Types of Perfumes: Parfum vs Cologne vs Toilette vs Body Mist

Perfumer mixing oils

Published: Feb 12, 2021 • Last Updated: Jan 01, 2024

If you've been recently shopping for perfumes and saw terms like Eau de Parfum or EDT and wondering what they mean, we're here to answer this question. These terms refer to the concentration of perfume oils in the carrier that is alcohol.

You see, the fragrant part of the perfume comes from oils that are themselves combination of numerous ingredients that are responsible for all the notes you see for a particular perfume. These oils can be sold as is by the brand and applied straight to your skin but more commonly, they are added to a carrier of alcohol.

Why is alcohol used in perfumes?

Alcohol is a great vehicle to lift and distribute the light molecules of perfume oils on your skin. Water can not be used to do this job as most ingredients don't mix well with water, some even react to it and gets altered completely.

Alcohol is also highly volatile, so it dissipates quickly from your skin after depositing said oils. Ethanol is typically used in perfumes as it is neutral and odor-less. It may be obtained naturally or synthetically however manufacturers typically do not share how the alcohol was created.

What are different concentrations of perfumes?

A picture containing toiletryDescription automatically generated

1. Parfum

Parfum or extrait de perfume is basically your top shelf when it comes to fragrances. It has the highest concentration, could be anywhere between 20-40%, but most designer brands restrict it to 30% in order to save up on the $$$.

A parfum usually lasts anywhere between 10 to 12 hours and is the priciest of all concentrations. A parfum might also work better for someone with a sensitive skin as the composition has lower alcohol content and higher oil concentration.

2. Eau de Parfum (EDP)

This is next in line after Parfum, with concentration usually in the range of 15-20%. The longevity is a good 6 to 8 hours. EDP is a great proposition if you are looking for try a quality fragrance and recommended for most people.

3. Eau de Toilette (EDT)

Eau de toilette is derived from the French term "faire sa toilette", which literally means getting ready. EDT concentration is the most common when it comes to fragrances that are mass produced, hence making them readily affordable. The concentration is generally between 5-15% and the longevity can be anywhere between 4 to 6 hours.

4. Eau de Cologne (Cologne)

When you dilute the EDT further, you get Cologne. It is usually 2-4%, with a high amount of alcohol content as compared to an EDT or EDP. The longevity is 2 to 4 hours, multiple applications throughout the day are recommended.

5. Eau Fraiche

Eau Fraiche is the mildest of all concentrations, usually between 1-3%. It is best used for casual wear as the longevity tends to be between 1 to 2 hours.

6. Body Mists

Body mists are quite different from the others mentioned above as they are very light and airy. The perfume oils are mixed with either water or a combination of alcohol and water.

Body mists are very inexpensive and usually comes in large bottles as you'll be spraying them often and a lot compared to perfumes.


What is the difference between Perfume and Cologne?

A perfume has 5 to 30% concentration of perfume oils while a cologne has 2-4% concentration. As a result, perfume will last much longer on your skin compared to cologne. Perfume will also cost much more than a cologne.

What is the difference between Perfume and Eau de Toillette?

A commonly asked question but EDT is also a perfume so we'll answer a similar question - what is the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette? The difference is in the concentration of perfume oils which is 15-20% for EDP and 5-15% for EDT.

What is the difference between Perfume and Body Mist?

Perfumes have a 5 to 30% concentration of perfume oils in an alcoholic base. Body mists on the other hand have around 1% concentration in a water or water-alcohol base. Body mists are very inexpensive and can be sprayed liberally.

Never miss another article!

  • - Get notified when we publish a new article.
  • - No personal information required. Turn off anytime
Photo of Preet Singh

Preet Singh

I have always been enamored by the power of perfumes to evoke emotions and capture memories. This profound love for fragrances led to the creation of ScentGod, a platform designed to allow everyone the luxury of discovering and wearing premium scents without the commitment of a full-sized purchase. My vision for ScentGod is more than just offering fragrances; it's about sharing passion, creating experiences, and helping people find their signature essence.

Read More

You may also like

  • Woman hanging the Ultimate Perfume Cheatsheet on the Wall

    Ultimate Perfume Cheatsheet - Everything you need to know

  • Perfume Ingredients: Natural vs. Synthetic

  • 10 Facts You Should Know About Perfume

Comments on Types of Perfumes: Parfum vs Cologne vs Toilette vs Body Mist
ScentGod case in Bag
Your Cart 0 Products
Wind Icon

Your Cart is Empty

My Perfume Queue