Have you ever wondered how long a spritz of fragrance should last? It’s one of the most common scent questions asked and a topic that can be a little confusing. Walk into any fragrance department and you’ll be faced with dozens of perfume bottles and flacons of all shapes and sizes – each with a description that can read “eau de cologne”, “eau de toilette”, “eau de parfum” and “parfum”. Each title describes the concentration of essential oils in the actual scent. And each one will have a different lifespan on your skin. Here’s what you need to know about how long a fragrance will last.
Eau de cologne: 1 to 5% concentration
Eau de colognes are the lightest fragrances you can buy. Since they are created to be splashed liberally on your skin, they contain the lowest concentration of essential oils. You may see them described as “splashes” as well as eau de cologne. Napoleon was very found of eau de colognes and carried them with him on his travels and conquests. Today, eau de colognes are most often used in very warm climates where there is high humidity and high temperatures. (Remember, scent molecules expand in heat so any scent will smell stronger in hot climates.) They are ideal for those who prefer a very subtle scent. A spritz will last about 1.5 hours.
Eau de toilette: 8 to 12% concentration Until recently, this was the most common form of fragrance for both men and women. It still ranks number one for men’s fragrances even though eau de parfum is quickly gaining popularity. EDT, as it is called in the industry, is the perfect concentration for day as it isn’t too overpowering. You’ll notice that perfumers balance the notes and ingredients fairly evenly in this strength of fragrance. It’s a light, refreshing concentration. One spritz of eau de toilette will usually last 3 hours.
Eau de parfum: 12 to 20% concentration
Eau de parfum is a relatively new formulation in the world of perfumery. That’s because as technology has improved, the cost of creating a more concentrated formula has come down. Perfumers can boost the impact and impression of a fragrance without having to increase the budget for ingredients. EDP, as it is referred to in the industry, is stronger than EDT and quite often will play up one or two specific notes. You’ll see perfumers exaggerate a rose or jasmine note in this concentration of scent. The balance of notes is slightly different than you’ll find in eau de toilette – even though it is the same fragrance name. In Paris, you will find many chic women who will layer eau de parfum over eau de toilette. They claim that the eau de toilette holds closer to the skin for their enjoyment, while eau de parfum creates a trail or “sillage” of scent as they walk. Eau de Parfum is a stronger version of your favourite fragrance and will typically last 4 to 5 hours.
Parfum: 20 to 40% concentration
Parfum is the most concentrated and therefore the strongest type of perfume. You’ll find that it is also the most expensive due to the cost of the essential oils in the bottle. A tiny dab will usually last 8 to 10 hours.