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The Nose Knows

The Nose Knows
2011/03/17 Maya H.

What's the difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette? Well, here's the deal: The different names indicate the concentration of aromatic compounds (meaning the scented particles suspended in oil) within the solvent (ethanol, water, or most likely a combination of these).

  • Eau de parfum (EDP) typically contains somewhere between 10-20% (depending on the perfume house) aromatic compounds and contains more ethanol than water solvent.
  • Eau de toilette (EDT) contains less aromatic compounds than EDP; this can range anywhere from 5-15% and usually has more water than ethanol in it.

Because its concentration of scent is greater, EDPs are typically more expensive but last longer than EDT.  The intensity of the scent is also stronger with an EDP.  Depending on the dryness of your skin, an EDP generally lasts all day, while an EDT usually requires reapplication to maintain the scent.

So, which one should you wear? It's really a matter of personal preference.  Some like an EDP because it lasts longer and you can smell all the individual notes more clearly with the more intense scent, while others like the lightness of an EDT and find an EDP too overpowering.  In terms of cost, an EDT sometimes ends up being just as expensive as the EDP version because it needs to be applied more frequently.

To maximize the longevity of your scent whether you choose EDP or EDT, try layering your scent (by using the bath gels, lotions and then the actual perfume of your choice) and applying it low on the body so that the scent rises throughout the day and behind your ears and neck.