Fragrance 101: Eau de Toilette vs Parfum + Other Types of Fragrance

Discover the different types of fragrance and learn the key differences between an eau de toilette vs parfum.

Darlings, fragrances come in all different shapes, sizes, and intensities! While fragrance notes have a part to play in the strength of a fragrance, the concentration of ingredients used when creating a perfume will determine its scent profile and strength. Discover the different types of fragrance and learn how to distinguish the difference between an eau de toilette vs parfum vs cologne - this will help you decide which type of fragrance is perfect for you!

What are the Different Types of Fragrance?

The type of fragrance that you spray on will decide the intensity of the scent as well as how long it will last on your skin. Each fragrance is blended using concentrated perfume oils to create a distinctive scent, and the quantity of perfume oil used will determine a scent’s fragrance type. Discover the different types of fragrance to choose from and learn what makes them different from one another.

Different Types of Fragrance Intensity

What is an Eau de Parfum?

An eau de parfum is a concentrated fragrance that delivers a rich, nuanced scent. Eau de parfums are blended with approximately 15-20% concentrated fragrance oil which creates a strong, long-lasting scent. Reach for an eau de parfum when you want to spray on a magical scent aura that leaves a lasting impression.

Discover my Fragrance Collection of Emotions featuring six eau de parfums with magical, mood-enhancing scents! Each of my eau de parfums have been expertly blended by master perfumers to deliver an 18-hour scent trail that enchants in an instant and evolves as you wear it!

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What is an Eau de Toilette?

Eau de toilettes feature a blend of fragrance oil, alcohol, and water and offer a light, refreshing fragrance. A scent is classified as an eau de toilette when it is blended with 5-15% concentrated fragrance oil. They are generally softer, more muted scents that are suitable for everyday wear.

Tilbury Tip: You can wear an eau de parfum during the daytime as well, darlings. Discover the best everyday fragrances from my fragrance collection.

What is a Cologne?

‘Cologne’ has become a gendered term in the Western world for male fragrance, but the definition of an ‘eau de cologne’ is a gentle, lightly fragranced scent that lasts on the skin for a short number of hours. Generally, an eau de cologne is blended with 2-6% concentrated fragrance oil which creates a smooth, understated scent that’s perfect for topping up on fragrance throughout the day.

What is an Eau Fraiche?

The lightest fragrance type is an eau fraiche. An eau fraiche is a delicate, barely-there scent that offers a quick burst of sparkling fragrance. Unlike other fragrance types, an eau fraiche is mostly water based and does not contain very much alcohol, resulting in a shorter wear time and a super-soft, cloud-like scent.

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Charlotte Tilbury eau de parfum

Eau de Toilette vs Parfum: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between an eau de toilette vs parfum is the concentration of fragrance oil that’s used within the blend. Both eau de parfums and eau de toilettes are developed using similar raw ingredients including water, alcohol, and concentrated fragrance oils, and it’s the percentage of fragrance oil that a scent contains which determines whether it is considered an eau de toilette vs parfum. An eau de parfum is created with 15-20% concentrated fragrance oil in comparison to 5-15% for an eau de toilette. The higher percentage of fragrance oil in an eau de parfum delivers higher intensity than an eau de toilette as well as unlocking a longer wear time.

What’s the Difference Between Cologne vs Perfume?

An eau de cologne has a lower concentration of fragrance oil than an eau de parfum, generally containing between 2-6% fragrance oil that’s blended with other ingredients like alcohol and water to create a light, fragrant cologne. As colognes are less concentrated than eau de toilettes and parfums, their scents are often more understated and don’t last as long on the skin.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.

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