The Ultimate Guide to All Perfume Types

Most people know the staples of the perfume world: Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette. But what about Eau Fraiche? And is cologne Eau de Toilette, or something else entirely?

We breakdown all the various types perfume in this guide, so you can improve your knowledge of the fragrance world.

In general, each term refers to the strength of the oils in the perfume that give it its scent. The strength of a perfume usually directly correlates to how long it will last on your skin. The higher the concentration of perfume oils, the longer you can expect the fragrance to last. The percentage of perfume oil in each variant can vary depending on the brand though.

Parfum, Perfume Extract, or "Extrait"

This is the strongest form of a fragrance that would be available, and usually contains between 20% and 40% perfume oil. These three labels all related to the same thing, that is a fragrance that is a higher concentration than Eau De Parfum.

Purest will tell you that an Extrait is different to a Parfum, but in most cases they fall into the same category.

Fragrance Strength: 20% - 40%

Longevity: 8 to 10 hours 

Chanel No 5 Grand Extrait

Eau de Parfum

A far better known term in the fragrance world, Eau de Parfum is the family of scents with a perfume oil concentration between 10% and 20%. it is often abbreviated down to just "EDP" in product descriptions. Along with Eau de Toilette, it is one of the most popular perfume types for fragrance lovers. 

Fragrance Strength: 10% - 20%

Longevity: 6 to 8 hours 

Eau de Toilette

The other well known fragrance type is the Eau de Toilette, or "EDT' as it is commonly abbreviated to. Eau de Toilette's are used by people whose skin may be too sensitive for an Eau de Parfum or Extrait. Many fragrance releases by major perfume brands - Chanel & Dior for example - are usually released in both an Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum to accommodate users whose skin may be more sensitive than others. It is also important to note that the scent DNA of particular fragrance may change between the EDT and EDP versions. 

Dior Sauvage EDT for instance, smells quite different to that of it's EDP counterpart. 

Fragrance Strength: 5% - 15%

Longevity: 4 to 6 hours 

Eau de Cologne, or "Cologne" 

The next perfume variant commonly used is Eau de Cologne, or simply "cologne" as it is often called. There is a common misconception that Cologne is strictly for men, and while it is true that the term has become synonymous with men's fragrances, there are some female fragrances out there with the Eau de Cologne label.

Colognes are commonly used by men to fresh up at regular intervals, which is why they can sometimes be found in high-end restrooms.

Fragrance Strength: 2% - 4%

Longevity: 2 to 3 hours 

Chanel Eau de Cologne

Eau Fraiche 

The lightest form of commonly available fragrance is the humble Eau Fraiche. Now, simply because it has the lowest concentration of perfume fragrance does not mean you should rule out ever using an Eau Fraiche perfume. With only a 1% - 2% concentration of fragrance oil, you can expect the scent to last 1-2 hours at most.

A Eau Fraiche is perfect for occasions where a stronger fragrance might not be appropriate, such as when you will be in close proximity to others for an extended period of time, and don't want to draw too much attention to your scent. A perfect example of this would be a business conference or trade expo, where a bold, statement fragrance like Dior Sauvage EDT may be a bit out of place. But something like Versace Eau Fraiche would be absolutely perfect for this sort of environment.

Fragrance Strength: 1% - 2%

Longevity: 1 to 2 hours 

A that brings us to the end of our perfume guide. Now that you are equipped with an understanding of the various types of perfumes, you can confidently go out and choose the best fragrances the different occasions. 

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