Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (2023)

Perfumes, be it eau de toilette (EDT) or eau de parfum (EDP), make an enduring impact and stay with us even after the person wearing it is not around us. Sometimes, they even connect us with the special one or evoke a memory. And, this is what makes selecting the perfumes a very personal choice. Thus, to get the right one, it is important to understand the difference between eau de toilette and eau de parfum.

So, for this purpose, we have curated the right concentration of pure perfume extract, so to say, so that the next time you go to pick a bottle, you have more knowledge about what’s in it.

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: What you need to know

What are eau de parfum and eau de toilette?

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (1)

Is it the same thing? Is it the same quality? Do they have the same source? The air is looming low with a whiff of doubt regarding them. Well, the debate about eau de toilette vs eau de parfum is actually quite straightforward.

Eau de parfum concentration is on the higher end and generally has a range of 15 to 20 per cent of pure perfume oil, while the eau de toilette concentration has a lower fragrance concentration, ranging between 5 to 15 per cent. However, this range might vary for the same scent among different perfume houses.

Having said that, keep in mind that a higher fragrance concentration doesn’t always equal supreme quality. It simply denotes the oil concentration of the fragrance. Sometimes a sudden strong whiff of perfume can overwhelm the senses; on the other hand, an even lower fragrance concentration can go a long way.

Overall, in the EDT versus EDP challenge, the latter just has a higher fragrance oil level than the former.

Do eau de parfums and eau de toilettes smell the same?

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (2)

Bluntly put, both eau de parfum and eau de toilette can have a similar scent if made with the same notes. But it won’t be the same, even if the two bottlings read the same fragrance.

Now, before you go off to google the specific meaning of notes, let us clarify. Notes are basically fragrance descriptors. It is essentially the first essence that we get after applying. Notes are divided into three categories— top note (for example, citrus and lavender), the first burst of smell you get immediately after applying a perfume; heart note (for example, cinnamon and jasmine) comes once the initial odour of the top note fades and a deeper fragrance comes out; and base note (for example, vanilla and musk) is the lingering smell that stays for long. Hence perfumers take special care to choose the right combination of notes to make the perfect evocative scent.

In the race of eau de toilette vs eau de parfum, EDP will have a higher concentration of smell which will make a single sniff quite a powerful one. The same variant of eau de toilette will give a milder and more subtle whiff.

The two perfume variations can be similar at a brief glance, but they cannot be dubbed to be from the same family, rather can be clubbed as part of an extended family entity.

(Video) Difference Between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum

What lasts longer, eau de toilette or eau de parfum?

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (3)

With a higher concentration of perfume oil, it is obvious that eau de parfum has a richer feel and decadent scent. In fact, despite EDP fragrances containing more alcohol content and giving a strong spritz, they are better for sensitive skin. Once applied, EDP can last up to 12 hours.

On the contrary, an EDT fragrance generally lasts for two to three hours. The low-concentrated version of the scent makes it light with a shorter life.

Is an eau de toilette cheaper, than an eau de parfum?

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (6)

The price of eau de toilettes and eau de parfums majorly depend on the fragrance oil concentration. Naturally, in the eau de toilette vs eau de parfum debate, EDP has a higher price range. Premium brands like Chanel, Givenchy and Diptyque offer premium eau de parfum collections for a niche segment of clients who wear these scents that set them apart from the crowd.

On the other hand, eau de toilette’s low oil concentration makes it more affordable for the masses, especially the youth. Also, due to the budget-friendly price, eau de toilette is an ideal gifting option for any intimate occasion.

How do I choose between an eau de toilette and an eau de parfum?

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (7)

Honestly speaking, it completely depends on personal preference. How strong a fragrance you want, the lasting impression you want to leave behind and the concentration of the scent you like are some of the factors that could help you in choosing between eau de toilette and eau de parfum.

If you have a particular nose for some bold and heavy aromas, EDP fragrances shall be your liking, whereas those looking for a more subtle and nuanced scent will choose EDT.

Another factor that can come across as a major pointer in guiding you in the eau de toilette vs eau de parfum question is the budget you are looking at and the occasion.

For instance, if you are looking for a daytime office scent, EDT would be more suitable, while a night out or an evening party would require an EDP. Interestingly, EDT is derived from the French term ‘faire sa toilette’, which means to get ready.

How do I wear an eau de toilette or eau de parfum?

Eau de toilette vs eau de parfum: How to tell them apart (8)

A decadent scent that not only overpowers your senses but also blocks the noses of everyone around you, you wouldn’t want that. This is where less is more mantra steps in.

A soft fragrance that smells good is the key to go. But while choosing the right bottle makes a huge difference, wearing it also requires some mindful effort. But before going there, make sure your scent is not expired, as that will directly hamper its quality and effect.

(Video) How to Choose Perfume: MUST-KNOW Perfume Tips for Beginners

For either eau de toilette or eau de parfum, for a daytime event, both follow the same rule. Gently spray the fragrance on your pulse points, such as the neck and wrists. For a more glammed-up evening event, add an extra dose of oomph by spraying it in the air and walking through it or spraying a couple of shots in long hair. Also, try and avoid putting them on your clothes.

(Main image: Courtesy Laura Chouette/ @laurachouette/ Unsplash; Feature image: Courtesy Olen Sergieno/ @olenkasergieno/ Unsplash)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Which is better, eau de toilette or parfum?

Answer: Eau de toilette has a lower fragrance oil concentration level as compared to eau de parfum. Hence the former has a milder and more subtle smell, while the latter gives off a string whiff.

Question: What lasts longer eau de toilette or parfum?

Answer: Eau de parfum lasts longer than eau de toilette

Question: What smells more, parfum or toilette?

Answer: Eau de parfum has a more heavy and strong smell as compared to eau de toilette.

(Video) What's the difference between EDT vs EDP vs Parfum?

Question: Why do people use eau de toilette?

Answer: Eau de toilette has a wide market, mainly due to its versatility and affordability. Being light and lowly concentrated, it is ideal for daytime work and casual brunch meets.

Question: Why is parfum more expensive than toilette?

Answer: It’s the higher concentration of fragrance extract which makes eau de parfum more expensive than eau de toilette.

Question: How many types of perfume are there in the market?

Answer: Generally, there are five types of perfumes: parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau de fraiche.

Question: How do you apply eau de toilette?

Answer: Eau de toilette can be applied directly on pulse points, such as the neck or wrist; however, do not spray it on clothes.


Question: Is eau de toilette for man or woman?

Answer: People of any gender can apply any kind of fragrance they like. However, many times fragrances typically marketed for men are branded as eau de cologne but are mostly eau de toilette.

Question: Which is the best perfume for men?

Answer: Some of the best perfumes for men include Chanel's Bleu de Chanel, Dior Sauvage, Ralph Lauren Polo Black and Calvin Klein Eternity for Men.

Question: Why is eau de toilette cheap?

Answer: The lower concentration of fragrance oil makes eau de toilette cheaper than other fragrances.

Question: Is eau de toilette worth buying?

Answer: If you are looking for a light and fresh fragrance to keep you going throughout the day, eau de toilette is the one that is worth buying.

(Video) Tell Your FAKE Fragrances With Batch Codes? What Are Fragrance Batch Codes?


How do you tell the difference between eau de toilette and eau de parfum? ›

The distinction lies in the concentration of perfume oil. There tends to be 8% – 12% perfume oil in eau de toilette. In contrast, you'll find eau de parfum has a higher concentration of 12% – 18%. So, as a general rule of thumb, eau de parfum will always contain more perfume oil than eau de toilette.

Does toilette and parfum smell different? ›

Precise compositions will vary between brands, but it's a safe bet to think of an eau de toilette as "lighter and fresher," says Eduardo Valadez, director of marketing at French perfumery Diptyque, while a parfum tends to be "more dense and richer" due to its higher concentration.

Do I get parfum or toilette? ›

Eaux de Parfum and Eaux de Toilette Goutal are named according to their olfactory intensity in addition to the concentration of fragrant essences, to better guide the consumer. For a lighter fragrance, the eau de toilette is ideal. For a more intense and persistent perfume, the choice will be for the eau de parfum.

How can you tell the difference between perfumes? ›

  1. Eau de Cologne (EDC) contains from 3 to 5% of raw material.
  2. Eau de Toilette (EDT) is composed of 12 to 15% of pure perfume.
  3. Eau de Parfum's (EDP) percentage of essential oil ranges from 15 to 20%
  4. Perfume Extract contains from about 25 to 30% of fragrance notes.
Aug 28, 2020

Why do all perfumes say eau de toilette? ›

The French 'toilette' refers to the ritual of preparing yourself for the day ahead, from washing to carrying out your daily beauty rituals and spritzing on your favourite scent. Eau de Toilette simply means, water of the toilette and refers to a scented water used to perfume the body and hair.

Which scent last longer parfum or eau de toilette? ›

An Eau De Toilette typically contains around 8-15% fragrance oil which lasts around 4-6 hours, in comparison to an Eau De Parfum which typically contains 15-30% and can last up to 8-10 hours.

What are the 3 types of perfumes? ›

The Different Perfume Categories

Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, and the less well known Eau Fraiche.

Where do you spray eau de toilette? ›

The Pulse Points

Pulse points are the areas of your body which allow for the most even distribution of scent since your skin there is warmer. For men these points are the neck, armpits, knees, wrists, and behind the ears. You don't need to spray the fragrance on all your pulse points.

Why buy eau de toilette? ›

With an average oil concentration of around 5-12%, Eau de Toilette often offers a light, refreshing aroma that will linger on the skin for 2-4 hours. As a result, they're perfect options for your 'signature scent' as they can be worn confidently every day, for any occasion.

Which is strongest eau de toilette or parfum? ›

Well, in a nutshell, the strength of the fragrance. Perfumes with a higher concentration contain more perfume oils and less alcohol, therefore links to the longevity of the scent. Generally, Eau De Toilette concentration is lower, between 8% and 12%, while an Eau de Parfum concentration is between 12% and 18%.

Which perfume lasts the longest? ›

Below, our favorite long-lasting scents.
  • Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue Pure Perfume. ...
  • Chanel Chance Eau de Parfum Spray. ...
  • Chanel Les Eaux de Chanel, Paris-Edimbourg. ...
  • Christian Dior Oud Rosewood Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Gamine Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Giorgio Armani Si Passione Eau de Parfum.
Sep 29, 2022

Do perfumes really smell different on different people? ›

It's simply down to our individual skin and bodies that fragrances smell differently from person to person. It's probably the reason certain people go for sweet florals while others stick to woodier scents, because scents live differently on each of us depending on other factors.

How do you know if a perfume smells real? ›

Ready to buy the perfumes, test it on and leave it for a couple of hours. You will notice that if authentic the smell gradually changes from the top not to the middle not where on the other hand the counterfeit might last 1 to 2 hours max and smell vanish in thin air.

Can you tell the difference between cheap and expensive perfume? ›

The most apparent difference between cheap and expensive perfumes is that they smell differently. Higher-end perfumes are more costly because they have a more complex smell. Cheap perfumes have a similar smell to affordable cologne. They smell good, but nothing about their scent really stands out as special.

Why is eau de toilette cheap? ›

Did you know that the term eau de toilette came from the French term “faire sa toilette” which means getting ready? With a much lower fragrance concentration (about 2% to 4%) and a high alcohol content, the eau the cologne is considerably cheaper than those above. It generally lasts for up to two hours.

Why is eau de parfum more expensive than eau de toilette? ›

This is because Eau de Parfum has a higher concentration of perfume oil.

Why is it called toilette? ›

The Middle French word 'toile' ("cloth") had a diminutive form: 'toilette', or "small piece of cloth." This word became 'toilet' in English, and referred to a cloth put over the shoulders while dressing the hair or shaving.

Why does eau de toilette not last long? ›

Why doesn't fragrance last on me? Unfortunately for some people, your body chemistry causes perfumes to evaporate more quickly from your skin. Perfumers would say that your skin throws off fragrance. Instead of lasting for some 3 to 4 hours, it disappears within an hour, sometimes shorter.

Does eau de toilette expire? ›

Before opening, an Eau de Toilette can, in principle, be kept for several years in good conditions. Once opened, it can generally be kept for one to three years, but its shelf life can often be longer.

Does perfume expire? ›

The short answer is yes. How long perfume lasts depends on the chemical composition and how the perfume is stored. Many perfumes don't have a set expiry date and can last between 1-10 years. Perfume shelf life depends on how it's stored.

Which perfume is strongest? ›

“Parfum”, “Parfum Extrait”, “Extrait de Parfum”, “Perfume Extract”, “ pure perfume” or “Elixir” is the strongest concentration of fragrance and can have between 15% and 40% of aromatic compounds.

What is the weakest type of perfume? ›

Eau Fraiche

This has what is perhaps the weakest scent of all the fragrance types. It is a light, delicate, and subtle type of perfume. It is also cheap. In terms of its effect, it is not as powerful as the other perfume options but it gets the job done.

How many times should you spray eau de toilette? ›

If you don't know how many sprays of fragrance should you do, check the perfume concentration of your fragrance. If you have some light and refreshing Eau de Cologne or Eau de Toilette, make 3-4 sprays without any worries. But if you have some intensive and heavy Eau de Parfum or Perfume, make 1-2 sprays.

Do you spray perfume on skin or clothes? ›

Apply to your skin: Perfume should be applied directly to your skin, not to your clothes. This is because the body heat will help to activate the scent and make it last longer. The best places to apply perfume are the pulse points, su.

Can you wear eau de toilette everyday? ›

There is no absolute rule, however, and it all depends on the orchestration of the fragrance, the talent of the perfumer and the raw materials used. Some recent eaux de toilette can diffuse for a long time and last almost all day.

Can I use eau de toilette everyday? ›

Since eau de toilettes and perfume react differently on everyone's skin, it's important to test the fragrance if possible. An eau de toilette is a refreshing everyday option. Compared to perfume, its top-heavy composition makes it great for layering and wearing during summer seasons and more conservative environments.

When should I wear eau de toilette? ›

When to wear EDT and EDP. Eau De Toilette fragrances are often favoured for everyday wear, whether you're in the office, at home or out running errands. EDT is the perfect choice for spritzing before you walk out the door for the day, although its lighter scent may fade slightly over time.

Which eau de toilette lasts longest? ›

Here are the Top 20 Long-Lasting Perfumes to attract not only the ladies but a lot of opportunities.
  • Creed Aventus. ...
  • Bleu de Chanel. ...
  • Bvlgari Man in Black. ...
  • Byredo Sundazed. ...
  • Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille. ...
  • Dior Eau Sauvage. ...
  • Hugo Boss Bottled Eau de Parfum. ...
  • Narciso Rodriguez Bleu Noir.
Sep 16, 2022

Which is better eau de toilette or eau de parfum or cologne? ›

The less concentrated eau de cologne produces a fresh effect and has a light scent that dissipates after one to two hours, whereas the eau de toilette lasts for three to four hours. By contrast, eau de parfum and perfume extracts have a higher concentration of odorous materials.

What is the most famous perfume in the world? ›

Celebrating its 100th birthday in 2021, Chanel No. 5 is perhaps the most famous fragrance of all time.

Which perfume last 72 hours? ›

Designer's Oil Perfume 72 Hours Long Lasting Frank Oliver OUD Oil Perfume.

Can perfume last 30 years? ›

Most fragrance manufacturers recommend throwing away your bottle after anywhere from one to three years, but fragrance doesn't behave in the same way as food, so it can be okay to keep it for longer, most fragrance experts recommend around three to five years.

Why is Eau de parfum more expensive than eau de toilette? ›

This is because Eau de Parfum has a higher concentration of perfume oil.


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