Eau De Parfum Vs. Eau De Toilette: What Are The Differences?

Written by Swathi E, Certified Skin Care Coach

Eau de parfum vs. eau de toilette is a much-needed discussion to determine which one suits you the best. Both are two different foundational categories of fragrances. Since they are often differentiated based on their longevity and intensity, understanding the differences can help you pick the right one for the right occasion. Read this article to learn more about the differences between eau de parfum and eau de toilette.

Difference Between Eau de Parfum And Eau de Toilette

Eau de parfum and eau de toilette differ in their fragrance oil and alcohol concentrations. The fragrance and oil concentration of eau de toilette is between 4-8%, while the concentration of eau de parfum is between 8-15% (1). As a result, eau de toilettes are lighter and fresher than eau de parfums, which have denser and richer fragrances. The fragrance and oil concentration determines how long the product and smell will last.

This may make you wonder which one lasts longer – eau de parfums or eau de toilettes? Let’s find out.

Do Eau de Parfum Last Longer Than Eau de Toilette?

Yes, eau de parfum lasts longer than eau de toilette. This is because of the high concentrations of oil and fragrance.

The longevity of the perfume depends on the fragrance concentration and notes. Notes are classified into top, middle, and base notes, depending on their fragrance, diffusion rate in air, and volatility (2). The top notes fade first, the middle notes last a little longer, and the base notes last the longest.

In the following sections, we have answered common questions related to eau de parfums and eau de toilettes to help you understand their differences.

Do Eau de Parfum And Eau de Toilette Smell The Same?

No. They may smell similar only if they have the same fragrance notes. It is because of the different fragrance concentrations. The chemical makeup of eau de parfums differs from eau de toilettes, and therefore, the fragrance intensity will not be the same. Eau de parfums release a higher concentration of fragrance in a single spritz than eau de toilettes. Hence, even if both have the same fragrance notes, they will smell a bit different.

Do Eau de Toilettes And Eau de Parfum Ever Expire?

Yes, most perfumes have a shelf life of three to five years. The shelf life may vary depending on the quality of ingredients and the preparation method. Since eau de toilettes have a higher alcohol concentration, they will age slower than eau de parfums. Alcohol-free fragrances lose intensity faster.

The storage also affects the shelf life. Exposure to light, hot temperatures, and oxygen can deteriorate the fragrance. Thus, to increase the shelf life, store the fragrances in a dark, cool place.

When Should I Use Eau de Toilettes And Eau de Parfums?

It depends on the environmental factors as they modulate the sense of smell (3). Heat makes the perfume last longer and travel farther.

As eau de toilettes have a lighter fragrance, it is better to wear them during hot summer months or daytime. The lighter and refreshing scent quality makes them a better choice for everyday wear. On the other hand, eau de parfums are good for colder months or nighttime. Since scent dissipates faster in the cool evening air, you will need an intense fragrance.

Also, it is crucial to wear your fragrance correctly for the desired effect.

How To Apply Eau de Toilettes And Eau de Parfums

Applying a perfume requires a little more skill and finesse. Always focus on your wrists, neck, chest, behind the knees, ears, and inner elbows. These are warm spots of your body and help diffuse the scent. You may spray, dab or swipe the fragrance but never rub your wrists as it may break down the oils and scent.

To blend the fragrance with your natural scent for a more subtle effect, spray the perfume in the air and walk into it. You can also dab a little on your clothes. However, some perfumes may stain.

Tip: The fragrance will last longer on hydrated skin. So, apply a moisturizer before spritzing perfume.

Now that you know of the major differences between the two, which one would you choose? If you are still confused about it, read the next section.

Eau de Toilette Or Eau de Parfum: Which One Is Right For Me?

It depends on your preferences. If you want a long-lasting and intense fragrance, go for eau de parfums. On the other hand, if you want a subtle fragrance for day-to-day wear, eau de toilettes are the best. Moreover, eau de toilettes are cheaper than eau de parfums.

Another important factor is your skin type. The scent formulation can react differently on different skin types and may have different effects. For instance, someone with dry skin may need a higher concentration of fragrance to get the desired scent. Also, if you have sensitive skin, eau de toilettes may irritate it due to their high alcohol concentrations.

Eau de parfums and eau de toilettes are two foundational categories of fragrances. Understanding the difference between eau de parfums and eau de toilettes will help you determine which one suits you the best and when to wear them. They both differ in their alcohol concentrations and fragrance oil content. Even if they have the same notes, the scent will not be the same. It is better to wear eau de toilettes during summer and daytime, while you can wear eau de parfums during the cold season and nighttime.

Key Takeaways

  • While eau de toilette has 4-8% concentration of fragrance and oil, eau de parfum 8-15% concentration of the same.
  • Owing to the high concentrations of oil and fragrance, eau de parfum can last longer than eau de toilette.
  • Before spritzing any perfume, it is important to apply a moisturizer as the fragrance lasts longer when the skin is hydrated.


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  1. Essential Oils as Natural Sources of Fragrance Compounds for Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals
  2. Biological Importance of Essential Oils
  3. Changes of pressure and humidity affect olfactory function

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