What is Eau de Parfum? A Complete Beginner’s Guide!

When buying a perfume, you will often come across various terms. One such term is Eau de Parfum. If you are new to the world of fragrances, this term may get you questioning what it means and its impact on your perfume purchasing process. So, let’s understand this in detail!

Eau de Parfum means “Perfume Water” in French. It is a type of perfume that is usually stronger than other fragrances. Eau de Parfum typically contains a 15%-20% concentration of essential oil in alcohol and lasts about 6-12 hours on the skin.

But, there is a lot to it than just knowing the definition. So, in this article, I will share with you some of the basics that you need to know about Eau de Parfum, and how it compares with other types of fragrances.

So, let’s get started!

What is Eau de Parfum?

Fragrances come in various types based on their composition. The primary difference in their composition is that of the concentration of the essential oil used along with the percentage of alcohol used. 

Eau de Parfum contains about 15%-20% concentration of essential oil mixed in 80%-85% alcohol. It usually lasts longer and gives a better performance than some of the other types of perfumes such as Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne.

Although there are no regulations on the exact quantity of essential oils used for a particular perfume type, this is just a generally accepted range.

Thus, you may see that certain brands may use a lower concentration of essential oils and still qualify that specific perfume as a Eau de Parfum. This decision is purely based on the perfume brand.

Meaning of Eau de Parfum

Eau de Parfum is a French terminology and it literally translates to perfume water in English. Eau de Parfum is a perfumed liquid that contains a lower concentration of fragrance oil than pure perfume but higher than that in Eau de Toilette.

The word “Perfume” is derived from its Latin words “Per Fumum” which means “through smoke”. 

Perfume is known to have been used as early as 4000 BC. Certain forms of wood and herbs were burned as offerings to Gods and Deities. These offerings often produced smoke and fragrances. It was believed that messages could be carried and delivered to the spirits and God “through fragrant smoke”.

Difference between Perfume and Eau de Parfum

The world of fragrances can often be a bit confusing due to the various terms used in the industry; sometimes incorrectly!

The key difference between Perfume and Eau de Parfum is that Perfume is a generic term assigned to various types of fragrances whereas Eau de Parfum is basically a type of perfume.

The confusion can be further compounded when you get to know that perfume extract (a type of perfume that is even more concentrated than Eau de Parfum) is also sometimes referred to as “Perfume”.

While, in reality, Perfume and Eau de Parfum are two different terms that mean two different things.

Hopefully, you will now know exactly what each of these two terms mean!

How Long Does Eau de Parfum Last?

Now let’s try and understand a bit about the performance of Eau de Parfum.

In general, Eau de Parfum usually lasts about 6 to 8 hours on skin. However, some Eau de Parfum fragrances can last as long as 12 hours depending upon their composition while making the perfume.

The longevity of the perfume depends on several factors such as season, exposure to heat, application process (whether applied on skin or clothes, composition, etc) Thus, it is difficult to specify the exact duration a fragrance lasts.

Some Eau de Parfum fragrances may last just 3 or 4 hours while some of the other fragrances labelled as Eau de Parfum may last even longer; sometimes even 24 hours!

That said, for most Eau de Parfum fragrances you can safely assume to get a typical performance of about 6 to 8 hours.

Is Eau de Parfum the Strongest?

Eau de Parfum is one of the stronger forms of perfumes but it is not the strongest. Pure perfume or “Perfume Extract” usually contains a stronger concentration (20%-40%) of essential oils than Eau de Parfum (15%-20%).

That said, perfume extract is rarely available directly for application purposes. Very few perfume houses these days manufacture a stronger perfume than an Eau de Parfum. Even when it is made available, it is never really as concentrated as perfume extract.

You will notice that perfume brands label certain perfumes as “intense” or “strong”. These types of perfumes are usually stronger than Eau de Parfum.

Is Eau de Parfum the Best Perfume Type?

In general, Eau de Parfum is the best perfume type if you’re looking for performance in a perfume. It has a stronger concentration of essential oils than Eau de Toilette or Eau de Cologne and usually lasts longer. However, Eau de Parfum also typically costs more than the other two perfume types.

The term “best perfume” is really hard to define as it can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people.

However, if cost is not a factor, then in my opinion, Eau de Parfum is perhaps the best perfume that you can get within the same perfume brand and perfume line. 

It is important to understand that the performance of a perfume is heavily dependent on the raw materials that have been used and their quality. 

There are occasions when you may see an Eau de Toilette perform better than an Eau de Parfum of the same perfume line! 

Difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette

The key difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette is the concentration of essential oils used. Eau de Parfum usually contains 15%-20% oil concentration whereas Eau de Toilette typically contains 5%-15%. Eau de Parfum also tends to last longer between the two.

That said, these are just two of the major differences. There are actually several other differences between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette.

For instance, the cost of the perfume is also another differentiating factor. You may have observed that Eau de Parfum usually costs more than Eau de Toilette. This is primarily because of the materials that are used in the making of the two perfumes.

I plan to write a detailed article highlighting the differences between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette. I’ll remember to leave a link to that article here once it is done

Can a Cologne be an Eau de Parfum?

This is another misunderstanding that people often have!

A Cologne can not be termed as Eau de Parfum. A Cologne (also known as Eau de Cologne) itself is a type of perfume just like Eau de Parfum. The two differ from each other on various factors such as perfume oil concentration, performance, longevity, etc.

The confusion often stems from the way fragrances are marketed in the United States of America. Colognes is often a term assigned to fragrances that are targeted towards men whereas fragrances for women are termed as perfume.

However, in reality, this classification is incorrect and often leads to confusion.

Cologne and Eau de Parfum are two different types of perfumes. Thus, a Cologne (or Eau de Cologne) can not be an Eau de Parfum.

Top 3 Eau de Parfum Recommendations

While the choice of the best perfume may differ from person to person as the performance of a perfume differs from one person to another, the recommendations that I’ve mentioned below are based on my personal experiences. It also takes into account the general consensus of people at large!

1. Dior Sauvage by Christian Dior

Christian Dior brand of perfumes are really well known, and that is for a good reason!

Dior Sauvage is one of the best perfume by the Christian Dior brand. Just like the other two perfumes on the list, it is one of the most versatile fragrance on the list. Meaning, you can wear it for almost any occasion without thinking twice!

The great part about this perfume is that you can literally wear it for any season at any time! You can wear it during the day or night – it just works great! It will certainly last quite long and by long I mean a good 10 to 12 hours!

It is a perfume for men, and it does come at a cost. If budget is a constraint, I wouldn’t recommend considering this perfume.

2. Acqua Di Gio Profumo

This perfume by Giorgio Armani is one of the best all time sellers in the USA! The popularity of Acqua Di Gio Profumo has only been on the rise, so you won’t go wrong with this perfume!

If you want a perfume that you just can just wear to any occasion, then this is that perfume. You can wear it to practically any occasion and pull it off quite easily!

It has got a great fresh aquatic feel to it and it does last quite long. It is slightly above average from the price point of view, but the performance totally makes it worth it! Meaning, for less than $100, you will get a great value for money for this perfume.

The only drawback is that a lot of people choose to go with this perfume, so you won’t smell unique. But, you can rest assured, you will smell great!

3. Dolce & Gabbana The One

The One by Dolce & Gabbana is one of the most versatile perfumes currently in the market (along with some of the other options) mentioned in the list.

This perfume is a great compliment getter. It is a perfect option for men. Furthermore, it is definitely one of the more affordable option amongst the ones that are mentioned in this list.

If you want to get a good performance from a good brand on a budget, this is perhaps a great option. I highly recommend going with this perfume if budget is your constraint!

Credit to Irina Iriser (on Pexels) for the Featured Image of this Article

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