For a newbie, the world of fragrances although alluring and magical can be overwhelming. On the contrary, learning about perfumes, the types, and notes, which to wear and when to wear them is a fun and empowering process. With adequate knowledge of perfume, you would be able to decide what works for you, what would be pleasing to those around you, the season and time to wear what, and place and environment to wear them. More so, you can get creative and artistic about what vibe you want to give off be it classy and sophisticated, refined and elegant, fun and flirty, or even crazy and adventurous!
Now let us get into the various types of perfume; this would solely be based on the concentrations of their fragrance oils. Based on these concentrations, there are 5 types of perfume; Parfum, Eau De Parfum, Eau De Toilette, Eau De Cologne and Eau De Fraiche. Generally, the higher the concentration of the fragrance oils, the higher their longevity.
Parfum also is known as Extrait de parfum has the highest concentration of the perfume types and is generally more expensive. They usually have a concentration of between 20-30% essential fragrance oils. A single application can last up to a whole day so you may want to go easy when applying them. If you are looking to pick a long-lasting fragrance do check the bottle label for the “parfum” inscription, also they are often kept in heavier bottles with ornate stoppers.
- Eau De Parfum
Eau de parfum has the second-highest concentration of fragrance oils among the perfume types. It has lesser concentration and cost compared to Extrait de parfum but higher than eau de toilette and eau de cologne. It has a concentration between 15-20% and longevity of 6 to 8 hours. Whilst Extrait de parfum gives a full blend of the top, heart and base notes, Eau de parfum however focusses more on the heart notes with top notes being volatile, flashing off the skin within 10 minutes of application.
Due to the olfactory strength of EDP, wearing it to a workplace can be perceived as inappropriate and overpowering, hence it is best worn to social functions and evening events.
- Eau de Toilette
It is quite common to find an Eau de parfum and eau de toilette version of the same fragrance. The eau de toilette (EDT) is of lesser perfume concentration, shorter longevity and is less expensive compared to EDP. EDT has 5% to 15% perfume concentration and lasts 4 to 5 hours. With a lesser olfactory strength, EDT is great for the workplace as it is less likely to be overpowering or uncomfortable for people with a sensitive nose.
- Eau de Cologne
Eau de cologne (EDC) has a much lower fragrance concentration of about 2% to 3% than the above fragrance types and has a higher alcohol content, and therefore cheaper. It generally lasts for up to 2 to 3 hours.
- Eau Fraiche, After Shave and Mist
Eau Fraiche has a very low perfume oil concentration of about 1% to 3% and is quite similar to EDC in that the scent will last for up to two hours. While Eau Fraiche has a low fragrance concentration, it does not contain a high amount of alcohol. Along with the fragrance, the remainder of Eau Fraiche is mostly water which makes it great for those with sensitive skin.
An Aftershave has a light fragrance concentration of about 1% to 3%, with high alcohol content. It is used after shaving to help close the pores, the fragrance lasts only one to two hours after wear. While mists are light fragrances that are mostly water-based and have low alcohol content. A mist has a concentration of 1.5 to 3%, due to its low alcohol content, it can be applied to the hair without causing it to dry out. A mist lasts a maximum of 2 hours after wear.
Now you have a better understanding of the various perfume types and which are best suited for when. However, there is so much more to learn. For instance, along with fragrance types, there are also fragrance notes which determine the final scent. As such, doing research beforehand will ensure that you get the type of fragrance you are looking for (be on a lookout for our next article on the various notes found in perfumes). While you don’t need to be an expert, my advice is to know basic things like what I’ve shared to be able to find the right scent for you.