What's the Difference Between Eau de Parfum abd Eau de Toilette

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Eau de Parfum abd Eau de Toilette

Perfume has been a hot commodity for hundreds of years. You can change your mood, just by changing the fragrance you use. You may have many different fragrances for use throughout the day or week, including romantic fragrances, workplace appropriate fragrances, and night-on-the-town fragrances or even separate fragrances for summer, winter, spring, and fall; however, when you are new to choosing high-end perfumes, navigating the thousands of available options can be a challenge. If you have ever seen Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette, you may have wondered their meanings or the origin of the words, and what the differences between these types of perfume are.

Origin of the Phrases

Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette are French words, indicating the rise of the perfume industry in France. The terms themselves indicate the way that these products were generally used. Eau de Parfum was meant to create an aromatic experience, with a lasting fragrance that remained throughout the day. Eau de Toilette refers to a ladies' toilette, or grooming ritual, and indicated the product was used for freshening up over the course of the day. The varying concentration levels of these fragrances means that they can still be used in this manner.

Concentration Levels of Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette

Perfume contains a specific amount of actual fragrance, along with other ingredients. Other ingredients typically found in perfumes can include water, ethanol, liquid wax, coconut oil, or Jojoba oil. These ingredients generally have little to no scent, but they are used to make the smell last longer and work well with the skin.

The perfume manufacturers need to be able to explain their fragrances to customers, and the use of terms such as Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette help them do this. This is one way to tell customers how much actual concentration of the fragrance ingredients is in the bottle, how long the scent will last, and if the price reflects the length and amount of scent used.

Concentration Level Name

Percentage of Concentration


Perfume Extract

15 to 40 percent, 20 percent is typical


Eau de Parfum/Parfum de Toilette

10 to 20 percent, 15 percent is typical

Second highest

Eau de Toilette

8 to 10 percent, 9 percent is typical

Third highest

Eau de Cologne /Bodyspray

1 to 3 percent, no typical percentage

Fourth highest (lowest)

Since Eau de Parfum contains a higher fragrance concentration, it will last much longer than other varieties of fragrance, including Eau de Toilette; however, this makes it more expensive, and also means that it is not a good option for daily touch-ups or for those who just need a fragrance to help them feel refreshed. The lower concentration of Eau de Toilette means it can still be a good choice for those who want a great daily-use product, a benefit that is aided by its lower price point.

Eau de Parfum

Eau de Parfum is the second highest concentration of fragrance you can find. The scent is strong but will sit on the skin well. The scent is not necessarily strong nor is it overpowering; the higher concentration simply means that it will release its aroma throughout the day - in particular the middle notes, sometimes known as "heart notes", which make up the fragrance. Common middle notes include aromas such as lavender and rose. This is extremely helpful if you are the type of woman who is on the go from morning until night and want to smell fresh and great.

Eau de Parfum is the standard level of dilution for fragrances and is the most noticeable of scents. It is different from perfume in many ways.


  • Perfume can have a 40 percent concentration level, whereas Eau de Parfum has almost half that.
  • Perfume is generally applied to the wrists, neck and behind the ears as its smell is so strong, whereas Eau de Parfum can be sprayed on hair or clothing.
  • Eau de Parfum is less expensive than Perfume and is easier to apply.

Eau de Toilette

Eau de Toilette has a lower concentration of fragrance than Eau de Parfum, with only about 10 percent fragrance oil. This type of scent can be found at beauty counters of high-end department stores, but it can also be found at regular department stores and some drug stores.

It can be a great option for those who cannot afford Eau de Parfum, but the scent will fade a little bit faster. It will continue to release notes over time, although they will be top notes, or head notes, rather than middle notes. Common top notes include citrus and ginger aromas. In many cases, Eau de Toilette scents will last for one to two hours maximum, meaning they must be reapplied more frequently.

Even though it does not last as long as other fragrances, it is still the most popular choice for most because it is less expensive and easier to find. If you do not mind reapplying the scent or only need it for short special occasions, this can be a great option.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Fragrance

Whether you choose Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum, you will want to ensure that your scent lasts as long as possible. For a longer lasting aroma, spray the fragrance on your clothing. Spraying the fragrance onto your clothing will allow the smell to stick longer. As you move, the smell will be refreshed, giving you a small burst of scent throughout the day. Spraying the fragrance right before you leave your home or car will allow the scent to stay longer where it matters. Additionally, spraying the fragrance into the elbows or around the neck, where it will be released as you move, can make a fragrance last longer.

Another thing you can do is only use one or two sprays. It may be tempting to spray four to five times to make the smell last longer, but this actually does not work well. The amount of sprays will not change the amount of time the fragrance lasts. It is better to use one spray, and repeat every hour than to use five sprays and repeat every two or three hours.

Finding Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette on eBay

When you are on the hunt for the perfect aroma, buying on eBay can be a great option. The biggest benefit is that you will have access to a number of different fragrances, including both Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum as well as those made by international companies that might not be available in the United Sates.

To find what you need, type in the name of a specific fragrance you would like to look for, or you can type in eau de toilette or eau de parfum to get an idea of the types of fragrance available. You can also search by brands to see what options are available or even by the notes in the perfume. For example, to find a fragrance with rosy heart notes, one could type in "Rose Eau de Parfum".

You might also consider purchasing sample sizes or one ounce or less when buying Eau de Parfum. One ounce is not a lot of fragrance, but you need less fragrance when using a Eau de Parfum, and it will still last longer. This is a great way to try new fragrances, which can be helpful if you are on the market for a new signature aroma.


Choosing between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette is simply a matter of choice and budget. Either will work, though Eau de Toilette may be needed to be reapplied throughout the day. If you have a higher budget for fragrance, consider the Eau de Parfum as it is a more concentrated fragrance and can last longer.

Whether you want something that is classic or one of the newer fragrances created, you have many from which to choose. Knowing the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it is important to know that each is different and has its own pros and cons.

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