In the general sense, most people think of women’s fragrances as perfumes, and men’s fragrances are colognes. While that may be true, that’s most likely not the case. Both women’s and men’s fragrances have distinct classifications that determine specific quality differences.

In our January 8th blog, I had subtly recommended buying an Eau de Parfum when possible because it is a higher quality, oil-based fragrance. Later, in our February 7th blog and February 15th blog, I described some of the more popular women’s and men’s fragrances, respectively, including their quality content.

So, let us get slightly technical for the purpose of being students of the fragrance industry. In return, you will be more informed and pleasantly appreciative of your next fragrance. Those distinct classifications are directly associated with the concentrations of fragrance oil in each. See the chart below.


Of those five classifications, I want to concentrate on the middle three:

Eau de Cologne translates into “of cologne” and it is better than Eau Fraiche, but less quality than any of the others. Again, this is a gender-less identification. EDCs contain very little actual fragrance and even less fragrance oil. There are many “fillers” of alcohols and other chemicals. May I suggest these are GOOD in the realm of good, better, or best.

Although the loose translation is “toilet water,” in the fragrance industry, we just refer to Eau de Toilette, like water. Here we have fragrances that are water-based with slightly more fragrance oils.

Priced appropriately, these are very affordable for many people, and most designer fragrances fall into this quality. A modest expected life will lead you to reapply your fragrance just after 4 hours. May I suggest these are BETTER in the realm of good, better, or best.

Lastly, the biggest increase in popularity for women and men is the classification of Eau de Parfum. These not only have the most amount of fragrance oils (except “Perfumes”), they have the least amount of alternative chemicals. So, there is much better longevity (of about 8 hours, which obviously is double that of Eau de Toilette), but also a much more authentic scent while you are wearing them. I am suggesting these are the BEST of the realm of good, better, or best, meaning these are the best value in fragrance.

Although they usually are priced slightly more than an EDT, these EDPs have better content and are significantly less expensive than Perfumes. The quality surely outweighs the difference in price. So, now you know.

Whether you are shopping for your favorite everyday scent or wanting to try something new for that upcoming special event, do you want to receive the same informative product knowledge? Come to any of our Perfumes 4U locations, of course! We will provide excellent customer service with a passion for finding that just right perfume or cologne…or Eau de Parfum!

By Eric Lundeen

Eric Lundeen is the store manager at Perfumes 4U store located at St. Louis Premium Outlets. He is an expert fragrance consultant


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