When shopping for a new fragrance, you may have spotted the term ‘oil concentration’ pop up. Now, we know it may sound a little scary, but believe us that understanding what it means will help make your decision making so much easier!
Are you ready to level up your fragrance knowledge and discover everything you need to know about perfume oil concentration? Excellent! Keep on reading, and we’ll reveal all, with a bit of help, of course, from our fragrance expert Michael Edwards.
What is perfume oil concentration?
Let’s get straight into the nitty-gritty! Perfume oil concentration is the amount of oil present in a perfume. The level will determine which category the fragrance falls into, plus it will also play a part in how strong or subtle the scent will be, its sillage (the trail it leaves when worn on the skin) and potentially how long it lasts.
Perfume strength categories
Every fragrance (i.e., perfume or aftershave, we don’t mean fragrance beauty products) falls into a strength category. These are the main ones to look out for:
Eau Fraiche: 1-3%
If you’re looking for a light and fresh scent that isn’t overpowering or too expensive, then an Eau Fraiche could be the ticket. The very low level of oil concentration means it’s excellent for those with extra sensitive skin. Still, it would need topping up several times throughout the day to be really appreciated.
Originally used as an antiseptic to close off open pores after shaving, an aftershave again contains a low level of oil concentration. It’s fab for a quick splash of aroma when getting ready in the morning, but you may want to layer it with the matching Eau de Toilette to boost its performance. To up your grooming game, why not try an aftershave lotion, such as K by Dolce & Gabbana with it’s crisp aroma of juniper berry, sensual cedarwood, and green vetiver. You’ll love it after a shave!
Eau de Cologne: 2-4%
If strong scents don’t quite cut it for you, you’ll want to get friendly with an Eau de Cologne as its lower oil level is perfect for you subtle scent lovers. ‘Eau de Cologne contains only a small amount of oil, so it’s ideal for warmer climates or for those who like to smell fresh but not overly fragranced,’ says Michael. For the ultimate touch of class, try Eau Sauvage Eau de Cologne by Dior.
Eau de Toilette: up to 18%
Take note, people. If you love a particular scent but don’t want it to follow you around, an Eau de Toilette is your match. It’s one of the most popular forms of fragrance. Why? It’s all about the top notes, which don’t linger. ‘An Eau de Toilette has up to 18% of essential oils,’ says Michael. ‘It’s perfect for everyday wear or for people who aren’t comfortable with intense fragrances.’ Enjoy light and sparkling notes in the bright and fresh Si Eau de Toilette by Armani; it’s perfect for everyday wear, especially in the warmer months!
Eau de Parfum: up to 20%
Do you want to be noticed when you walk into a room? Or perhaps you want to make a lasting impression on date night? Well, the smell of an Eau de Parfum is striking straight away, thanks to its strong middle and heart notes. It has up to 20% of essential oil concentration, so it’ll get the compliments flooding in. ‘Eau de Parfum is best suited to those who enjoy a longer-lasting, more intense fragrance,’ says Michael. So if you’re ready to make a statement, choose a fragrance like no other such as the warm and radiant Alien Eau de Parfum by Mugler.
Pure Parfum: up to 40%
When it comes to the crème da le crème of perfume oil concentration, you won’t find anything more impressive than a Pure Parfum (or Extrait de Parfum as it’s also known). You’ll only need one to two drops of this potent concentration, and you’ll be in scent heaven all day long! Everything about a Pure Parfum screams luxury – luxury ingredients, luxury longevity, and in most cases a luxury price tag, but believe us, they’re worth every penny! Put it to the test with Bleu de Chanel or Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel.
So, now you know your Eau de Colognes from your Eau de Parfums and understand why perfume oil concentration is important, what else do you need to factor in?
If you opt for a perfume with a lower oil level, the projection and sillage may be lower too. Meaning the beautiful scent may not be noticed by a person standing further away, or it may not leave a strong trail behind you. If these factors are important to you, you may want to go for an Eau de Parfum to leave a lasting impression.
And finally, the higher the perfume oil concentration, the higher the price tag will be. You are, after all, paying for more raw ingredients. Shop around, decide which scent works best for you, and then you can explore the categories fully on offer; many fragrances from famous perfume houses will offer an Eau de Toilette and an Eau de Parfum version of their bestselling scents.