In Men's fragrances, what is the difference between an Aftershave, Eau de Toilette, and Cologne?
They are completely different things, although many men, unknowingly use them interchangeably.
An Aftershave contains less perfume oil (around (1%-3%), therefore the scent isn't as long lasting as an Eau de Toilette. Many aftershaves contain soothing and cooling ingredients, such as Aloe Vera. This helps soothe the skin after a shave . The alcohol contained will also close skin pores opened by the hot water from your shave. Aftershave will only last for about 2-3 hours so, it isn't effective if you want your fragrance to last all evening.
An Eau de Toilette contains more perfume oil than the Aftershave, typically around 4%-8%. However EDT's contain too much oil to be put on the face, especially after shaving. You will probably come up all red and blotchy as a result. An Eau de Cologne will contain 2%-5%. Therefore, an Eau de Cologne should be a lighter and not so longer lasting fragrance.
However in the world of Men's Fragrance, the definitions have become slightly blurred. A lot of the time, a fragrance house will call an Eau de Toilette strength fragrance, a Cologne. Nine times out of ten, in men's fragrance a Cologne will be of EDT strength. There are a few houses which use the correct term, (Guerlain for example).
Eau de Toilette should be put on the 'pulse points'. These are the area's where the veins are near the skins surface and you can feel a pulse (ie. Neck, Wrist, Chest... ) which will last longer. Because of the higher perfume content, Eau de Toilette lasts much longer than an Aftershave (around 6-8 hours) so its ideal if you want your fragrance to last all evening.
It is a common misconception that an Eau de Toilette is weaker than an Aftershave. Probably because the 'Eau' part of the name makes people think it is watered down Aftershave. Or it could be that people are used to the fact that an Eau de toilette is generally the weakest strength in Ladies Fragrance.
As EDT contains more perfume than the Aftershave, you will find that they are more expensive.
Some people will ask "Which shall I buy? EDT or Aftershave?". It depends on your needs. If you are wanting a lasting fragrance, go for the EDT. Many men like Aftershave to put on after they have shaved & then spray on a little EDT. It is mostly up to you as to what you perfer to use.
As well as Aftershaves, Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Colognes, there are two other main fragrance strength categories. These are Eau de Parfum and Parfum (or Perfume)
A Parfum or Perfume is quite rare in Men's fragrance. A perfume contains 15%-30% Perfume Oil (the rest is alcohol). You'll only need a very tiny amount at the pulse points but it lasts for ages. Very expensive though.
An Eau de Parfum is 'The next one up' from an Eau de Toilette. They are useful for men, who find that their fragrance doesn't last or just would like a stronger strength. They contain 8%-15% of the perfume oil, and these can last pretty much all day.
The Eau de Parfum is fairly rare in Men's fragrance, but not as rare as the pure perfume. Givenchy does one in their Pi range, as does Yves Saint Laurent in the Opium Homme range.
You can also get Men's body splashes and sprays, in which the strength can vary quite a bit, typically 1%-4%.
Thank you for reading this Guide. I hope this has helped you understand the difference in the men's fragrances.
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