What is the difference between Eau de Parfum, Eau de Cologne, After Shave, Eau de Toilette, and other strengths and descriptions?
These terms all refer to the strength of the fragrance, or more specifically, to how much high grade alcohol and/or water has been added to the fragrance oils. Parfum generally the most concentrated form you can buy has 15-25% perfume oil dissolved in alcohol. Any mixture with a lower proportion of oil to alcohol is an eau meaning water.
In order of strength:
PERFUME OIL = Pure Perfume:
lasts 6+ hours 15%-30% perfume oil in an oil rather than alcohol base - Rare. Few fragrances are commercially available in this concentration, and those that are tend to be extremely costly.
SOIE de PERFUME :
lasts 3 to 6 hours 15% - 18% perfume oil- Not common in commercial release, as above.
EDP = Eau de parfum:
lasts 3 to 5 hours 8% - 15% perfume oil - Fairly common. Price depends on the brand, the fragrance, etc., but will be more expensive than less concentrated fragrances, naturally. Currently very popular.
EDT = Eau de Toilette
lasts 3 to 4 hours 4% - 10% perfume oil - Common. Generally the strongest concentration available in men's fragrance.
EDC = Eau de Cologne:
lasts up to 3 hours 2% - 5% perfume oil - Common. Was once a very popular concentration, but not as much now, at least in women's fragrances. Still fairly popular in fragrances for men.
A/S = After Shave:
lasts 2 to 3 hours 3% or less perfume oil - Common. Also note that after shave often has aloe or other balms in it to sooth the skin after a shave, and the alcohol can help close pores.
Eau Fraiche :
lasts 1 hour or less 3% or less perfume oil - Not very common. Sometimes referred to as "perfumed mist" or "splash". Often alcohol free.