Cologne vs Perfume: What is the Difference?

Perfume

Most people will discuss perfume as being a female scent and cologne being a male one. However, nothing could be further than the truth. In fact, both men and women can wear cologne or perfume. Why is this the case? Let’s take a look at the difference between them.

Just a Percentage

All scents are simply diluted versions of perfume oil. We could not use the actual perfume oil as our scent as it would be far too overpowering; even a single drop would go a very long way. Producing 100% perfume would also be ridiculously expensive. To drive costs down and make scents more affordable, perfumiers dilute the oils down to make a selection of concentrations which you have probably seen listed but may not have completely understood.

Perfume

Perfume, sometimes also called parfum, is the highest concentration of perfume you can find on the market. The percentage of perfume oil is between 15-40% and the scent ranges anywhere between 6-8 hours. This does, however also make it the most expensive and the rarest. Not every fragrance on the market will have a perfume option and it needs to be worn carefully if you do buy one.

Eau de Parfum

The most common description of women’s perfume is often eau de parfum. This usually has a concentration of 15-20% and lasts around 5-6 hours. It is one of the most readily available types of scent. If you are looking for a women’s fragrance which will last a serious length of time, the eau de parfum is one you want to check out.

Eau de Cologne

This is the concentration most often talked about when discussing fragrance for men. Coming in with a percentage of 2-4%, it only lasts about 2-3 hours on the skin and it is significantly cheaper than any of the others on this list. If you are buying an eau de cologne, it is extremely important that you don’t expect much longevity from it as this is not what it is designed for.

Who Can Wear What?

At the end of the day, the concentration of perfume in a scent is in no way tied to gender. If you are a woman who wants to wear eau de cologne then go ahead! Likewise, if you are a man who wants to wear a perfume, there is nothing to stop you from doing so. Investigate which styles of scent might be best for you and try it out on your skin.

The percentage of perfume is truly what makes or breaks the fragrance. You cannot expect something which is only 2% perfume oil to last all day; especially when there are things on the market which contain 40%. Likewise, you might think that the high concentrations of true perfume are too much for you and decide you want to opt for something lighter like the eau de parfum. Experimentation is absolutely key here. Do your research and have a look around the market to see what might suit you the most. You need to always fully trial a fragrance before you commit to buying it.

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