Fragrance Meanings: The Difference Between EDT, EDP, Cologne, And More

meaning of fragrances

If you’re new to fragrances, you might be wondering: What’s the meaning of Eau De Toilette or Eau De Parfum? And what is the difference between the two? If you’re not sure, don’t panic. Below, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about all the types of fragrances, what they mean, and how to differentiate each one. You’ll then be able to find your best scent! 

What Is The Meaning Of Eau De Toilette, Eau De Parfum, And Other Fragrance Terms? 

 The Meaning Of Eau Fraiche

eau fraiche perfume
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“Fraiche” means fresh in English and this fragrance type has the lowest concentration of essential oil with about 1% to 3%. This results in Eau Fraiche perfumes being the least expensive out of all the fragrances on the list. Do bear in mind, however, that Eau Fraiche fragrances are also the least long-wearing and can only last for up to two hours.

They’re mostly mixed with water and contain less alcohol, which lends an uplifting scent. So if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly perfume with a soft and gentle fragrance, then Eau Fraiche is for you.

Recommendation: Nina Ricci Eau Fraiche Spray for a light and feminine fragrance with fruity undertones such as apple, grapefruit, mandarin orange, cherry, gardenia, and a hint of musk. 

The Meaning Of Eau De Cologne

eau de cologne
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Consider Eau De Cologne (EDC) as the little brother of Cologne fragrances. “Cologne” simply means perfume while EDC essentially has a lower concentration of perfume oils (around 2% to 4%). It’s lighter compared to EDT but slightly stronger than Eau Fraiche. 

It can last for about two to three hours and even longer if you spray the perfume on your clothes. EDCs are a great pick-me-up scent that you can rely on to instantly freshen you up after showering. However, it is not as long-wearing as other scents. 

Recommendation: 4711 Eau De Cologne for a crisp, clean citrus scent, with top notes like peach, orange oil, lemon, basil, and bergamot, that’s suitable for daytime.

The Meaning Of Eau De Toilette

eau de toilette, the meaning of eau de toilette
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In French, the term “toilette” refers to the act of getting ready and prepping yourself for the day ahead. More specifically, the meaning of Eau De Toilette comes from the ‘aromatic waters’ that were added to bathwater or applied directly onto the skin after bathing. The purpose of this was to scent the hair and body.

Today, Eau De Toilette is known as a widely popular fragrance that consists of a combination of scented oils, water, and alcohol. Its perfume oil concentration is between 5% and 15% but typically falls within the 10% mark.

Most EDT perfumes are lighter and more subtle in scent, making them the perfect fragrance for day-time wear at the office. Since they only last up to four hours, some reapplication may be needed. Otherwise, you could switch out your EDT perfume for an Eau De Parfum (EDP) for better longevity. 

Recommendation: Marc Jacobs Daisy Love Eau De Toilette Spray for a warm, woody, and floral fragrance that combines notes of cloudberry, daisy tree, driftwood, and cashmere. 

The Meaning Of Eau De Parfum  

eau de parfum, the meaning of eau de parfum
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The meaning of Eau de Parfum translates to perfume water and it has the second-highest perfume oil concentration of about 15% to 20%. For that reason, it tends to be stronger in scent and can last for about four to five hours on the skin. That’s why it’s got a higher price tag too. 

With this fragrance type, a little goes a long way and should be used lightly, lest you want to overpower everyone’s sense of smell with a too-heavy perfume application. On the bright side, your perfume bottle will last a lot longer. Despite being quite pricey, the longevity and quality you get from one bottle will certainly give you back your money’s worth.

Recommendation: Estee Lauder Pleasure Intense Eau De Parfum Spray for a velvety blend between sensual and sultry with notes of peony, jasmine, and pink tiger lily. 

 The Meaning Of Parfum/Extrait De Parfum

extrait de parfum
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We’re finishing off the list strong with Parfum, which is basically the French term for perfume. This has the highest concentration of perfume oils, ranging from 15% to 40%. Naturally, as it’s the most concentrated among all, it’s also the most expensive.

Parfum is made to linger on the skin for a longer period of time than EDP. You can expect it to last for up to 12 hours or maybe even a full day if spritzed on clothes. So, if you’re immediately transitioning from your 9-to-5 job to a simple date night out with the beau, then you can bet on Extrait De Parfums to see you through the day. 

Recommendation: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Extrait De Parfum for an intense, yet versatile, woody floral scent that blends jasmine blossoms and saffron with bitter almonds and cedar. 

Overview Of The Different Fragrance Types 

Fragrance Type Concentration Of Perfume Oil Longevity 
Eau Fraiche 1% – 3% 1 – 2 hours
Eau De Cologne (EDC) 2% – 4% 2 – 3 hours
Eau De Toilette (EDT) 5% – 15% 3 – 4 hours
Eau De Parfum (EDP) 15% – 20% 4 – 5 hours
Parfum/Extrait De Parfum 15% – 40% 6 – 8 hours

Find Your Best Scent After Learning The Meanings Of Eau De Toilette And Other Perfume Types

meaning of fragrances
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So now that you know what the meanings of Eau De Toilette and other fragrances are, which one are you going to choose? Whether you prefer subtle and delicate scents or strong and sensual ones, there’s bound to be a fragrance that captures your essence to the T. Pair your new favourite perfume with bold eye makeup to walk out the door in style.

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