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Différences eau de Cologne, eau de parfum, eau de toilette et parfum.

What Is the Difference Between Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum, and Perfume?

Perfumes are compositions used daily to diffuse a pleasant scent in one's wake. Between the different types, however, it's possible to get lost. Commonly used to designate all fragrant formulas, the term “parfum” has a precise meaning. But, what is eau de parfum, eau de cologne, eau de toilette? We explain the main differences in this article.

What Is an Eau de Cologne?

All fragrances are formulated from aromatic extracts diluted in alcohol. The difference in names therefore stems from the concentrations used in each formulation.

As such, an eau de Cologne is a composition made with 4 to 7% aromatic ingredients. It gives off a light note, which tends to dissipate after 2 hours. This type of fragrance can therefore be used repeatedly throughout the day.

Eau de Cologne was invented in the 18th century by a certain Jean Marie Farina. Born in Italy, this perfumer settled in Cologne and created Farina's water, which later became eau de Cologne, a blend of essential oils and virtually pure alcohol.

Eaux de Cologne are generally characterized by a fresh scent, resulting from the dominance of top notes (mainly citrus) in their composition. However, other olfactory notes, notably floral and woody, are also present. Providing a sensation of freshness, eaux de Cologne are favored during the warmer seasons.

What Is Eau de Parfum?

An eau de parfum is a composition containing 15 to 20% aromatic extracts, diluted in 80 to 75% alcohol at 70 or 90°. Being concentrated, it has a long-lasting hold of 6 to 8 hours. This means it can be used daily, without the need to spray an extra dose throughout the day. Compared to other fragrances, eau de parfum has a pronounced scent. Its durability is due to its powerful base note. Indeed, it gives off a pronounced, deep note that evaporates slowly and settles on skin, clothes, and hair. In addition, olfactory notes are selected to create a distinctive and often seductive composition. Eaux de parfum are generally floral, fruity, woody, or spicy.

What Characterizes an Eau de Toilette?

An eau de toilette contains 7 to 12% aromatic substances, diluted in around 70% alcohol. Fixers or glycerine may also be added. With an average concentration of fragrances, the scent of an eau de toilette lasts between 3 and 5 hours. This type of formulation typically gives off a delicate scent, thanks to a dominance of top and middle notes. With fewer aromatic molecules and less alcohol, eau de toilette is suitable for sensitive skin. It is also appreciated in summer for its refreshing effect.

Perfume Characteristics.

Perfume or perfume extract is a concentrated formula containing up to 40% aromatic ingredients. Its composition gives it a pronounced, persistent scent. One spray can last for several hours, even days, on certain fabrics such as textile fibers. Furthermore, this type of perfume generally uses high-end raw materials, such as vanilla essence or iris extract. This means that perfume is generally the most expensive fragrance product.


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