Getting to the Bottom of the Bottle: What You Need to Know About Eau de Toilette vs. Perfume

In this article, we get to the bottom of the fragrance bottles to explain all the differences and similarities between eau de toilette vs. perfume.

Did you know that smells play an important part in memory recall? Memories triggered by smell are clearer, more emotional, and intense.

The processing of smells takes place in the same part of the brain involved with memory and emotions.

According to research, pleasant smells, particularly floral scents, when sprayed around a bedroom, can result in positive dreams.

It may be the reason perfume usage dates back thousands of years, and the trend still continues today. According to Statista, 41% of women in the US use perfumes every day.

Fragrances have a positive, pleasing effect on the human psyche. There is a myriad of choices available on the market – eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau de parfum.

It can be an overwhelming process. But choosing the right scent for you begins with understanding what is available.

Here are some of the similarities and differences when it comes to eau de toilette vs perfume.

Types of Fragrances

Fragrances can sometimes contain a mixture of over 100 different-scented ingredients of pure perfume or perfume oil. This is then mixed with a solvent to determine the appropriate strength as well as to ensure it is safe to use on the skin.

The solvent used is usually alcohol (ethanol), which is often mixed with a small amount of water. Unscented wax or oil can be used as a substitute.

Alcohol is a more popular choice because it makes the solution easier to spray. It also evaporates, allowing the fragrance to linger on the skin or clothing. It is scentless and has a refreshing, cooling effect.

The concentration of the mixture determines the type of fragrance.

Ther are five types of fragrances:

  1. Eau Fraiche – contains three percent perfume oil in alcohol and water. It is the most diluted version of a fragrance. It lasts for less than an hour.
  2. Eau de Cologne (cologne) – contains two to four percent perfume oil in alcohol and water. It is usually light, fruity, and fresh and lasts for about two hours.
  3. Eau de Toilette (toilette) – contains five to 15 percent pure perfume essence in alcohol. It is a light spray combination that usually lasts for about three hours and is one of the more popular fragrance choices.
  4. Eau de Parfum (perfume) – contains 15 – 20 percent pure perfume essence and lasts for about five to eight hours. It is also a popular fragrance choice.
  5. Perfume – contains 20 to 30 percent pure perfume essence. It is oilier than other fragrances and is the most concentrated and expensive fragrance option.

It’s not hard to see why the debate often comes down to eau de toilette vs perfume spray or perfume vs eau de toilette. It is good to know some relevant information about fragrances before you decide.

Fragrance 101

Have you ever wondered why some fragrances smell stronger than others or why one might have a floral scent while another might be fruity or a bit musky?

Fragrances generally fall into one or two of the following categories – fresh, floral, oriental, or woody. The combinations are used to determine their intensity.

The intensity of any fragrance is categorized into notes.

Top notes are usually lighter floral or citrus scents. It allows the smell of the fragrance to last about eight to 15 minutes.

Middle/Heart notes develop after the top notes dissipate, usually 30 minutes after the initial application. They are the main elements of the fragrance and are usually made up of floral scents. They serve as a buffer to base notes which may not smell as pleasant on their own.

Bass notes are usually made up of bolder leathery, smoky wood scents. They bring depth to the fragrance and help it to last longer on the skin. They are the last scents to develop.

These give a clearer idea of the range of fragrances. So will you choose one of these scents in an eau de toilette or a perfume?

Eau de Toilette vs Perfume


Eau de toilette contains a lower concentration of fragrance than perfumes. The combinations present in different brands will vary. They may both contain the same fragrance, which will have certain similarities, but each will still be unique. Eau de toilette is generally lighter and fresher, while perfumes are denser and richer.

Perfumes tend to have a longer-lasting, more aromatic scent, but this will also depend on the skin type of the individual wearing it.

Shelf Life

The concentration of each also affects their shelf life. Eau de toilette tends to age slower because of its high concentration of alcohol, which preserves the fragrance. Alcohol-free fragrances lose their intensity faster.

The shelf-life of a perfume depends on the make-up of the specific scent. Those with heavier base notes tend to last longer. Some perfumes can last for more than 10 years, while others can expire in less than a year.

Keeping both in a cool, dry, dark location extends their shelf life. Exposure to oxygen, heat, or variations in temperature, and excessive light affects both.

These factors contribute to the deterioration of the fragrance.


Perfumes tend to be more expensive due to the higher concentration of oils used. However, this helps its scent to last longer, so a lot isn’t needed.

Conversely, eau de toilette is cheaper due to the lower concentration of fine fragrance oils and has a lighter scent. It can be applied more liberally than perfume.

Explore a wide range of choices. There are many luxury wholesale perfume options available to choose from.


Eau de toilette may be more suitable in hot summer months or during the day, as they have a lighter, fresher smell.

Perfumes tend to fare better in colder weather or in the evening as scent dissipates faster in drier air. Its high concentration allows it to last longer.

The Choice Is Yours

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to eau de toilette vs perfume. It all depends on what you prefer.

Why confine yourself? Wear what suits your mood. But, whatever you choose, ensure your scent is not so overpowering that it enters the room before you do.

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