The fragrance world can be an overwhelming place, especially if you’re not sure what you are looking for. The terminology is there to help you find the scent that is right for you but to do that, you need to understand what the terms mean. So if you’re looking to find out the difference between an EDT and EDP or to learn your aftershave from your cologne, you’re in the right place
To help combat the confusion, here at The Perfume Shop, we’re setting the record straight with our no-nonsense guide to male fragrances. Read on to learn the answers to ‘what is an EDT?’, ‘what is an EDP?’ and more commonly used terms.
Fragrance Terms 101
The main difference between fragrances, such as aftershave, cologne, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum, is the level of essential oils (or aromatic compounds) used in the fragrance. It can range from as little as 1% up to 40% in some cases. This level of essential oil will alter the scents longevity, price and overall performance.
Infographic: Perfume Concentration Guide.
Cologne vs aftershave – what’s the difference?
Simply put, cologne is intended to be used on its own as an everyday fragrance, whereas an aftershave is used to soothe the skin after shaving. Over time, both the terms ‘cologne’ and ‘aftershave’ have become somewhat interchangeable when talking about all thing’s male fragrance, but knowing the difference is key to finding the right product for you.
What is cologne?
Cologne is generally lower in strength, with around 5% aromatic compounds in its formula. However, despite its low concentration levels, it will still linger on the skin, albeit for a short time. It’s great to reach for as part of your daily routine, but you may have to top up as the day goes on.
What is aftershave?
While a cologne can be used as a standalone scent, an aftershave should be used in conjunction with a complementing fragrance, such as an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum as it contains a very low percentage of essential oil and around 80-90% alcohol. The lightly scented formula will leave your skin feeling fresh, but the aroma will not hang around for long.
What is an EDT?
If you are familiar with the Eau de Toilette meaning, you may also know that this category is one of the most popular amongst both men and women. With its higher level of essential oil and accessible price point, there’s an Eau de Toilette out there for every occasion, from feeling fresh and fabulous at work to making a great first impression on a date. Spray your pulse points with your chosen EDT and enjoy its gentle release of top, heart and base notes over several hours.
What is an EDP? What is Parfum?
Eau de Parfum (EDP) and Parfum are less common for men, but that doesn’t mean they are not out there. An Eau de Parfum sits just above an Eau de Toilette for strength and longevity, with roughly up to 20% essential oil. While a Parfum, which could be considered the crème de la crème of fragrances, can contain anything above 20%. To find out more, check out our blog: What’s the difference between Parfum and Eau de Parfum.
Both their intensity and longevity are often phenomenal and the most potent scents you will come across. So, if you love your EDT version but want something with a bit more oomph, it’s worth checking if they have an EDP or Parfum version too.
Now you the difference between an EDP and EDT
Explore our broad range of men’s fragrances at The Perfume Shop