Types of Fragrances

Home   >   Beauty and Cosmetics   >   Types of Fragrances

Being at the cutting edge of the fragrance industry is what leading cosmetic companies do best, but understanding the difference between their Eau de Toilette and perfume can be confusing. What gives with the words they use? Read on.

At their most basic level, fragrances are divided into four categories, listed below. Each fragrance is measured by the amount of perfume essence concentrated in the liquid.


Referred to as EDC or Eau de Cologne or simply cologne, this fragrance has the most diluted perfume essence, with 3-5% of oil concentration. This is one of the more affordable product lines and lasts up to two hours when applied.

Eau de Toilette

Referred to as EDT in the fragrance industry, a much lighter, airy scent with 4-8% of perfume essence concentration. These fragrances last between 2-4 hours when applied.

Eau de Parfum

Often called EDP, second to perfume in its oil concentration level, contains 8-15% of perfume essence, making it lighter on the fragrance chain and is less expensive, lasting between 3-5 hours.

Solid Perfume

What is commonly known as pure perfume, contains 15-30% of perfume essence, is the most intense of fragrances on the market, lasting up to 6 hours and is the most expensive.

To make matters more confusing, some companies give their fragrances other terms to define its product’s strength, including “millisime”, “parfum de toilette” and others. Where these products fall on the strength barometer, however, depends on the manufacturer giving the product its term. A product labeled “parfum de toilette” for example, usually falls somewhere between a eau de parfum and perfume, whereas another company may use this same term for an eau de toilette. Matching up the “recipes” within a fragrance line in regard to their other products will sometimes determine how a particular company is selecting the strengths of their formulas.

So, the next time you are shopping for a perfume or an Eau de Toilette, keep in mind: the higher the concentration level a fragrance has, the longer it will last, resulting in a higher price tag! Pay attention to how a product is being marketed based on the above categories. In other words, read the labels! Fragrance companies are masters at promoting their products in their advertisements, commercials and their packaging.

Often, their perfume is the same size by volume as their Eau de Toilette, so remember to look at labels carefully when visiting your local mall or favorite website. In addition, holiday times tend to be the most common for fragrance purchases and splurges, but it does not mean you have to go broke in the process. Knowing what fragrance terms mean not only makes you a more educated, savvy consumer, but it may save you some big bucks in the long run.

Related Links: