This is something it took me a little while to really understand back in my earlier years when I was just starting to really get into perfume. I figure there may be other people today for whom the difference between eau de Toilette and eau de parfum is not entirely clear. To the untrained eye (or should I say nose?) one can easily be mistaken for the other, especially as they are often abbreviated as EDT and EDP, which look very similar. When it comes down to it, however, they are both distinctly different types of fragrances. Let us have a look at the characteristics of each so that you will know how they differ and avoid purchasing the wrong one.
The concentration of perfume in eau de parfum fragrances is typically up to 15%, but some perfume houses will use as much as 20%. As the concentration of perfume in these fragrances is more than what you will find in eau de toilette scents, the price is normally more expensive. Consequently, as eau de parfum contains less actual perfume than fragrances labeled as just perfume, they will be less expensive when compared to perfume. Eau de parfums are considered to be ideal for spraying onto your hair or clothing, they typically lasts for a long time, and are normally sold in the smaller sizes.
Fragrances in this category tend to have an aromatic essence concentration of up to 10%. This is noticeably less than eau de parfum and, as a result, the price for eau de toilette fragrances is usually a lot lower than that for eau de parfum. Eau de toilettes are also much more popular (maybe the lower prices has something to do with this?). This type of fragrance tends to have dominant top notes which make them very refreshing and ideal for hot summer weather.
Although eau de parfum and eau de toilette are by far the two most popular fragrance categories, any conversation on the topic would not be complete without mention of the other two options – eau de cologne and perfume.
Although it is often confused and used interchangeably with the term eau de toilette, eau de cologne is actually a different fragrance category. The perfume concentration used in eau de cologne is less than eau de perfume and even eau de toilette – only about 7% essence is usually used. This concentration gives fragrance a bright burst which makes it perfect for hot, hot days when you want to freshen up regularly. Eau de cologne fragrances are more often sold in large bottles of about 200ml.
When a fragrance is labeled as a perfume this usually means that is has up to about 40% of pure scent essence. Needless to say, this is the most expensive type of fragrance. Due to the high concentration of essences, perfume is best when applied in small quantities to pulse points on your skin such as behind your ears or on your wrists.
Perfume houses will all have their different methods of categorizing fragrances and many will have their own terminology as well, but the information above explains the different types and should give you a good general idea of what you’re getting when you purchase a specific fragrance. The concentration of aromatic and essential oils that are used in the making of a perfume will typically be the greatest factor in its categorization as either eau de perfume or eau de toilette.