What is Pure Perfume? [Perfume Extract or Extrait de Parfum]

It is common to get confused with the various terminologies used to describe different types of fragrances. After all, there are multiple types of perfumes with different characteristics that are available for the consumers. For instance, what is “Pure Perfume” and how is it different from other types of perfumes?

Pure perfume (also known as Extrait de Parfum, perfume extract, parfum extrait, parfum, or simply extract) is the purest, most concentrated, and expensive form of perfume. It usually contains a 20% to 40% concentration of essential oil. Perfume extracts are also used for layering perfumes.

Pure perfume is actually quite different from the other types of perfumes that are commonly available today for customers. So, let’s understand perfume extract in further detail in this article, along with how to apply and buy it!

What is Perfume Extract?

There are various forms of perfume available for consumers to buy (such as Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, etc.). Perfume extract differs from the other types of perfume primarily in terms of the concentration of the essential oil (the key ingredient that adds fragrance to the perfume) that is used in it.

Perfume extract is the purest form of perfume. It usually contains the highest concentration (20% to 40%) or essential oils as compared to other types of perfume. Perfume extract also often contains extracts from natural ingredients.

What’s interesting is that it is not just the highest concentration of perfume oil used, but also the use of higher dosages of natural ingredients used in it that make this type of perfume stand out amongst the others.

The usage of more natural ingredients in the perfume extract is what makes it more expensive than other types of perfume. For this reason, you will often see perfume extract usually being sold in smaller 10 ml to 25 ml bottles!

Another interesting fact to note is that certain natural ingredients can only be used as perfume extract and not directly as perfume! For instance, Ambergris (a substance that is formed in the digestive system and excreted by the sperm whale) can only be used as a perfume extract!

Perfume extract was a common norm up until the early 2oth century. However, that has changed over the last 100 years or so. Perfume extracts are rare today although a surge in demand is being witnessed in recent years driven by the consumer’s desire to use more natural materials.

You will usually see perfume extract available with mostly large perfume houses (more on this later in the article).

How Long Does Perfume Extract Last?

a bottle of perfume on the fur

Since pure perfume contains the highest concentration of fragrance amongst the other types of perfume, it also tends to last longer than all other perfumes!

On average, perfume extract usually lasts about 8 to 20 hours on the skin. However, some perfume extracts can last even longer depending upon the composition and the ingredients used in making the perfume.

Perfume extracts or pure perfume are usually heavier on the mid notes and the base notes. This makes them quite long-lasting, and their longevity is far higher than most other forms of perfume. In some cases, you may even notice that the perfume is still going great even after 24 hours!

That said, the sillage of pure perfume (the trail that a perfume leaves behind in a room) is far lower than other forms of fragrances! You may think that since the perfume extract contains the highest concentration of fragrance, it would also have a strong presence! However, in reality, that is not the case.

In fact, the very fact that a perfume extract contains a higher concentration of essential oil actually lowers its sillage. The oil tends to stick to the skin or the surface due to its heavier molecules. Thus, the fragrance molecules don’t actually travel through the air as much.

This makes perfume extract a perfect personal and intimate fragrance.

How to Apply Perfume Extract?

Almost all perfume extracts are sold in some type of a splash bottle or a flacon. In fact, most perfume extracts might even come with a dabber that allows you to use every drop of the precious perfume. Thus, the application process might vary a bit when using a perfume extract.

You can apply perfume extract on your pulse points (inner wrists, elbow, neck, ear lobes, etc.). A small dose of perfume extract (2 to 3 drops) is usually enough as it is highly concentrated. For best results, moisture your skin beforehand or use the perfume extract after a shower.

Using perfume extract may feel a bit heady at first. If so, you can lower the amount during the application of the perfume. You will notice that gradually the notes start opening up and you will have a much better experience over time.

Using perfume extract in the evening is usually recommended as it gives a feeling of relaxation. Although most people would recommend using it in the evening, in my experience, I have noticed that it is equally effective when used in the morning after a shower. That way, it lasts throughout the day and keeps you in a jovial mood and navigate the stresses of the day!

What is the Difference between Perfume and Perfume Extract?

The various terms used in the fragrance world can be a bit confusing. In this particular case, you may have noticed that the word “Perfume or Parfum” is also used for “Perfume Extract”. So, is there a difference between the two?

The key difference between perfume and perfume extract is that perfume is a generic term assigned to various types of fragrances whereas perfume extract is basically a type of perfume. Even though perfume extract is also known as pure perfume or “parfum”, there is a distinction between the two!

What is the Difference between Extrait de Parfum and Eau de Parfum?

Another set of terms that are quite confusing are “Extrait de Parfum” and “Eau de Parfum”. Both the terms actually represent two different types of fragrances!

The key difference between Extrait de Parfum (Perfume Extract) and Eau de Parfum is the concentration of essential oils used. Extrait de Parfum usually contains 20-40% of essential oil whereas Eau de Parfum contains about 15-20%. Extrait de Parfum also uses more natural ingredients and lasts longer.

Another major difference between perfume extract and Eau de Parfum is the cost. Perfume extract is quite expensive in comparison to other fragrances including Eau de Parfum.

How Much Does Perfume Extract Cost?

By now, you probably must have understood that perfume extract usually uses a lot of pure ingredients as raw materials. It is also more concentrated. So, it may feel obvious that it is more expensive than other perfumes. But, how much does perfume extract cost?

On average, a 15 to 20 ml bottle of perfume extract will cost about $100 to $150. Since perfume extract (or pure perfume) contains the highest concentration of essential oil and more natural ingredients in comparison to other perfumes, it costs a lot higher than other fragrances.

The high cost of perfume extract is one of the reasons why a lot of people don’t tend to buy this type of perfume. Furthermore, due to lower demand, pure perfume is only offered by only some of the major perfume houses such as Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, etc.

The decline in demand for pure perfume, in addition to the higher price, has also been driven by the change in the taste of consumers towards bigger perfume bottles and wearing perfumes that have a higher sillage and performance.

What are Some of the Perfume Extract Brands?

When it comes to buying the purest form of perfume available, there are only a few perfume houses that offer some options. However, be aware, these perfumes are really heavy on cost and really light in quantity!

Here’s a list of perfume brands that offer perfume extract versions of the fragrances –

  1. Chanel
  2. Hermes
  3. Christian Dior
  4. Caron
  5. Guerlain
  6. Patou
  7. Piguet
  8. Cartier
  9. Viktor & Rolf
  10. Giorgio Armani

Most of these perfume brands will offer these parfum extrait versions of their fragrances either only in their exclusive flagship stores or online.

Top 5 Extrait de Parfum Fragrances

You may think that Extrait de Parfum (usually labeled as Parfum on the bottle) is probably only used and created for women. However, in reality, it is not uncommon to find an extract perfume with masculine scents.

For instance, Terre d’Hermes Parfum, Armani Code Profumo, or Dior Homme Parfum are all examples of perfume extract available for men.

However, when purchasing the perfume extract versions of the fragrances, it is important to remember that Extrait de Parfum for men is typically composed quite differently than those for women! Extrait de Parfume designed for women usually contains the most precious raw material and often it is not just about the concentration!

With that, let’s take a look at 5 Extrait de Parfum fragrances that you should consider purchasing!

  1. Chanel No. 5 Parfum – Interestingly, Chanel No. 5 parfum was the one that got all the fame to the Chanel brand. Chanel also offers parfum versions of No. 19, Allure, Coco Madamoiselle, Chance, Coco Noir among others.
  2. Kelly Caleche by Hermes – You can also get some interesting options in the extract concentration from the brand Hermes. It actually offers you multiple perfumes options.
  3. La Panthere by Cartier – Cartier recently launched the Parfum version of La Panthere and it works really well. Just that, it is quite expensive even for a perfume extract!
  4. Parfum des Merveilles by Hermes – Another amazing parfum version of a fragrance offered by Hermes. It comes in a 7.5 ml bottle (0.25 Oz) for about a $100. It is definitely on the affordable side on this list. Thus, it is worth giving it a try.
  5. Shalimar by Guerlain – This is perhaps on the most iconic perfume from an iconic perfume brand. It usually comes in a 30 ml bottle (so you do get a decent size of the perfume extrac) and costs around $300.

More Related Topics

  1. What is Eau de Parfum? [A Complete Beginner’s Guide!]
  2. What is Eau de Toilette? [A Comprehensive Guide!]
  3. Eau de Cologne Explained! [Here’s What You Should Know!]
  4. What is the Difference Between Cologne and Perfume?
  5. Eau de Toilette vs Eau de Parfum: What’s the Difference?

Credit to Valeria Boltneva (on Pexels) for the Featured Image of this Article.

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