What Type Of Perfume Lasts The Longest – All Types Compared | Fragrance Today (2023)

What Type Of Perfume Lasts The Longest – All Types Compared | Fragrance Today (1)

With a handful of different types of perfumes on the market, it’s easy to wonder what type of perfume lasts the longest.

Among the five types of perfume, the type called ‘parfum’ lasts the longest. In general, parfum lasts 6-8 hours, though longevity of 10+ hours isn’t unheard of either.

If you want to learn further why parfum lasts the longest and how it compares to other types of fragrances, then keep reading as we break it all down for you below. For every kind of fragrance, we’ll compare their ratio of alcohol to scented oils, discuss how long they last, and provide you with good-to-know info about each type’s projection and sillage. This way, you’ll be more informed during your next shopping trip.

What Type Of Perfume Lasts The Longest

Parfum is the longest-lasting type of fragrance. It can last for the whole day, so it’s certainly a recommended fragrance for evening wear. Typically though, you can expect parfum to last for 6-8 hours and for it to still smell quite strong even hours after application.

You may know parfum by its other popular names: ‘perfume extract’ or ‘pure perfume.’

Parfum is not the same as perfume, which is a common misconception and a confusion point for many when discussing fragrances (which can be quite embarrassing when you think you know your stuff!).

The difference between the two is that perfume is a general term used for all fragrances and scented oils, whereas parfum is a type of perfume. Not all perfumes are parfums, but all parfums are perfumes, see what we mean?

However…some people do refer to parfum as perfume. We know it can be confusing, but luckily we’re here to help demystify all of your fragrance questions, right?

Note that there are five types of fragrance, but we’ll discuss them and their differences further in this article.

Why Does Parfum Last The Longest?

Going back to parfum – the longest-lasting type of fragrance – it contains the highest concentration of fragrance oil, typically between 15% – 40%. Some may refer to ‘fragrance oil concentration’ as ‘essential oils,’ but here, they mean the same thing.

A high concentration of fragrance oil makes a parfum last longer and ultimately gives the scent a more potent and heavier smell. A concentrated parfum is also more oily (and more likely to stain your clothes).

A heavy fragrance oil concentration means that it’ll be more expensive, too. That’s why eau de toilettes are cheaper (and more common and popular) than pricy pure perfumes, or parfum. Eau de toilettes usually contain between 5% – 15% scented oils, whereas parfums on average have about 20% concentrated fragrance oil.

Think luxurious (and expensive) Night Veils Sellier Extrait de Parfum by legendary Byredo – a moody, dark, and masculine scent with heavy tobacco and leather notes with a dry down of birch tree and earthy oakmoss.

What Makes The Types Of Perfume Different?

What Type Of Perfume Lasts The Longest – All Types Compared | Fragrance Today (2)

Different factors influence how long a perfume typically lasts, such as the type of fragrance (eau de toilette, parfum, eau fraiche, etc.) and its composition, including the amount of concentrated fragrance oil, notes, and fixatives.

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These factors affect the duration and sillage (also known as the projection) of any scent.

Factors include:

Fragrance Type

As we briefly discussed above, there are five types of fragrance. Each differs in fragrance oil, water, and alcohol concentrations – all critical components of your favorite scents – or any scent for that matter!

The five fragrance types are:

  • Parfum (also known as extrait, pure perfume, or perfume extract)
  • Eau de parfum (EDP)
  • Eau de toilette (EDT)
  • Eau de cologne
  • Eau fraiche

Scroll down a few sections for a detailed comparison between the types.


The composition is what the fragrance is made up of and in what amounts. Remember that perfumes (though some just call it perfume) contain about 15% – 40% fragrance oil in their final product. That’s a wide range, though, as most perfumes (in general) have about 20% – 30% essential oil.

About 60% – 85% of fragrances use a blend of solvents, such as water and ethanol.


There are many ingredients that go into a perfume, such as alcohol, water, fragrance notes, and fixatives.

Fixatives make a fragrance last on the wearer and help the scent evaporate gradually and not all at once. It’s common to find perfumers using base notes as fixatives. You’ll see between 2-6 base notes on average in a perfume.

Many long-lasting perfumes have base notes of vetiver and oakmoss, as they diffuse more slowly than other notes. Think of your perfumes and colognes that include heavy notes like these. Even after the top and middle notes have faded, you’ll likely still be able to get a good whiff of your fragrance. However, these notes particularly do not have influence over any other ingredient’s evaporation rate.

There are some notes which do impact a scent’s evaporation rate, like benzoin, frankincense, Peru balsam, myrrh, and civet oil. The unique molecular structure of these notes allows them to disintegrate slowly. Unlike vetiver and oakmoss, these notes do have an impact on other ingredient’s speed of evaporation.

What Are The Different Strenghts Of Perfume

There are five different types of fragrance, also known as perfume. The different types of perfumes are parfum, eau de parfum, eau de cologne, eau fraiche, and eau de toilette.

Each type of perfume has different concentrations of fragrance oil and ratios of alcohol to scented oil. The sillage, a French word that means how far others can smell a scent, differs between each type.

Let’s take a deeper look at each type of perfume, shall we? We’ll start with the most concentrated and longest-lasting fragrance type and end with the weakest kind – eau fraiche. The more concentrated the fragrance oil is, the more expensive it’ll be.

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What Type Of Perfume Lasts The Longest – All Types Compared | Fragrance Today (3)

Also known as extrait, ‘pure perfume,’ or ‘perfume extract,’ parfum is the longest-lasting type of perfume due to having the highest concentration of scented oils – usually between 20% – 40% at most. Pure perfumes can go for quite a bit of money because of this, so expect to pay more for a parfum than any other fragrance type.

Parfums aren’t typically meant for day-to-day wear; they’re best suited for special occasions like weddings, parties, or fine dining during the evenings. This type of fragrance usually lasts about 6 – 12 hours, though many parfums are strong enough to still smell well into the next day.

Many perfumists and fragrance fanatics consider parfum to arguably be the best type of perfume because not only does it last the longest, but parfums release all the notes bottled inside – the top, heart, and the base notes – gradually over time.

Parfums usually come packaged in small bottles with no atomizer nozzles or spray caps. To apply, you must dab (and not rub in) the perfume on your skin, and just a little will do.

Applying parfum on the warm pulse points is best. Find them on the inside of your wrists, your inner elbows, behind your knees and ear lobes, and below your belly button. These are the warm spots on your body where your veins are closest to your skin, so they help diffuse a scent naturally. Anywhere where you can feel a heartbeat works fine as well. Dab your fragrance on some of the pulse points or the whole lot to help keep your perfume lingering around all day long.

Ratio of Alcohol to Scented Oils:

  • 20% – 30% scented oils
  • 70% – 80% alcohol

How Long Does It Last:

Parfums typically last between 6-12 hours, though some parfums can be smelled after the 12-hour mark. Parfums are the longest-lasting type of fragrance.

Projection / Sillage:

Parfums have the strongest sillage or scent trail of the five fragrance types. If a perfume has a low alcohol content, it contains more fragrance oils, meaning it has a stronger sillage. Because parfums have the highest concentration of scented oils, they usually have the lowest alcohol content.

Eau De Parfum

What Type Of Perfume Lasts The Longest – All Types Compared | Fragrance Today (4)

This is the second strongest fragrance type. Eau de parfums have an oil concentration of around 15% – 20% and last about 6 hours. These are extremely versatile in that they can be applied lightly and give you a good amount of long-lasting scent. You can easily use them to dress up for a party or special occasion.

Eau de parfums tend to focus on the middle notes. This means that after the top notes have evaporated, the middle notes will appear strong and consistent for a few hours. Many people enjoy getting these pleasant whiffs of their favorite scent – I know I do!

If you need a seasonal scent, especially in the winter months when warm, powerful scents complement the cold, eau de parfums are a great choice. Think woody and spicy notes that’ll last throughout the entire office holiday party!

Ratio of Alcohol to Scented Oils:

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  • 15% – 20% scented oils
  • Up to 80% alcohol

How Long Does It Last:

Eau de parfum can last well beyond 4 hours, though the average is up to 6 hours.

Projection / Sillage:

Eau de parfums have a good sillage since they have a lower alcohol content and a higher amount of concentrated fragrance oils. It’s typically not as strong as a parfum, though.

Eau De Toilette

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An eau de toilette is considered to be the third longest-lasting type of fragrance. It has a fragrance concentration of 5 – 15% and an alcohol content of up to 85%. It typically lasts about 2-4 hours. An eau de toilette is often referred to as cologne and is one of the most commonly sold types of perfume (along with eau de parfum).

With an eau de toilette, the top notes are the most prevalent, and you can expect to get a whiff as soon as you apply it. They are great perfumes for summer weather because the top notes are so quickly noticeable and evaporate on the quicker side versus an eau de parfum.

You can apply these fragrances more liberally and not worry too much if you sprayed with a heavy hand – the top notes will fade shortly after spritzing. Choose an eau de toilette when you want to smell amazing yet not overpowering, such as to school or work.

Ratio of Alcohol to Scented Oils:

  • 5% – 15% scented oils
  • Up to 85% alcohol

How Long Does It Last:

On average, eau de toilettes last about 2 – 4 hours. The top notes evaporate quickly after first applying.

Projection / Sillage:

Eau de toilettes have the third-highest concentration of fragrance oil, making them a middle-of-the-road choice for a scent trail. They are not as powerful as an eau de parfum or perfume extract, but they do outperform eau de colognes and eau fraiche fragrances.

Eau De Cologne

While sometimes an eau de toilette can be referred to as cologne, and eau de cologne is a fragrance type itself. It has one of the lowest amounts of concentrated fragrance oil, usually between 2 – 5%, and has an alcohol content of up to 95%. Because it has such a high alcohol to scented oil ratio, it does not have as long of a scent trail as the above types of fragrance.

Eau de colognes last around two hours. Such a low oil concentration means that it won’t be overwhelming, so pick this if you’re going out on a steamy summer day (you may want to choose another fragrance type if you live in a climate that doesn’t get too hot).

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You will have to reapply an eau de cologne if you want your scent to continue throughout the day, though, as it’ll fade around the two-hour mark.

Colognes have citrus-based notes like lemon, orange, bergamot, neroli, and grapefruit.

Ratio of Alcohol to Scented Oils:

  • 2% – 5% scented oils
  • Up to 95 % alcohol

How Long Does It Last:

Eau de colognes last about 2 hours. You will have to continue spritzing if you want your scent to last.

Projection / Sillage:

Eau de colognes have a very high alcohol content, so while they’re strong at first, they don’t travel far or leave a long-lasting trail.

Eau Fraiche

An eau fraiche or ‘fresh water’ can be sold as “mists” or “splashes” and contains 3% or less fragrance oil, making it the shortest-lasting fragrance type. An eau fraiche lasts about two hours, barely -and it’s one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) ways to purchase a fragrance due to its low concentration of scented oil. This is a very popular way to apply fragrance, especially for those who can’t afford the pricier perfumes.

Ratio of Alcohol to Scented Oils:

  • 1% – 3% scented oils
  • Up to 95% alcohol/water

How Long Does It Last:

An eau fraiche does not last very long. After spraying, you may be able to smell the fragrance for 2 hours at best.

Projection / Sillage:

An eau fraiche does not have a good sillage at all. The notes evaporate quickly, and the formulation contains too little fragrance oil to give it a good scent trail.


What is the longest lasting type of perfume? ›

What perfumes and fragrances last the longest? In general, eau de parfum scents are heavier (i.e. more concentrated) making them more likely to last all day. They're very different from the lighter, less-concentrated eau de toilette fragrances or body sprays.

What makes a perfume last the longest? ›

The base notes are the final scent to develop and last the longest. They're also a fixative that slows down the evaporation of the top and middle notes, making the overall scent last longer. The stronger the base note, the longer the fragrance lasts.

Which fragrance last longer? ›

Choose an eau de parfum.

Chances are you've seen one of the two slapped on perfume labels: ​​eau de toilette and eau de parfum (sometimes written as EDT and EDP). EDPs have a higher concentration of fragrance oil (around 25%), which makes them typically stronger and longer-lasting.

Which lasts longer perfume or eau de parfum? ›

Perfume (or parfum) has an even higher concentration of perfume oil than eau de parfum — at least 20%. Unsurprisingly, you can expect perfume to last on your skin for a very long time — around six to eight hours. As you'll see, this longevity comes with a higher price tag.

Which perfume lasts for 24 hours? ›

4 Fragrances That Lasts Over 24 Hours
  • Dior Homme Parfum.
  • Spicebomb Extreme.
  • Sauvage Elixir.
  • Encre Noire a L'Extreme.
Dec 21, 2022

What makes expensive perfume last longer? ›

A higher oil concentration means a perfume will last longer on your skin and adds a complex, multidimensional quality to the fragrance – but while that's a trait some may enjoy, budget scents provide more straightforward, single-note aromas for those in search of something simpler.

Does perfume last longer on skin or clothes? ›

Perfume will stay longer on textile than on your skin. If you want your perfume to last longer, praying some on your clothes or scarf is a good idea. But be careful: some perfumes can cause stains on your clothes, especially the more concentrated perfumes with a darker, ambery color.

Are expensive perfumes long lasting? ›

A bigger difference is that an expensive fragrance is more likely to last longer. Most cheap perfumes can replicate a pricier version's top notes (the scent that lasts about a half hour after spraying), but without the proper essential oils to add mid-notes and base-notes, it won't be able to wear as long.

What is the strongest type of perfume? ›

“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 most famous perfume in the world? ›

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

Should I get parfum or toilette? ›

"Often, the Eau de toilette is both lighter and fresher, while the Eau de parfum is richer and more lasting. For daytime or office wear, the Eau de toilette may be more comfortable and appropriate, while the Eau de parfum offers more depth, which can be nice for the evening," she says.

Which is better toilette or parfum? ›

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.

Should you buy parfum or eau de parfum? ›

The simplest way to choose one over the other is to ask yourself how strong you want your fragrance to be. An eau de parfum's higher concentration of fragrance makes for a longer lasting, more aromatic scent, while an eau de parfum is more "like a body splash to be applied more liberally" than a parfum.

How do you make perfume last all night? ›

Spray your fragrance towards your pulse points: wrists, neck, décolleté, behind the ears. Concentrated areas of heat will diffuse the perfume and help it linger longer. Maintain some distance between the perfume's vaporiser and your skin.

Does Vaseline make perfume last longer? ›

Smooth a little Vaseline on your pulse points before spraying your perfume to make the scent last longer. The ointment holds the fragrance to your skin longer than if you were to spray it onto dry skin.

How to get cheap expensive perfume? ›

Here's how to get the best deals on perfume:
  1. Buy perfume dupes. ...
  2. Regularly check our deals page. ...
  3. Use a price checking website. ...
  4. Shop in seasonal sales. ...
  5. Buy the right type of perfume or aftershave. ...
  6. Get free perfume samples in fashion magazines. ...
  7. Order perfume samples online. ...
  8. Buy boxes of perfume samples from eBay.
Oct 12, 2022

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.

Does keeping perfume in the fridge make it last longer? ›

Yes, absolutely! Storing your perfume in the fridge is the best way to help it stay fresh, especially during the hot summer months. Sunlight, heat from radiators and changes in temperature can all destroy perfume over time, but when stored in the cool, dark fridge it can last for years.

Why can't I smell my perfume? ›

Olfactory adaptation

When we wear a fragrance regularly, the brain associates it with our own body odor. The fact that we no longer smell our perfume is part of a physiological process of olfaction. With our own scent, the stimulation of our olfactory sensors is permanent.

Why does perfume not smell on me? ›

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.

Where do you put perfume on your body to make it last longer? ›

For even longer staying power, spritz your fragrance onto pulse points. These areas include your wrists, the nape of your neck, behind your knees, behind your ear, and inside your elbows.

Why do girls put perfume on their ankles? ›

"Your ankles are always in motion, so it helps project the fragrance wherever you go," says Claisse. "It continues the scent from head to toe." Claisse recommends applying your scent on your body before putting on your clothes, so that the fragrance can absorb into your skin.

Should I apply perfume on body or clothes? ›

How to Apply Perfume: 8 Secrets to Make Your Scents Last
  1. Don't rub perfume into your skin. ...
  2. Spray it onto your pulse points. ...
  3. Where you store your perfume matters. ...
  4. Spritz, then walk into your perfume. ...
  5. Feel free to spray your clothes. ...
  6. Apply it post-shower. ...
  7. Moisturize first. ...
  8. Only spritz certain formulas in your hair.
Jan 7, 2022

What is the nicest smelling perfume in the world? ›

Here, the 10 greatest fragrances of all time, as voted on by the beauty industry.
  • Chanel No. ...
  • Le Labo Santal 33.
  • Thierry Mugler Angel.
  • Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady.
  • Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.
  • Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue.
  • Dior Eau Sauvage.
  • Tom Ford Black Orchid.
Feb 25, 2022

What is the top selling perfume? ›

Top 10 Selling Fragrances in the USA in Summer 2022
  • Dior Sauvage: This one is undoubtedly due to the Depp v. ...
  • Bleu de Chanel: ...
  • Chanel Chance: ...
  • Chanel Coco Mademoiselle: ...
  • Armani Acqua di Gio Eau de Toilette: ...
  • Yves Saint Laurent Y: ...
  • Carolina Herrera Good Girl: ...
  • Dior Miss Dior:
Oct 20, 2022

Which is the king of perfume? ›

Louis XIV: 'the sweetest-smelling king of all' - The Perfume Society.

What are the three grades of perfume? ›

Parfum – Concentration of perfume oils – 20-40% Eau de Parfum – Concentration of perfume oils – 15-20% Eau de Toilette – Concentration of perfume oils – 5-15%

What smells do men love? ›

Having the same percentage of 19.4, woodsy and musk are without a doubt the top main accords that men find attractive when worn. The 3rd place goes to vanilla-scented fragrances with 17.3%, 4th place for sweet scents with 15.3%, and 5th place for floral ones with 14.3%.

Which celebrity has the most popular perfume? ›

Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor was first released in 1991 and is still the best-selling celebrity perfume there ever was. The bottle is iconic, as well as the scent—the top notes include aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, orange, and lily.

What is the best smell in the world? ›

The study included 235 people, who were asked to rank smells on a scale of pleasant to unpleasant. The top two ranked smells were vanilla and peaches.

What is the most liked scent? ›

The sweet and nutty scent of vanillin, the main component in vanilla extract, appears to be the world's favorite scent, according to a new study published this week in Current Biology.

How do you make perfume last all day? ›

7 Tricks to Make Your Perfume Last Longer
  1. Apply your fragrance after your shower on damp skin. ...
  2. Spritz directly on your pulse points. ...
  3. Spritz don't mist. ...
  4. Avoid rubbing your wrists together. ...
  5. Prep with a little Vaseline on your skin. ...
  6. Spritz on the top of your ears. ...
  7. Apply on your hairbrush.
Sep 22, 2021

Can perfume last 20 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.

Which perfume fragrance 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 better eau de parfum or parfum? ›

After parfum, eau de parfum (EDP) has the next highest concentration of fragrance. Eau de parfum generally has a fragrance concentration of between 15% and 20%.

Is it better to spray perfume on clothes or skin? ›

Don't cover it up with your clothing,” he says, and instead target areas exposed to the air: the pulse points of the neck and the wrists or inner elbows, if you're wearing a sleeveless blouse. The only exception, however, is if you're in an intensely hot climate—then it's best to not apply scent directly to your body.

What happens if you freeze perfume? ›

Don't worry: Your perfume contains alcohol which keeps it from freezing, so it won't turn into an alcoholic ice block. Brooklyn-based brand DS & Durga went a step further and, in light of COVID-19, designed an ice cream truck of perfumes, dubbed FUMETRUCK.

Why does perfume not last on me? ›

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.

Can perfume last 50 years? ›

Unopened bottles stored in a cool, dark dry place can last for years (anything from a couple of years to a couple of decades), depending on the perfume and storage conditions.

What is World No 1 perfume? ›

1 Imperial Majesty- $12,722 per oz. Designed by famous British perfumer Roja Dove, this perfume boasts a majestic ingredients list and is composed of rose oil, jasmine, and Tahitian vanilla. It is packed in a real hand-crafted Baccarat crystal bottle with an 18-karat gold neck and a 5-carat diamond cap set.

What are the three levels of perfume? ›

Parfum – Concentration of perfume oils – 20-40% Eau de Parfum – Concentration of perfume oils – 15-20% Eau de Toilette – Concentration of perfume oils – 5-15%

What are the 3 types of perfumes? ›

The Different Perfume Categories

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


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