How-to: boost your perfume IQ
Most of us just assume that perfume is perfume – but in fact many of the fragrances we call ‘perfume’ are actually not. Beauty Heaven sets the record straight about the differences between scents, sprays and perfumes so you can shop smart…
Eau de toilette
The majority of fragrances on the market fall into this category. Chances are that scent sitting on your dresser has the words ‘eau de toilette’ on it somewhere. But what does it actually mean? Eau de toilette is basically a lightly scented perfume with a high alcohol content. Unlike ‘pure’ perfume, eau de toilette has a very long lifespan (up to five years) because the high amount of alcohol contained in the formula helps to preserve it. Many perfume purists consider eau de toilette a ‘weak’ or ‘watery’ version of real perfume.
Eau de parfum
Eau de Parfum is a more concentrated version of Eau de Toilette – it is higher in fragrant perfume oils and generally contains a lower amount of alcohol. For this reason, it is usually higher in price than Eau de Toilette – in general, Eau de Parfum contains around twenty percent aromatic compounds, whereas Eau de Toilette contains around ten per cent.
Perfumes known as ‘pure fragrances’ contain no alcohol. The plus side of this is that the scent itself will last on the wearer a much longer time than any other scent – up to 24 hours. The downside of using a pure fragrance is that it does not last long in the bottle – you can usually only expect it to last around a year – and because it is much more expensive to make it is much more expensive to buy as well.