Buying Guides - Perfume

Perfume 101: Let's Learn The Terms

First things first, let’s break down all the terminology you should familiarize yourself with so that when you do go to buy your new perfume, you feel confident in knowing what to look for and what’s the best option for you. Perfumes can be divided into four categories, ranked from the strongest and most long-lasting to the lightest and most ephemeral. They are: Perfume (Parfum), Eau de Parfum (EDP), Eau de Toilette (EDT) and Eau de Cologne (EDC).

1. Perfume (Parfum)

The most concentrated fragrance and often the most expensive due to the high level of fragrant oils used, which can be anywhere between 20-40% per bottle. Parfums, or pure perfume, can last up to 8 hours on the skin and are rich, heady and strong in composition. Parfums are created with a special application in mind, usually presented in beautiful bottles, pure oils or solid perfumes which you can rub directly onto your skin.

2. Eau de Parfum (EDP)

Not quite as strong as Parfum, Eau de Parfum (EDP) still has around a 20% concentration of aromatic oils that will last 4-6 hours after the first application. Perfect for evening occasions, EDP can also come in stoppered bottles like parfum, but sprays are also very common for their ease of use.

3. Eau du Toilette (EDT)

This is probably the one you are most familiar with, as it’s the most popular and commonly known of all the fragrance family. The concentration is less than EDP at around 10-15%, and will last about 2 - 4 hours before you’ll need to re-apply. This is often the best choice for daily wear as you can spritz a few times on your wrist and as the skin warms up throughout the day it will release more scent.

4. Eau de Cologne (EDC)

Often referred to as ‘Cologne’, this has the greatest dilution of fragrances with a 3-5% concentration of perfume essence, which also means it lasts the least amount of time after first application. Colognes are great for those with particularly sensitive noses as the diluted concentration makes it perfect for a quick pick me up of fragrance that will last up to 2 hours on the skin.