau de Parfum" if it contains the additive "Intense." Here the fragrance oil concentration is up to 20 percent. 

If, on the other hand, the word "Extrait" is found on the bottle, the proportion is even higher, between 15 and 30 percent.

Eau de Toilette

As mentioned at the beginning, the mixing ratio makes the decisive difference. With Eau de Toilette, the fragrance oil concentration is usually between six and eight percent - and is therefore significantly lower than with an "Eau de Parfum." Therefore, the scent is less intense, so it is cheaper to buy and can be applied more generously. 

This in no way diminishes its value. Quite the opposite: it is particularly suitable for everyday use, as it brings a certain lightness and is not so obtrusive. Incidentally, the name comes from scented water used for daily body care and cleaning - simple linen towels were used for this, which are called "toile" in French. 'Eau' means 'water,' so eau de toilette means 'toilet water. Just for understanding.

Eau de Cologne (EdC)

In addition to the "Eau de Toilette" and the "Eau de Parfum," there is a third form: The Eau de Cologne has such a low proportion of fragrances that it is described as the lightest variant of a perfume. 

With a concentration of only three to five percent, it is refreshing water with a very fine fragrance that disappears after a short time. As a result, an "Eau de Cologne" doesn't cost that much to buy.

And another tip: Men's and women's fragrances also bear the name Eau Fraîche. This name hides the same low concentration of fragrance oil as in Eau de Cologne. Many perfumeries advertise with it, especially in the summer, since the corresponding scents are exceptionally light and bring freshness.

Final thoughts

Today we surround ourselves with an elegant perfume that smells wonderful, underlines one's own personality, and bewitches the senses. Whether women or men, everyone has their very own favorite fragrance or is always trying out new perfume creations. All fragrant creations smell unique, but there’s a slight difference between the types of fragrances. We help you make sense of this terminology and learn different kinds of perfume, so you can make a better shopping decision.

FAQ

How do you make any type of perfume last longer?

Perfume is best applied to the areas where the blood circulates the most so that the scent molecules unfold best. The perfume will last even longer if a bit of Vaseline or unscented body lotion is applied to these areas. On warm skin, i.e., after a shower, the scent also unfolds very nicely.

How often should the perfume be sprayed on per day?

There is no exact rule here, but it is clear that an Eau de Parfum or an Extrait Parfum only has to be applied once, whereas the two lighter variants can be sprayed on more often throughout the day.