We’re sure that you’ve seen “EDT”, “EDP” or “Extrait de Parfum” written on fragrance bottles multiple times, but what does that actually mean?
Fragrance concentrations play a big role in the overall identity of the perfume but also in performance.
In this post, we’re going to cover all types of fragrance concentrations thoroughly and help you figure out what you’re actually getting when buying a new fragrance.
Types of Fragrance Concentrations
Fragrances are not only differentiated by the scent but what also plays an important role in choosing a fragrance is concentration.
Concentration affects longevity, projection, overall scent, and also the price, so think twice before deciding to ignore concentration labels next time you are buying a perfume.
What concentration really means, is what percentage of essential oils is in the perfume, compared to alcohol.
There are 7 types of fragrance concentrations:
- Eau de toilette (EDT)
- Eau de parfum (EDP)
- Eau de cologne (EDC)
- Extrait de parfum
- Eau de Senteur
- Eau fraiche
- Splash and aftershave
Eau de Toilette (EDT)
EDT concentration is one of the most popular fragrance concentrations and it usually means that the fragrance has 5-15% of essential oils.
If you don’t mind reapplying a scent a few times a day for better longevity then you can easily go with EDT.
Even though the general rule says that fragrances with EDT concentrations are not high-performing fragrances, not all Eau de toilettes are weak in longevity and performance overall — Dior Sauvage is the main example of high-performing EDT.
One more reason why people choose EDT is because of its wide versatility. The light composition makes EDT scents very wearable and appealing for almost every occasion and season as well.
EDT usually comes in larger bottles because you will need more sprays and reapplication throughout the day, but on the brighter side, they are also cheaper.
Eau de Parfum (EDP)
Eau de parfum or EDP has 15-25% of oil concentration and right along with EDT, it’s one of the most popular fragrance concentrations in the world.
A general rule says that EDP is usually stronger in scent and performance (stronger than EDT), but as the industry evolves, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Of course, not every EDP scent will last monstrously long — despite the concentration, the fragrance’s composition and quality will also affect the performance. That means that two EDP scents will perform differently even if the oil concentration they contain is identical.
In terms of versatility, EDP lacks nothing — it’s a strong and personalized scent, some of them are ideal for chilly, snowy weather to warm you up, while others will be more pleasant for hot, summer days when you need a dose of freshness. Many EDP fragrances are blended so beautifully that you can easily pick your signature scent and wear it all year-round.
If you are the type of person that likes to stand out and gets lots of compliments, then I would suggest EDP over other types of scents.
Powerful, strong, and long-lasting fragrances are usually labeled as Parfum. Parfum fragrances have a 25-35% of oil concentration and less percentage of alcohol which makes them particularly strong, in terms of scent and performance as well.
However, just like with others, that is a general rule that sometimes doesn’t apply to certain fragrances such as Dior Sauvage Parfum — both EDT and EDP last longer than the Parfum version!
Because of its strong composition, some people find it a little too harsh or robust, which is why they stick to EDP which can also last for eternity but stay soothing.
Fragrances with Parfum concentration usually have a very intense scent, so I would suggest wearing them on occasions where you don’t want to allow your perfume to be drowned in the sea of other scents — thanks to its powerful concentration, Parfum will manage to stay present through the most extreme conditions.
Extrait de Parfum
Extrait de parfum is the most concentrated form of the scent available on the market (35-45% of essential oil concentration) and we can easily say, the best performing and long-lasting scents out there. Therefore, they are usually the most expensive ones.
Extrait de parfum scents are unique, not only in terms of strength but also because they are usually crafted from natural, rare and precious ingredients with more complex formulas, which automatically raises fragrance price. On the bright side, such a quality composition allows you to apply only 2 to 3 drops of the strong liquid and you will achieve the ultimate performance.
Creating a scent with the most expensive floral essences makes Extrait de parfum so unique that they are usually sold in splash bottles/falcons so that not a single drop is wasted.
Someone would probably say that Extrait de parfum fragrances are made for special occasions, but if you can afford to wear it every day as your signature scent, then there is no need not to do exactly that.
For me personally, Tiziana Terenzi Kirke and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Extrait de Parfum are one of the best Extrait de Parfum fragrances — their sillage and projection are monstrous, longevity is literally eternal, and you will not be able to wash them off your clothes with just one wash.
Eau de Cologne (EDC)
Looking for a refreshing, light scent for warmer, sunny weather? Then look for EDC concentration.
EDC fragrances have low oil concentration (2-4% of essential oil) and more percentage of alcohol which makes them weaker, lighter, and not so long-lasting scents — usual longevity is up to 3 hours. They are cheaper than Eau de toilette and sometimes are described as sprays.
It is a scent you use for a short, spring walk in the park or for a casual day activity when you don’t need to smell seducing or outstanding. If you decide to wear EDC, then be prepared for many reapplications throughout the day if you want to keep the fragrance alive.
I wouldn’t suggest Eau de cologne for any night activity, especially clubbing or a formal event when you want to smell confident and catch everyone’s attention. But it’s great for a walk in the park, though.
Eau de Senteur
One of the fragrance types you may didn’t know about is the Eau de Senteur – a fragrance made for children younger than 3 years old.
Eau de Senteur doesn’t contain alcohol, instead, a different solvent is used to blend the ingredients, which makes the juice a little sticky when applied.
One important note is to apply Eau de Senteur on the clothes and not on the child’s skin. Even though they are alcohol-free, there is no harm in being extra-careful when it comes to a baby’s sensitive skin.
Generally, keep in mind that they are usually created from natural ingredients which makes them sought-after products on the market.
Similar to EDC, Eau Fraiche has a strictly low concentration of fragrance oil (1-3%) but unlike the Eau de cologne, it doesn’t contain alcohol. Eau Fraiche is basically a small concentration of fragrance oil and water.
They are aromatic, like EDC, but less violent; since they lack the alcohol, they won’t last longer than 2 hours.
They are great refreshers, daytime scents for casual activities, and in case you have sensitive skin then you should probably choose Eau Fraiche over EDC.
The Calvin Klein house was the first one to come up with the Eau Fraiche idea — the CK One was a musky scent with a citrusy and woody effect that many gentlemen enjoy. After that, other houses followed Calvin Klein and started with their own Eau Fraiche production.
Splash and aftershave
Splash and aftershave scents are great for men that want a scent to freshen up with after shaving or after showering. They contain a very little amount of fragrance oil which makes them affordable and a great choice for everyday routine.
Besides their cost-affective nature, the alcohol content in aftershaves or splashes will tighten pores and make the skin look fresh and healthy.
If you are shaving frequently, and want a subtle, not overpowering scent for everyday usage, you just found your answer.
How to Choose The Right Fragrance Concentration
Once you know what each of the fragrance concentration types means, it all depends on your needs and what you expect from your fragrance.
If you are looking for a signature scent that you will be able to wear every day without being afraid that it may come out as an aggressive or punch-in-your-face type of scent then I would suggest Eau de toilette or Eau de parfum.
Both of these fragrances can make you feel desirable and splendid, EDT will be more affordable but EDP will accompany you for a longer period and will differentiate you from the crowd.
If you are a strong-fragrance lover that wants a fragrance to be powerful, dominant, and superior, then Parfum and Extrait de Parfum would work great for you. Of course, the Parfum will be more affordable, but if the price isn’t an issue for younger performance, you will have to reapply them several times a day.
It all depends on what you want to achieve from the fragrance; take some time and think about what will suit you the best before buying your next precious scent!
Which Fragrance Concentration is The Best
It is really hard to talk about the best fragrance concentration since we need to have in mind the season, occasion, and also the price when we compare them with one another, but we’d always advise going with Eau de Toilette (EDT) or Eau de Parfum (EDP).
If you are one of those people that want to have one, signature fragrance that is highly versatile and works well in any environment, I would suggest EDP. Eau de parfum is like a golden middle, in both concentration and value as well. You can get a breathtaking, long-lasting scent for decent money and use it every day. There are dozens of excellent, high-quality EDP fragrances that will blow you away with a beautiful scent and great performance.
Also, with EDP you won’t have to worry about it being too strong or offensive to anyone, which may happen with Parfum or Extrait de parfum. But, in case you like your perfume to be dominant and impulsive, you will enjoy each drop of your Parfum scent.
Lighter scents like EDC or Eau Fraiche are useful to have, but I don’t think they can be a signature, ultimate scent. In case you love lighter shades, EDT is a much better option than the two mentioned ones.
If I had to choose only one fragrance type, then EDP would win that race. However, it all depends on your liking so go and explore different types of concentrations and see what works best for you!
After you learn more about fragrance types, you realize what mistakes you have been making when buying a new scent. I made them too!
Testing and exploring new types of fragrances will let you learn more about how your skin reacts to certain products and understand what each of those, not so strange now, labels mean will stop you from wasting your money on a scent that will not make your wishes come true.
Next time you go for a fragrance haunt, remember this post and choose a fragrance that will evoke your deepest desires and become your newborn passion!
Do you think there’s some fragrance concentration we should include?
Which fragrance concentration is your personal favorite?
Vladan X is a founder of Fourth Sense and fragrance expert. He reviews only fragrances he owns personally, and his collection currently counts between 100 and 150 fragrances. Even though Vladan reviewed hundreds of perfumes he still didn’t find the one he would call “signature” fragrance. He’s still searching for that one, and in the meantime, he writes the best in-depth fragrance reviews internet has ever seen! You can read more about Vladan X here!