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Does the nose know? Here are the differences between eau de parfum, eau fraiche, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and perfume

If you're a fan of fragrances, you may know that there are a variety of them available in the market—and we don't just mean the scents. Here are the five kinds of fragrances you may encounter, and how they differentiate from one another (Hint: It's all about perfume concentration). 

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Eau Fraiche

Out of every kind of fragrance, eau fraiche is the most diluted. It contains only one to three per cent of perfume oil, which also means that the smell generally tends to dissipate in less than an hour.

Eau fraiche is perfect for those who simply want to experiment with a new scent (without the all-day commitment), or for those who tend to be more liberal in spritzing on their fave fragrance. Interestingly enough, it also contains very little alcohol (if any), making it a good choice for sensitive skin. 

See also: 5 New Fragrances Celebrating Summer: From Tom Ford To Gucci

Eau de Cologne

In the US, the term "cologne" has a masculine connotation, but this particular fragrance isn't strictly for men. It's usually a popular formulation for youthful scents that target younger people and contains around two to four per cent of perfume oils, mixed with alcohol and water. Though some of them are strong-smelling, on the body, eau de cologne typically lasts for around two hours. 

Eau de cologne also contains a high concentration of alcohol; this makes them more affordable and more readily available than others. 

See also: Meet Barnabé Fillion, The Perfumer Behind Aesop's New Othertopias Fragrances

Eau de Toilette

With anywhere between five to 15 per cent of pure perfume oils in its formulation, eau de toilette lasts much longer than eau de cologne and eau fraiche. Typically, the smell dissipates in about three hours.

See also: Solid Perfumes: 7 Brands To Try In 2021

Eau de Parfum

Contrary to what some believe, eau de parfum is different from perfume. There's usually around 15 to 20 percent of pure perfume essence in eau de parfum, allowing the scent to last for up to eight hours on the body. 


Perfume has the highest concentration of perfume oils in its formulation—upwards of 20 percent. You may notice the smell lingering throughout the entire day. As such, perfume is typically the most expensive out of all of the fragrances. Because it contains less alcohol content than other types, perfume is usually the go-to choice for those with sensitive or dry skin.

See also: The Beauty Behind Henry Jacques’ Renaissance Perfume Collection

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