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Fragrance Concentration Guide

by Jason Feldman on March 26, 2021
There is such a wide range of fragrances to choose from that finding the scent you love can be a complicated process. Each scent has a different feeling or mood, while some fragrances have top notes you love but middle notes you aren't sure about. On top of the complexities of scent and understanding each fragrance family, you also have to navigate your way through decoding the different fragrance types.

Yes, with perfume, there is a lot to know. But fear not; we are here to help with a fragrance concentration guide.

Firstly, as many people wonder, why are there different names for the same scent? The reason for distinct names like Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette comes down to the difference in types of fragrance concentration. As you'll notice, the higher the concentration of perfume contained in a bottle, the more expensive it will be.

Here is a look through the five most common fragrance concentrations on the market.

Eau Fraiche

Concentration: 1 to 3%
Lasts For: Around 1 hour
Fragrance Notes: Very subtle

Eau Fraiche is a very mild fragrance with a concentration of around 1 to 3%. As you might expect with such a diluted fragrance, it's light and subtle. It has weak longevity and typically lasts around 1-2 hours.

This low concentration is favored by some who have sensitive skin; however, with so many great alcohol-free options, consumers don't need to compromise on strength when wearing a scent.

Eau de Cologne

Concentration: 2 to 4%
Lasts For: Up to 2 hours
Fragrance Notes: Strong top note that fades quickly.

Eau de Cologne is the most well-known type of perfume. It comes in large bottles of low concentration because it requires frequent application to get the same effect as more expensive perfumes. It tends to have a high alcohol content, which isn't great for the skin.

Eau de Cologne was originally the name for a more traditional blend of herb and citrus notes that paid little attention to base notes. While this is not directly the case today, there are still some similarities in how Eau de Cologne lacks the full spectrum of a fragrance by mostly representing the top notes.

Eau de Toilette

Concentration: 5 to 15%
Lasts For: Around 3 hours
Fragrance Notes: Initially strong top notes that fade quickly on the dry down.

Light and typically lacking the complexity of fragrances like Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette is a popular concentration that typically comes in larger bottles.

The term eau de toilette is derived from the French term "faire sa toilette," which roughly translates as getting ready. For many, this fragrance concentration is considered a daytime perfume, with something like Eau de Parfum more suitable for nightwear.

Unfortunately, it is not a long-lasting scent, so if you'd like to keep the scent going throughout the day, you'll have to transport a bottle around with you to top it up.

Eau de Parfum

Concentration: 15 to 20%
Lasts For: 5 to 8 hrs
Fragrance Notes: A good mix of Top, Middle, and Base notes. The top notes evaporate quickly, so the middle notes are particularly prominent at this concentration.

This fragrance concentration generally comes in smaller bottles. The concentration is far higher than the previous fragrances, which give the scent a longer life.

This perfume is great for everyday activities and is less expensive than pure parfum. It's also used as a date night perfume because the scent is quite pronounced. It's a reliable fragrance that is considered very reliable and far better than the previous concentrations on the list.

Pure Parfum

Concentration: 20 to 30%
Lasts For: Up to 24hrs
Fragrance Notes: At this concentration, the fragrance works exactly as intended, with a full profile of Top, Middle, and Base notes

Also called Extrait de parfum, Pure Parfum is the most expensive and highest concentration of fragrance. It typically comes in small and exclusive bottles. Because of the high costs, it is generally not packaged in spritz bottles and is instead applied directly to pulse points on the skin.

This is by far the best option for longevity of scent, with performance lasting anything from around 8 to 24 hours. Parfum tends to stay on the surface and is resistant to drying out quickly, which means it requires far less to get the full effect.

Of course, the most significant benefit of using parfum is the complexity and elegance of the scent. Because of its purity, each note can be detected clearly and distinctly, giving the wearer the full benefit of the harmony that was imagined at the design stage.

What is the Best Concentration to Choose?

There is no contest about which is the best concentration. Pure Parfum is the most exclusive because of its superior performance and longevity. It excellently represents the intended profile of a fragrance, with the Top, Middle and Base notes all given ample time to breathe and express themselves.

Of course, because of issues with skin sensitivity, many people choose to favor some of the cheaper concentrations. However, alcohol-free perfume oils have removed many of the problems for people with irritable skin, meaning they can enjoy fragrances of all kinds without concerns for their skin.

Additionally, alongside the more complete scent profile, a longer-lasting scent that uses pure parfum requires less applications. While they are traditionally more expensive, this can work out much more efficiently. Not to mention that they don't require carrying around a bottle of your favorite scent in a bag for regular top-ups.

Our roll-on blends use parfum strength concentration, which means you can have the best, most sophisticated scents at affordable prices. Also, because all our oil blends are alcohol-free, you don't have to worry about drying out or doing damage to your skin.

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