Monday, 13 October 2014

Parfums, EDT and Aftershaves: What's The Difference?

I'm a lover of perfumes. I have quite the collection, and always find myself at fragrance counters having a test of the latest offerings. Saying that, I really don't know that much about fragrances, and when some at one of the counters starting spouting a load of jargon at me I decided to educate myself a little, and I wanted to share my little bit of knowledge with you all today. 

I often wondered what the actual difference was between Eau De Parfums, Eau De Toilettes and Aftershaves actually is. I know some last longer than others but I had no idea why. Now, I do. The difference is dependent on the ratio of actual fragrance to water (or alcohol). The more fragrance in the solution, the strong it will be. 

Extrait De Parfum
This isn't really all that popular, but if you get something like this it will have about 15-25% fragrance oils in it. These are generally crazy expensive! 
Prices range from £79 - £125 for about 15ml. 
Dior Extrait De Parfum

Diorissimo, £124.50 15ml link. Miss Dior Cherie, £79, 7.5ml link. Miss Dior, £125, 15ml link.

Eau De Parfum (EDP)  
This is amongst the three most popular types of fragrance. It contains between 8-15% fragrance. It is meant to last about 3-5 hours on the skin, and is the strongest of the most popular types. 
Eau De Parfum (EDP)
Jimmy Choo Flash EDP, from £36 link. Lacoste Eau De Lacoste Femme EDP, from £45 link. PureDKNY Rose EDP, from £50 link.

Eau De Toilette (EDT)
From what I've seen, this is the most common type of fragrance. It's lighter than the EDP, and doesn't last as long it. It lasts about 2-4 hours on the skin, is generally cheaper than and EDP and has between 4-10% fragrance oils in it. 
Eau De Toilette (EDT)
Nina Ricci Nina L'Eau EDT, from £25.50 link. Just Cavalli EDT from £30 link. Bobbi Brown Bath EDT from £48 link

Eau De Cologne (EDC)
This isn't all that popular but does exist. It has about 2-5% fragrance oils in it and is genrally cheaper than the EDP and EDT because it contains less fragrance. 

Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb aftershave balm from £30 link, Guerlain Vetiver Aftershave Lotion from £39 link. Lanvin L'Homme Sport Aftershave from £29.85 link
This is the cheapest of the bunch, and contains the least amount of fragrance, with only about 1-3% of the solution being scented oils.  It lasts between 1-3 hours on the skin, and is generally considered good for the face.It lends itself to mens fragrance, who use it (strangely enough) after they shave because the alcohol in the solution closes/minimizes pores. 
An Aftershave balm is slightly different from a regular aftershave as it doesn't contain alcohol, and has moisturizing properties that sooth and calm skin.
A few other things make the lasting power of a fragrance different for almost every single person. The pH of skin effects the lasting power, and everyone has a different acidity level to their skin meaning that everyone can wear a fragrance differently.

It's said that in generally a fragrance will last longer on oily skin because it joins with the oils meaning the scents is released more slowly.  So, the drier the skin, the shorter the time that the scent lasts on the skin. 

I wanted to include one last term with you all. Sillage is a French word that means in wake or trail. Itrefers to the scent that is left behind when a person moves. The idea is a matter of taste, because some people can prefer a fragrance to sit closer to the skin rather than to hang in the air. A good sillage in reference to a fragrance will mean that it hangs in the air after a person moves. 


  1. Really useful post. I learnt something new from this post. :)


  2. Nice Sharing..! I have been following you for a couple of months now but this is my first time commenting on a blog post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us. Keep up the good work. Already bookmarked for future reference.

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