Eau De Cologne | Eau De Toilette | Eau De Parfum
What’s the difference?
The first modern perfume (de parfum), made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution, was made in 1370 at the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and was known throughout Europe as Hungary Water. Since then, the perfume industry has grown rapidly both in terms of the markets it serves and the products it offers.
Today, perfumes come in three distinct types i.e. Eau De Parfum, Eau De Cologne and Eau De Toilette. And the differentiating factor between these categories is the “concentration of their fragrance”. So, let’s expand on these terminologies briefly, explore which is better,
The term Eau De Cologne actually comes from Cologne, Germany, when a perfume maker invented a fragrance that reminded him of his Italian home because he just migrated to Cologne, Germany. So he created an Eau De Cologne which was a citrusy, aromatic and fairly light fragrance.
An Eau de Cologne has the lowest concentration in terms of fragrant oils, and tend to last 2 or 3 hours after application and are usually used for a light scent when something heavy isn’t wanted. Body sprays and after-shaves are usually Eau De Colognes.
Eau De Toilette has a very interesting history. Spoiler alert, the term doesn’t actually mean toilet!. The term actually is derived from a cloth called a “toile”. The toile was a scented cloth, imbued with heavy fragrances over a long period of time and since sanitation and bathing wasn’t very popular back in the old days, what people would do was to wake up and take, what was called a “toile” and rub it over their bodies. So, essentially it kind of erased the scent of sleep from the previous night.
Now, from “toile” we get the word “toilette” which is a room where people might go to freshen up, much like the modern day “Bathroom”. This, in turn, led to Eau De toilette which means water of the toilette. Eau De Toilettes are more concentrated than Eau De Colognes and tend to last from 6 to 8 hours.
3- Eau De Parfum
Eau De Parfums are generally regarded in the niche world as the standard for the concentration for perfumes. The term Eau De Parfum comes from the term perfume and the term perfume comes from the Latin word “Perfumare”, meaning “to smoke through“. They have the highest concentration of scented oils, even more concentrated than Eau De Toilette.
A lot of women fragrances are Eau De Parfum concentrations, which is why they cost the most amongst the three. And since they’re highly concentrated, they tend to last somewhere between 8 to 12 hours.
4- Extrait De Parfum
An Extrait De Parfum which simply means “extract of perfume” or “pure perfume” is the most concentrated and the most expensive form of perfume. It usually contains between 20 to 40% of scented oil concentration. Because of such high concentrations, these tend to last a ridiculous amount time, some even lasting a whooping 24 hours!
Fun Fact: As per Guinness World Records, the most expensive perfume in the world is Clive Christian No.1 Imperial Majesty. It was released in a 10-bottle run in 2005 at $205000 each for 500 milliliters.