Eau de Parfum vs. Eau de Toilette: What's the Difference?
(Photo : Pexels / Karolina Grabowska)
Choosing between eau de parfum and eau de toilette can be vexing but not if you know the difference and purpose of each.

Body fragrances, such as eau de parfum and eau de toilette, are essential parts of our daily routines of preparing ourselves to face the day. We wash up, dress up, and make sure to spray on our favorite scents before leaving the house.

But with all the options available, choosing whether to use eau de parfum or eau de toilette could be challenging, especially if the difference between the two is less defined.

Eau de parfum and eau de toilette are types of body fragrances. Both are made by mixing perfume oil with alcohol and water. However, the difference lies in the concentration of the perfume oil in each. This concentration affects the longevity of the scent.

Eau de Parfum


The French used the word "parfum" to describe the smell of burning incense. The word is partly derived from the Latin word for smoke, "fumus."

The transformation of perfume from incense to liquid took 4,000 years. During this period, fragrances were used for various purposes, from playing a role in religious rituals to masking poor hygiene. Once a status symbol, they have become an integral aspect of self-care.

Perfume Oil Concentration

Eau de parfum contains 10% to 20% perfume oil concentration, with most having 15%. This type of fragrance typically lasts for up to eight hours.

Experts describe eau de parfum as having a rich depth of fragrance and recommend it for nightwear or formal events such as weddings or other suit-and-tie gatherings.

Eau de Toilette


Although the word "toilet" in English pertains to an item commonly used for some bodily functions, its root in French means something entirely different.

The literal translation of "toilette" pertains to a person's routine of attending to themselves. This could include activities such as washing up, putting on an attire, and anything else that would contribute to an improved or maintained appearance. Eau de toilette, in this context, means "water" used in a "toilette" or scented water used to make one's hair and body fragrant.

Perfume Oil Concentration

Although the typical perfume oil concentration in eau de toilette is around 10%, perfumers can use anywhere around 5% to 15% in their mix. While there is a general assumption that this ratio results in scents that last from four to seven hours, some eau de toilette products only last for two to three.

Experts recommend using fragrances of such concentration for daytime use. For example, this type of fragrance is best used in the office or school.

Scent Longevity

Although the big difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette is in the perfume oil concentration, experts believe many other factors affect scent longevity.

In addition to concentration, remember to take into consideration the type of perfume oil or where it was extracted, temperature, humidity, skin type, and the type of application.