Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Real Difference Between EDP and EDT

The question that I get asked more than any other is, "what is the difference between an Eau de Parfum and an Eau de Toilette?" I wish that I could say there's a simple answer, but unfortunately I can't. This is because there are a few factors which influence the liquid that is in your bottle, and they are all at the discretion of the perfumer and the company which makes your fragrance. It's not rocket science, it's just perfume. So once and for all let me talk you through the different versions of your favourite scent, and I'll show you that the Eau de Toilette is not the poor relation in the family of fragrance.

A fragrance is generally 80% alcohol with the remaining 20% made up of ingredients plus water. A higher ingredient quantity does not necessarily mean that the fragrance will last longer, the ingredients that are used will decide this. Citrus scents usually last the shortest time followed by florals and ending with woods, resins and vanillas. So a combination of all three will decide the fragrance's longevity.

As a rule of thumb, typical ingredient quantities are 20% for a Parfum, 12% for an Eau de Parfum, 8% for an Eau de Toilette, 5% for a Cologne and 3% for an Eau Fraiche. Here is the first problem. There are no legal guidelines as to what percentage makes up what strength, so every company can have their own interpretation and they don't need to tell us. So one company's EDT is another's EDP. The examples I have given here by the way do relate to an independent company that I worked with, so they are not just theoretical.

Now, we've made our pure perfume and we just dilute it down to the required strength. Yes? Well not always. Some companies do just dilute, but not all. Most will rework the perfume formula by varying the quantity of certain ingredients or even adding new ones. A good example of this is Bleu de Chanel. The EDP has a more noticeable resinous quality whereas the EDT is fresher. However, because of the ingredients used, especially in the EDT, they both last the same time, although the development of the fragrance on the skin is different. Guerlain always rework their formulas for the different strengths, with the exception of the old "cologne" version of their perfumes. These were a 5% edition of the original perfume concentrate, but even in this form Mitsouko demanded attention.

So you see, the only way to test a perfume is to spray it on your skin, or your tie, or on your scarf. I always think that spritzing clothing is a good idea because you'll be able to see if you can smell it the following day. Whichever strength you choose to buy bear in mind the following, as you move from Parfum to EDT the fragrance will become fresher. That is the only guarantee that I can give you. Happy sniffing.

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