The Difference Between Cologne and Eau de Toilette Explained

The terminology of fragrances is something that eludes most of us and one of the biggest riddles is: What is cologne and what is Eau de Toilette? I for one was under the impression for many years that it’s about the same as the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine. Needless to say, I was very wrong in my assumptions.

Let’s start at the beginning. All fragrances are made from the perfume essence. This contains all the oils, absolutes, animal extracts and synthetics that make the fragrance smell the way it smells. This is the purest and most concentrated form of a fragrance. Before it can be used it has to be diluted. This is done with water or alcohol and this is where the other forms of the fragrance comes in.

Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne are sold in spray bottles, because they are diluted enough to be dispensed in such a matter. Now let’s look at the differences between the two.

Eau de Toilette

  • It has a high alcohol content which mean it will evaporate very quickly.
  • It is recommended for day-to-day use, because even if you spray it more than once the smell will not become overpowering.
  • It has 4-15% of the pure perfume essence.

Eau de Cologne

  • They are very light and fresh fragrances
  • They contain essential oils like lemon, orange and the absolute neroli
  • It is the most diluted type of perfume
  • It contains 2-5% of the perfume essence.
  • Colognes are normally used by younger people.

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