The difference between Perfume and Eau de Toilette or any other forms that your favourite scent may come in, is simply a matter of the concentration or amount of oils in the fragrance.
The highest concentration of a fragrance is in pure perfume (or parfum). Next would be Eau de Parfum, then Eau de Toilette, and finally Eau de Cologne and Eau Fraiche.
Since Eau de Parfum can contain up to 40% concentration of essences, it will last longer than other fragrance types, however, it is also more expensive.
However it is important to remember that each perfume house may use their own categories and terminology to classify their perfumes according to the concentration of aromatic oils or essences they contain.
To help you out when buying fragrances, here is some more information on the different fragrance types you can buy:
Perfume – Also known as perfume extract or extrait, this is the most expensive version of any fragrance. Due to the high concentration of essences – as much as 40% by volume, perfume is also the most beautiful fragrance type to wear because of the whole symphony of top, heart and base notes released over a period of time. The average concentration of essence in a perfume is 25%, which makes it the longest lasting of all types of scent and only a tiny amount needs to be applied which is reflected in the sizes in which perfume is sold.
Eau de parfum – Once the top notes have passed, the middle or heart notes of a fragrance become noticeable and highlighted as the focus of .eau de parfum which contains a concentration of oils betwen 15-20%. As it is less intense than perfume extract, it is also cheaper and usually lasts well and is perfect to spray on hair or clothing, however it’s important to be careful with delicate fabrics such as silk, though, as they may stain
Eau de toilette – Eau de toilette and cologne are the most popular forms in which fragrance is sold and eau de toilette is sometimes used to describe the same concentration of aromatic essence as cologne, which can be up to 10%. The top notes of eau de toilette are dominant, making it refreshing when applied although it can evaporate and fade away quite quickly.
Eau de Cologne – The concentration of aromatic essence is found in cologne is at the lower end of the scale and tends to be around 7% essence which is dissolved in alcohol of 60º or 70º. Eau de cologne is delightfully refreshing in hot weather and as it doesn’t last long, it can be frequently reapplied directly to the skin.
Eau Fraiche – Similar to eau de cologne, eau fraiche has an even low fragrance concentration of only 1% to 3%, however it does not contain a high amount of alcohol found in eau de cologne. Along with the fragrance, the remainder of eau fraiche is mostly water and will likely last for up to two hours.
Beyond the types of perfume in this list there is still a wide range of more different kinds of fragrances such as mists and aftershaves available with higher end fragrances costing significantly more money, so it’s important to do your research beforehand to ensure you get a fragrance that shines for you.