What is Eau Fraiche? [And Should You Even Buy It!]

Every once in a while, you may come across the term “Eau Fraiche” mentioned on the fragrance that you are interested in buying. This may make you wonder what exactly does Eau Fraiche mean and how is it different from Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum!

Eau Fraiche is the most diluted form of perfume and usually contains a 1-3% concentration of essential oil. It generally lasts up to 2 hours. Eau Fraiche is typically a water-based perfume and can be applied in a similar manner to other perfumes and fragrances.

But, does it makes sense to consider purchasing this type of perfume? And, who is this most suited for – men or women?

In this article, I will answer all the important questions that you may have regarding Eau Fraiche. At the end of the article, I will also share a few different options that you can consider if you feel Eau Fraiche is your choice!

So, let’s get started!

What is Eau Fraiche Perfume?

Perfumes are classified into 5 types depending on their dilution classes. These are Parfum, Eau de Parfum (EDP), Eau de Toilette (EDT), Eau de Cologne (Cologne), and Eau Fraiche. Perfumes that are classified as Eau Fraiche contain the least percentage of oils in them.

In each type of perfume, the dilution is specifically of the essential oil that is used. Thus, for instance, Parfum (also known as Extrait de Parfum or Pure Perfume) usually contains about 15% to 40% concentration of essential oil in it. That said, most Parfum sold in the market generally contain about 20% to 30% essential oil concentration.

Eau Fraiche, on the contrary, is the most diluted form of perfume. It only contains about 1% to 3% of essential oil. This naturally makes Eau Fraiche less potent than say a Parfum or even an Eau de Parfum!

Eau Fraiche literally translates into “Perfume Water”. Eau Fraiche not only has the lowest concentration of essential oil, but it is also a water-based perfume contrary to other perfumes that are alcohol-based.

However, it is not just the difference in the concentration of the oil that makes Eau Fraiche different from other traditional perfumes. Even the process of making Eau Fraiche perfume differs. When making an Eau Fraiche, Perfumers tend to select the DNA of an original fragrance that has done well and make it is more tenacious with a finer composition.

Eau Fraiche is usually based on a high percentage of natural ingredients than other perfumes. It also contains a lower amount of alcohol (since it is a water-based perfume) and is perfectly suited for hot summer days!

Brief History of Eau Fraiche

Eau Fraiche was first launched in 1955 by the Christian Dior Perfume Brand. Interestingly, it was labeled as an Eau de Toilette when it was introduced. Furthermore, it was targeted towards women, however, it ended up being a unisex perfume!

Chrisitian Dior later launched Eau Sauvage by Dior in 1966. It was an instant hit among the masses due to its fresh flavor. Even though Eau Sauvage was launched for men, it was particularly liked by women who are said to have often borrowed this perfume from men due to its new aromatic flavors based on freshness!

This set the trend for Eau Fraiche perfumes and similar fragrances were later launched by Guerlain, Rochas and Lancome perfume houses!

How Long Does Eau Fraiche Last?

In general, Eau Fraiche lasts only up to two hours since it has a lowest fragrance concentration of 1% to 3%. However, some Eau Fraiche fragrances can last even as long as 5 to 6 hours depending on their composition.

For instance, in my experience, Versace Man Eau Fraiche can easily last up to 5 hours depending on the season and the application. Furthermore, some people have claimed that it can even last as long as 9 or 10 hours even!

Likewise, Chance Eau Fraiche by Chanel, a perfume for women, also tends to lasts closer to 6 hours.

That said, most perfumes that are labelled as Eau Fraiche will lasts as little as 30 minutes to as much as 2 hours! This is much lower than most conventional perfumes some of which can even lasts as long as 18-24 hours.

When to Use Eau Fraiche Perfume? Is it Worth Considering?

You may wonder if Eau Fraiche has the lowest concentration of perfume, and it doesn’t last as long as some of the other forms of perfume, then, is Eau Fraiche even worth considering?

Well, the first thing that perhaps we may need to understand is that comparing Eau Fraiche to other types of perfume is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, you do get a similar fragrance notes in Eau Fraiche as compared to other traditional fragrances, but the composition and the purpose of Eau Fraiche varies significantly.

Eau Fraiche is designed to be more of a summer fragrance to give you that sense of freshness. It won’t serve as a signature fragrance, but you can use it as a transition between fragrances.

Furthermore, Eau Fraiche fragrances are designed to be less potent. Not everyone enjoys wearing strong perfume. Eau Fraiche is a perfect option for that. Likewise, it is a great option to wear to work as your perfume will not intrude upon the personal space of others around you.

Eau Fraiche is also well suited for people who have sensitive skin. Since it is made of natural ingredients, it is less likely to do harm to the skin. Additionally, since Eau Fraiche is water-based, it doesn’t dry your skin (as opposed to alcohol) thereby avoiding any skin irritation.

Moreover, the cost of Eau Fraiche is comparatively lower than other types of perfume. Since Eau Fraiche is usually composed using the DNA of another successful perfume, you often get the taste of a good fragrance at a lower cost! So, it is a great option to go with if affordability is a concern.

All these aspects definitely make Eau Fraiche worth considering as a perfume!

Lastly, Eau Fraiche is great when you want to change your mood since it brings a nice mix of freshness immediately! You can choose to wear this fragrance during the weekends or perhaps during festive seasons. It is perfectly suited especially for both these occasions.

Is Eau Fraiche for Men or Women?

You can use Eau Fraiche for both men or women unless specifically mentioned on the packaging. Eau Fraiche, as a perfume type, is unisex. Eau Fraiche perfumes are also designed specifically for men or women. Thus, check the packaging to be certain.

It is important to remember that most perfumes are designed to be worn by a particular gender. That said, there is no hard and fast rule. I have covered this topic of can women wear men’s perfume in another article in great detail explaining the science behind it. Make sure that you check it out!

Difference between Eau Fraiche and Other Perfumes

By now, my hope is that you perhaps have understand what Eau Fraiche perfume means. You may have also understood some of the differences between Eau Fraiche and other perfumes such as EDT, EDP and Cologne. But, let’s do a quick revision and understand the exact differences once again!

Difference between Eau Fraiche and Eau de Toilette (EDT)

The key difference between Eau Fraiche and Eau de Toilette (EDT) is in the concentration of essential oil. Eau Fraiche contains 1%-3% oil whereas EDT contains 5%-15% concentration. Eau Fraiche also uses water as a base and lasts for up to 2 hours. EDT contains 60%-80% alcohol and lasts longer!

Another difference is usually in the cost. You may notice that Eau de Toilette from the same brand will usually be more expensive than the Eau Fraiche of the same brand. Eau Fraiche is usually designed taking a DNA of an existing successful perfume. If so, Eau Fraiche will most likely be cheaper than that original perfume!

Difference between Eau Fraiche and Eau de Parfum (EDP)

The key difference between Eau Fraiche and Eau de Parfum (EDP) is in the concentration of essential oil. Eau Fraiche contains 1%-3% oil whereas EDP contains 15%-20% concentration. Eau Fraiche also uses water as a base and lasts for up to 2 hours. EDP contains 80%-85% alcohol and lasts longer!

Just as is the case with Eau de Toilette, the cost difference is also visible between the Eau Fraiche and Eau de Parfum versions of the fragrances!

Difference between Eau Fraiche and Cologne?

Cologne is much closer to Eau Fraiche in terms of performance primarily because of the essential oil concentration.

The key difference between Eau Fraiche and Eau de Cologne is in the concentration of essential oil. Eau Fraiche contains 1%-3% oil whereas Cologne contains 2%-5% concentration. Eau Fraiche uses water as a base whereas Cologne contains 70%-80% alcohol!

When I say Cologne, I’m referring to Eau de Cologne and not the generic term used to refer to any perfume targeted towards men.

A cologne, on average, will last longer than Eau Fraiche. However, the difference is usually marginal as both these types of perfumes contain a lower concentration of oil. A cologne will usually last for about 3 to 4 hours.

5 Eau Fraiche Perfume Recommendations

If you are looking to buy an Eau Fraiche perfume, and are not sure which one to go with, this section would be really helpful for you!

My Top Picks –

  1. Eau Sauvage by Dior (Best Overall) – If you are looking to experience an amazing perfume with loads of freshness, then I would highly recommend going with this Eau Fraiche perfume option! It is classy and comes with a big brand tag!
  2. Versace Man Eau Fraiche (Best Budget Eau Fraiche Perfume) – This one is by far one of the best Eau Fraiche perfumes on a budget! Not only does it last quite long for an Eau Fraiche fragrance, but it can usually be purchased for under $50 on Amazon!

Here are some of my other personal favorite Eau Fraiche perfumes –

  1. Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche
    Chanel is perhaps one of the best brands to consider for any type of perfume! And, Chance Eau Fraiche is definitely a great option for women!

    This classic perfume has Chypre top notes and floral mid-notes. It gives quite a decent performance, but as with most Chanel perfumes, it will make your wallet quite a bit lighter! Still, based on the performance, the price point won’t be considered as expensive.
  2. Eau de Guerlain
    A great fragrance from the perfume powerhouse Guerlain! Eau de Guerlain is a classic Eau Fraiche unisex perfume meant for both men and women!

    In fact, I would perhaps consider this as the best unisex Eau Fraiche perfume by a big brand on a budget! This statement alone says everything. It can be used by both the gender. You get a great brand name, and all that on a budget!

    Additionally, the performance is also quite good. You can get about 3 to 4 hours on this perfume. The perfume opens with citrus-fruity flavored top notes and settles with the floral and woody mid-notes before bringing in the base notes into action.

    A highly recommended Eau Fraiche perfume!
  3. La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain
    This perfume by Guerlain is a great option for women especially if you are looking for something on a budget!

    La Petite Robe Noire gives a decent performance and a good fragrance opening with citrus notes. The middle notes of the perfume will give that special fresh floral feel! The mid-notes give a nice mix of rose, jasmine, cherry, and strawberry among other flavors making this perfume very tempting!

    Moreover, you get a great brand of perfume for a really affordable cost!
  4. Hermes Eau D’Orange Verte
    Another great option for an Eau Fraiche perfume. I would recommend this one only if you are looking for an intimate smell. Meaning, you want to wear the perfume for yourself.

    It has nice floral and citrus notes making it a perfect Eau Fraiche perfume for both men and women!

    The only drawback is that it doesn’t last all that long and that may make you feel that this perfume is a bit overpriced for the performance. However, not everyone will agree with my assessment.

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