What’s the difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum?

Guaranteed you own a multitude of fragrances that contain both Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum on the label. But do you know what that really means? Why are the prices often quite different from eachother and what are you actually paying for? It’s not just a fancy French name used to make the fragrance feel a bit more elegant, it actually has a clear purpose. Essentially there are four different classifications of fragrance (including Cologne, Toilette, Parfum and Perfume) that are separated by the concentration of essence they contain. The weaker the formula, the cheaper the price – however, this also means the quicker the scent dissipates off of your body and into the air around you. Here’s a quick run-down of the four different types of fragrance widely available and how they can best be worn…

Perfume is the most expensive version of any fragrance, due to the high
concentration of essences that see up to 40% of the formula being pure
scent. Perfume is applied sparingly and directly to the skin on pulse points (insides of the wrists, behind the ears, on the neck) for an
elegant result. Pure perfume ensures that people just catch a subtle
sniff of your scent when kissing you on the cheek, rather than you being
engulfed in it altogether.

Eau de Parfum is the strongest form of scent usually available from
beauty counters. It contains over 15% of pure essence, providing a
strong scent that keeps throughout the day due to the intensity of the base notes. It’s perfect for spraying on
clothing and hair, as it clings to the surface to ensure you remain
fragrant. Although less intense than pure perfume extract, it’s easier
to apply and much cheaper. 

Eau de Toilette can contain up to around 10% aromatic essence. The
top notes are dominant, making it refreshing when applied, but it
evaporates and fades away quite quickly. Eau de Toilette is perfect for the summer, when you want an uplifting and refreshing scent to re-apply throughout the day. It’s the most popular form in which fragrance is sold, mainly due to its price point and availability.

Eau de Cologne is at the bottom end of the range, in terms of both concentration and price. This tends to contain about 7% essence for a burst of fragrance, but it doesn’t last long at all. This makes it a perfect scent for hot days when you need to continually freshen up and ensure you’re smelling sweet rather than sweaty. It tends to be available in large sizes of up to 200ml because of its price and high concentration of water.

There’s no right or wrong type of fragrance, way to wear it or price you should be prepared to pay – it completely depends on what you like a scent to be. However, Eau de Toilettes are much nicer for warmer months, providing a lighter and fresher result, whereas Parfums or Perfumes can be great for nights when you really want a fragrance to linger. Do you have a fragrance style? 



  1. Hollister♥
    April 9, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    really great post! absolutely amazing! I love your blog! Keep it up! I find your posts really interesting! You go girl!

  2. Amy
    April 9, 2013 / 7:59 pm

    This is one of those things that I've always wondered but never bothered to look up. A very informative post! Thanks.

  3. Kelly Lou
    April 9, 2013 / 9:21 pm

    Love the blog!I'm new and would really love and appreciate anyone taking a look at my blog! :)http://thebellelavieproject.blogspot.co.uk/Thanks!Kelly Louxo

  4. Pierre
    April 10, 2013 / 10:00 pm

    Great content on your blog, keep it upp!

  5. Jillian Hardin
    April 10, 2013 / 11:42 pm

    This was one of those topics I always would forget to look up until I'm at the store staring at the fragrance wall and wishing I knew the difference. Love your blog!JillianJillicious Cosmetics

  6. Jayde Paris
    April 13, 2013 / 11:02 pm

    Hey beaut – this is so helpful. When I used to work in the Boots fragrance department, this was the one question I'd get asked daily and it's so important people know what they're paying for and the differences in what they can buy! Great post, love love loveee.Lots of love ❤xxx

  7. Renu Lalwani
    December 24, 2014 / 3:44 pm

    superb info …really loved it 🙂

  8. Alyssia
    January 19, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    Thankyou soo much for that piece of info!I think I'll be getting my sister the Chanel No.5 for her birthday this year. ♥P.s I've never come across your blog before. I'll definitely be checking this one out! ;)♥ ♥♥♥muchLOVE♥♥~Alyssia♥

  9. Anonymous
    May 7, 2015 / 12:57 am

    Alas!I finally understand the differences in fragrances now, thanks to your detailed descriptions��

  10. Anonymous
    August 2, 2015 / 5:04 pm

    Such a good read. Always wanted to know why one version was cheaper thanks for this

  11. Flora Emay
    December 2, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    I genuinely didn't know the difference between these things, so I'm so glad to have stumbled across your blog and read this! Perfect! Bookmarking for future reference when I'm hunting for good deals! ;)Florawww.hardyandhay.com

  12. Anonymous
    December 16, 2015 / 1:16 am

    Why there is almost never Eau de Parfum for men. Only Eau de Toilette and Cologne. Parfums for women only, eh? This smells like discrimination… 😉

    • Hayley Carr
      December 31, 2015 / 4:29 pm

      To be honest I think cologne is just another word for parfum, and it's used so as not to confuse men into thinking they're buying something intended for a woman?! Not 100% sure, but that's what I can only assume.

    • Anonymous
      October 13, 2016 / 5:18 am

      you assume wrong… Eau de Parfum is 15% essence while cologne is only 7%. huge difference

  13. alison hunter
    December 26, 2015 / 2:50 pm

    Is eau de toilette just for men?, as my other half bought me a body shop gift set and although it smells nice it's more of a man's scent! !

    • Hayley Carr
      December 31, 2015 / 4:30 pm

      No not at all. It's just the composition. And in terms of scents, many fragrances right now are more musky or masculine – which is why you may be getting confused.

  14. Anonymous
    June 16, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    OH.. I just assumed 'eau de parfum' was the new way of saying perfume!

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