Sometimes choosing a type of fragrance can be confusing. It is first important to understand the different types of perfume, and how they interact with one’s skin, before choosing the exact type of smell that suits an individual.
The main difference between types of fragrance lies in the concentration of essences. The order of highest to lowest concentration is first Perfume, second, Eau de Parfum, third, Eau de Toilette, and fourth Eau de Cologne.
Perfumes are classically defined as a combination of top, heart, and base notes released over a period of time. The top notes are the first scent released by a fragrance. After the top notes have faded, the middle or heart notes of a fragrance become noticeable.
Perfume is considered the most beautiful form of fragrance because it releases the top, heart, and base notes over a period of time, as opposed to one faster than the other (due to its high concentration of essences). With Eau de Parfum, the heart (middle) notes become noticeable after the top notes have faded away. Conversely, with Eau de Toilette, the top notes, the first scent released, are dominant. This makes it initially very refreshing, and it then evaporates rather quickly.
Perfume is very expensive because it can have up to 40% concentration of essences. This means that the scent is released over a long period of time, and therefore much less is needed and is sold in much smaller volumes.
Eau de Parfum contains up to 15% perfume concentrates, and Eau de Toilette contains up to 10% perfume concentrates. One could think of Eau de Parfum as a bit heavier and long-lasting than Eau de Toilette. Eau de Parfum is also often used on hair and clothing, however one must be careful with delicate fabrics as they could stain due to the oils.