Parfum vs Perfume

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Are you finding it tricky to distinguish between parfum and perfume? These two terms, often used interchangeably in the fragrance industry, actually refer to different products. This article will demystify these concepts, detailing their differences from concentration to duration on your skin.

Ready for an olfactory journey? Dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Perfume and parfum are often used interchangeably in the fragrance industry, but they actually refer to different products with different concentrations of perfume oils.
  • Eau de parfum contains a higher percentage of fragrance oils compared to eau de toilette, resulting in a longer-lasting and more intense scent on the skin.
  • When choosing a fragrance, consider personal preference, the occasion, and the season. Different scents can complement different moods and settings.

Understanding Different Types of Fragrances

Perfume and parfum are just two of the many types of fragrances available.


Perfume, also known as parfum, is a concoction of fragrance oils that emanates a powerful scent. It holds the highest concentration of aroma ingredients among all types of fragrances.

Unlike its counterparts – eau de toilette and cologne – perfume contains 20 to 30 percent perfume oil dissolved in alcohol and water. This high composition ensures the longevity of the scent on your skin or clothes for longer hours.

But beware! Quality perfumes come with an expiry date because they are living products.

Eau de parfum

Eau de parfum is a type of fragrance that has a higher concentration of perfume oils compared to other scents. This means that it has a stronger and longer-lasting aroma on the skin.

Eau de parfum typically contains between 15 and 20 percent perfume oils, making it more potent than eau de toilette. Because of its higher oil content, eau de parfum can be sprayed on the neck or clothes for a lasting scent throughout the day.

It’s perfect for those who prefer a richer and more intense fragrance experience.

Eau de toilette

Eau de toilette is a fragrance that contains a lower concentration of perfume oils compared to eau de parfum. It is lighter and more suitable for everyday use. Eau de toilette typically contains between 5% and 15% perfume oils, making it less long-lasting than eau de parfum.

However, it still provides a pleasant scent that lingers on the skin for several hours. Eau de toilette is versatile and can be worn by both men and women, making it a popular choice among fragrance enthusiasts.

Eau de cologne

Eau de cologne is a type of fragrance that has a lower concentration of perfume oils compared to other types like eau de parfum. It typically contains around 2-6% perfume oil, making it lighter and more refreshing on the skin.

Eau de cologne is great for everyday use and can be applied liberally throughout the day for a subtle, invigorating scent. Because of its lower concentration, it doesn’t last as long as eau de parfum, but it’s perfect if you prefer a more delicate and uplifting aroma.

The Differences Between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette

Eau de Parfum contains a higher concentration of perfume oils, resulting in a longer-lasting and more intense fragrance on your skin. To learn more about the differences between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, keep reading!

Concentration of perfume oils

Eau de parfum and eau de toilette differ in their concentration of perfume oils. Eau de parfum has a higher percentage of fragrance oils, typically ranging from 15 to 20 percent. This makes it more potent and longer-lasting on the skin.

On the other hand, eau de toilette has a lower concentration of perfume oils, usually between 5 to 15 percent. While still offering a noticeable scent, its aroma is generally lighter compared to eau de parfum.

So, if you prefer a stronger and more enduring fragrance, opt for eau de parfum with its higher concentration of perfume oils.

Longevity on the skin

Eau de parfum and eau de toilette differ in terms of their longevity on the skin. Eau de parfum, with its higher concentration of fragrance oils, tends to last longer than eau de toilette.

On average, eau de parfum contains between 15 and 20 percent perfume oils, which contributes to its long-lasting scent. In contrast, eau de toilette is less concentrated and may require reapplication throughout the day for a continuous fragrance experience.

So if you’re looking for a scent that will stick around all day, opt for an eau de parfum.

Strength of fragrance

The strength of a fragrance refers to how potent or intense its scent is. It determines how noticeable the scent will be when applied on the skin. Eau de parfum generally has a stronger fragrance than eau de toilette, as it contains a higher concentration of perfume oils.

This means that you will only need to apply a small amount of eau de parfum to achieve the desired scent, and it will last longer throughout the day. On the other hand, eau de toilette has a lighter fragrance and is more suitable for those who prefer a subtle scent or want to use it in warmer weather.

The strength of fragrance is an important consideration when choosing between different types of perfumes or colognes, as it can greatly impact your overall experience with the product.

Choosing the Right Fragrance

When it comes to choosing the right fragrance, personal preference should be your primary consideration. It’s essential to choose a scent that resonates with you and makes you feel confident and happy.

Consider the occasion and season as well, as certain fragrances are more suitable for formal events or colder weather. Trust your instincts and select a fragrance that matches your unique personality and style.

Personal preference

Choosing the right fragrance ultimately comes down to personal preference. Everyone has their own unique taste when it comes to scents, and what may be appealing to one person may not be to another.

Factors such as your personality, style, and mood can all play a role in determining what type of fragrance you prefer. Some people are drawn to light and fresh scents, while others gravitate towards bold and intense aromas.

It’s important to experiment with different fragrances and find the ones that make you feel confident and happy. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new – you never know, you might discover a scent that becomes your signature fragrance!


Choosing the right fragrance for the occasion is important to create the desired impression. Whether it’s a casual outing, a formal event, or a special date night, the scent you wear can enhance your overall presence.

Consider the mood and setting of the occasion when selecting your perfume or parfum. For daytime events or more intimate settings, opt for lighter fragrances like eau de toilette. On the other hand, if you’re attending an evening gala or want to make a statement with your scent, go for a more concentrated fragrance such as eau de parfum.

The right choice will ensure that you feel confident and leave a lasting impression wherever you go.


Season plays an important role in choosing the right fragrance. Different seasons call for different scents that can complement the overall mood and atmosphere. In warmer seasons like spring and summer, lighter and fresher fragrances such as citrus or floral notes are preferred to give a refreshing feel.

On the other hand, during colder seasons like fall and winter, richer and warmer fragrances with spicy or woody undertones create a cozy and comforting aura. Consider the season when selecting your perfume to ensure it matches the ambiance of that time of year.

Natural vs Artificial Fragrances

Natural fragrances offer a range of benefits, including being derived from plant-based ingredients and having less potential risks compared to synthetic fragrances.

Potential risks of synthetic fragrances

Synthetic fragrances, commonly found in many beauty products, may pose potential risks to your health. These artificial scents are often made from a mixture of chemicals that can cause irritation, allergies, and even hormonal disruptions.

Studies have shown that some synthetic fragrances contain ingredients linked to respiratory problems and skin sensitivities. It is important to be aware of these risks and opt for products with natural or organic fragrances whenever possible to minimize the potential harm they may have on your well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Does perfume expire?

– How to choose between an Eau de Toilette and an Eau de Parfum?

– How to properly wear an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum?

– Our favorite Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Parfums.

Does perfume expire?

Perfume does have an expiry date, as it is a living product. Over time, the fragrance can change due to exposure to light and air, which can alter the scent. Typically, perfume can last for about 3-5 years if stored properly in a cool and dark place.

However, it’s important to note that the longevity of a perfume also depends on its ingredients and quality. So, if you’ve had your favorite perfume for a while and it doesn’t smell quite like it used to, it might be time to replace it with a fresh bottle.

How to properly wear an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum?

To properly wear an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum, apply it to pulse points on your body, such as the wrists, neck, and behind the ears. This is because these areas produce heat which helps to enhance the fragrance.

Start by spraying a small amount onto your skin or clothes from a distance of about 6-8 inches. Avoid rubbing the fragrance into your skin as it can alter its composition. Allow the scent to dry naturally and avoid applying too much, as this can overpower others around you.

Remember that Eau de Parfum has a higher concentration of oils and lasts longer than Eau de Toilette, so adjust the application according to your preference and desired strength of scent throughout the day.

Our favorite Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Parfums

We have curated a collection of our favorite Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Parfums for you to explore. These fragrances showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of perfumers, offering a range of captivating scents that are sure to delight your senses.

From floral and fruity notes to woody and oriental aromas, each fragrance has its own unique personality and character. Whether you prefer a light and refreshing scent or a deep and intoxicating aroma, there is something for everyone in our selection.

Discover the perfect fragrance that reflects your style, mood, and occasion.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between parfum and perfume can help you choose the right fragrance for yourself. Whether it’s the concentration of oils, the longevity on your skin, or the strength of the fragrance, these factors play a role in determining which option is best for you.

Consider your personal preference, occasion, and season when making your decision. And remember, both parfum and perfume offer unique aromas that can enhance your confidence and leave a lasting impression.

So go ahead, explore different scents and find one that suits you perfectly!


1. What is the difference between Parfum and Perfume?

Parfum and Perfume differ primarily in their preparation process and concentration of raw materials or essence used with Parfum having a higher concentration.

2. How does the preparation of Parfum and Perfume vary?

The preparation for both varies in terms of the percentage of raw materials, extracts, or essences being used, making Parfums typically more potent than perfumes.

3. How should we apply parfum compared to perfume?

Both are applied on pulse points but due to higher concentration in parfums, it’s suggested to use sparingly as its scent is stronger.

4. What does ‘Perfume notes’ mean in perfumery?

In perfumery, ‘perfume notes’ refer to various scents that come together to form a perfume’s overall fragrance— these could range from floral notes like rose and jasmine to citrus ones like lemon or mandarin.

Parfum vs Perfume
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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