What's the Difference Between an Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum? Your Guide to Distinguishing Fragrance Types

Fragrance - Lead
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The fragrance department at any store can be an intimidating place—bottle after bottle of desirable scents with gorgeous packaging line the shelves, all labeled with fancy words that are vague in meaning. Eau de Toilette, Parfum, Eau de Cologne? What is the true meaning behind these luxe fragrance types and how do we know exactly which kind to spritz per occasion? We checked in with Steven Claisse, senior perfumer at Takasago and creator of CLEAN Fragrances to learn more.

“When choosing a fragrance concentration, one may want to consider the environment or event they will be in,” Claisse tells InStyle. He suggests choosing a lighter formula when in the work environment or traveling in close quarters. However, parties or outdoor events may call for stronger doses—because nothing makes a bold statement quite like a memorable signature scent.

Considering the actual fragrance concentration isn’t always listed on the packaging, we’ve provided you with a trusty guide (from lightest to strongest) to pull out during your shopping spree. Spritz away!

Eau de Cologne: contains 2%-5% pure fragrance essence.

Eau Fraiche: contains 3% or less of pure fragrance essence.

Eau de Toilette: contains 5%-12% of pure fragrance essence.

Eau de Parfum: contains 10%-20% pure fragrance essence.

Parfum or Perfume: contains anywhere from 20% to as high as 40% pure fragrance essence.

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