Eau De Toilette Vs. Parfum: What’s The Difference?


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By Jackie Manno/Sept. 9, 2021 10:47 am EDT

Studies have shown that not only is one’s scent a primary factor in physical attraction (via Frontier’s Psychology), it’s also very powerful when it comes to triggering memories as well (via The Harvard Gazette). That’s why so many of us gravitate towards using a fancy bottle of perfume before a first date at a luxury restaurant, or even on a simple trip to the grocery store. 

Many of us also wish to find a signature scent that suits our persona, whether that’s floral, spicy, woody, fruity, or fresh that comes from either a spray, rollerball, or oil. When shopping for perfume at your local department store, you may have noticed the bottles either list the product as eau de toilette and eau de parfum. While you may think that these labels are just a marketing gimmick with no real meaning, the terms actually have very specific scientific implications when it comes to how the scent is formulated, and how it wears throughout the day. But what exactly do these terms mean? 

Eau de toilette and eau de parfum have different concentrations of fragrance

The main difference between the two types of scents is that eau de parfum has a higher concentration of fragrance overall, typically around 15-20%, while eau de toilette tends to be around 10-15%. Therefore, eau de parfums tend to be “more dense and richer” and eau de toilettes tend to be “lighter and fresher,” Eduardo Valadez, Director of Marketing at French luxury perfumer Diptyque told InStyle. Because of the differences in concentration, the scent in eau de parfums tends to last longer throughout the day, while eau de toilette products tend to be less costly.

Not sure which one to choose? There’s nothing wrong with experimenting at first. “Some may choose to start with an eau de toilette and eventually transition to eau de parfum, but that shouldn’t be the rule,” Laura Slatkin, founder of fragrance company NEST New York, told the outlet.

So, if you’re sick of spending money on a perfume only to have to reapply it repeatedly throughout the day and you’re looking to leave a strong scent when you walk through the door, opt for a potent and romantic eau de parfum. However, if you’re looking for something more refreshing without being overpowering, you can never go wrong with your favorite eau de toilette.

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