The Different Types Of Perfumes Explained

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To effectively choose the right perfume, you must familiarize yourself with the different available types. You may be attracted to one particular scent, however, to fully enjoy it, your knowledge of different perfume types is important to help you choose the right variant.

Different perfume types don’t necessarily affect the scent or the overall quality of the product; instead, they merely point out the concentration of the fragrance oils in the perfume. Below is a detailed overview of the different types of perfumes explained in detail. With this guide, choosing the ideal perfume will soon become a smooth process for you.

Perfume Types

Typically, there are 5 common types of perfumes. These include parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau de fraiche. The main difference between these five perfume types is their fragrance oil concentration. Now take a look at each perfume type to fully understand their characteristics.


Parfum is the perfume type with the highest fragrance oil concentration, and it is for this reason that it remains to be the most expensive of the perfume types. Typically, parfum contains about 15 to 40% fragrance oil concentration; which makes it heavier, stronger, and oily.

Because of its stronger, heavier, and oilier character, only a few dabs on the pulse points will last you the whole day.  Its stronger scent makes it easier to identify compared to other perfume types.

Eau De Parfum

Eau de parfum is sometimes simply referred to as parfum and holds a fragrance oil concentration of 10 to 15%. Therefore, they hold a lighter oil concentration and more alcohol and water concentration compared to parfum.

Nevertheless, eau de parfum is still quite a strong perfume type and will last on your body for 6 to 8 hours. Unlike, eau de parfum is not very easy to identify as it housed in a spray bottle or stopper bottle.

Eau De Toilette

Eau de toilette contains 4 to 15% fragrance oil concentration. This lighter fragrance perfume is normally housed in a spray bottle due to its relatively lower fragrance oil concentration and high alcohol content. Typically, it lasts anywhere from 2 to 4 hours; meaning that you will have to refresh it at some point during the day. Or replace it with a stronger eau de parfum at night.

Because of its relatively light body, it makes a suitable option for office wear or any occasion where you don’t want your perfume to be offensive. Eau de toilette is suitable for the warmer weather during the summer and spring seasons.

Eau de Cologne

Eau de cologne perfume type is originally formulated for people who want a lighter variation of a certain fragrance scent. However, over time, it has now evolved into more of a male fragrance. Yet, you can still find some female fragrances listed as eau de cologne. Eau de cologne primarily holds a 2 to 5% fragrance oil concentration.  Eau de cologne also lasts for 2 to 4 hours.

This diluted perfume type is not only light but also offers the option of the fragrance scent you love at a cheaper price. However, many expensive fragrances for men that come in an “eau de cologne” characteristic are normally marketed as a splash on or aftershave fragrance.

Eau De Fraiche

Eau de fraiche, also known as fragrance water, is the least expensive and least concentrated of the perfume types. Typically, eau de fraiche contains between 1 to 3% fragrance oil concentrations. Because of this ultra light fragrance oil concentration and high alcohol concentration, eau de fraiche will usually dissipate within an hour or two and are housed in a spray bottle.

Eau de fraiche also loosely translates to freshwater. Thus, it is a great summer product for occasions at the beach or gym. You can use the eau de fraiche to refresh after a workout or when you are chilling at the beach.

Bottom Line

The next time you go perfume shopping, don’t let the salesperson influence your decision based on the perfume type. Contrary to what most perfume salespeople suggest, one perfume type isn’t necessarily superior or of high quality than the other. For example, eau de parfum isn’t necessarily of higher quality than eau de toilette.

You are made to believe so because of its higher price and fragrance oil concentration. Choosing eau de toilette over eau de parfum isn’t a bad idea. You may simply opt for eau de toilette because you are looking for the same fragrance scent but you want a lighter variation which will not be offensive in an air-conditioned office.

Remember, the quality of your perfume is not determined by its type or fragrance oil concentration – you may very well find a low quality eau de parfum as much as you can find a high quality eau de parfum. The same applies to all the other perfume types. Therefore, perfume types simply act as a guide to choosing the right perfume.

In general,

Eau de parfum works great for the colder season because it is stronger in scent, heavier and oilier. Yet, you have to ensure you pick winter-friendly fragrance notes.  Eau de toilette is ideal for the warmer seasons because of its lighter scent. However, the same as eau de parfum, you want to pick the right fragrance note combination.

Eau de cologne works especially great for male fragrances, particularly as aftershave and splash on fragrance. So after you shave, a few spritz or pats on the face will leave that fresh and lightly scented feel.

Eau de fraiche, just as its name suggests is perfect for refreshing. So, instead of using it as your go-to perfume, it works perfectly for instances where you want to refresh such as at the gym or beach. You can also toss it in your bag to refresh throughout the day.

As a hack, purchase similarly scented eau de parfum or eau de toilette with an eau de fraiche so you can have a cheaper fragrance refreshing alternative throughout the day.


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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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