Fragrance vs Cologne

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Fragrance is a word that has been in existence for a long time now as humans are born with their sense of smell. Naturally, we look for things to make us smell great and attractive to other people. A good scent increases once self confidence and self esteem. The need to smell nice led to the need to create fragrances that would give us that pleasant scent we want.

These fragrances as time goes on are then refined and processed into various forms. One of these form of fragrance is the cologne. The manufacture of cologne has been in existence for a long time. It was even named after the country where it was first made, Cologne, Paris. 

Cologne was originally made for both male and female as a kind of aromatherapy liquid which when used relaxed the mind and boosts one's spirit. This form of fragrance nowadays is used as an every day fragrance because of its light citrusy scent.

What is Fragrance?

empty fragrance bottle

Fragrance is any object, plant or combination of plant or chemical compounds that produces a sweet and charming scent. Fragrances are obtained by combining various materials in different ratios and proportion until the desired scent is achieved. Fragrances can be used in shower gel, shaving cream, perfumes and candles. They are used to give a person or a place an amazing scent.

What is Cologne?

empty cologne bottle

Colognes are a form of fragrance that contains about 3% to 5% amount of fragrance oil in their composition along with a lot of alcohol. It is a fragrance with a low concentration and light intensity. It has an alcohol base that makes its projection much more higher. The scent of a cologne can last for about 2- 4 hours.

Colognes are one of the earliest form in which liquid fragrances are made. They are mostly used for light and citrusy scent. They are good as daily wear and are more compatible with hot weather. They are cheap and can be found easily enough. They are a classic and one of the olden form of fragrance.

Difference between Fragrance and Cologne

There are a lot of distinction between a fragrance and a cologne. The concentration, the intensity, the sillage, projection, price, packaging, longevity and even the method of application differs. Being the umbrella term that encompasses all scent giving cosmetics, fragrance is used in a more general sense. Cologne however is specific and has its own unique characteristics that distinguishing from other fragrances.


Fragrance has a lot of concentration in various products. Pure perfumes have the highest amount of fragrance oil in their composition, followed by Eau de parfum, Eau de Toilette, and then the Eau de Cologne also known as cologne and then the Eau Fraiche.

Eau de Cologne or Cologne has only 3% to 5% concentration of fragrance oil depending on the scent note and the brand. The rest of the composition is largely made up of alcohol. These makes cologne one if the fragrances with a low concentration of fragrance.

Intensity and Longevity

Colognes have a good intensity which permeates well in a room. The scent of a cologne is light and fresh and is not the kind that chokes or dominates the room. It is a subtle scent that has a decent sullage and projection. The longevity however is poor as it only lasts for 3 to 4 hours at a time. Therefore, colognes have to be constantly reapplied to keep the scent alive and strong.


Colognes are sprayed generously from a distance to reduce the effect of alcohol and any irritating scent. Cologne though has a light scent can contain some chemicals that are not skin tolerant, so they should be sprayed in clothes. To trap the scent for a longer time however, you can apply oil and rub it into your skin before dabbing a little amount of cologne on your pulse points and chests. Generally colognes need to be reapplied every now and then as it does not last for a whole day.


Colognes are fragrances that you can use as an office fragrance as it has a light and subtle scent that woudd not disturb your colleagues. They can also be used to a lunch date, a picnic party, the gym and even to the club. They have a light opening and a moderate heart with a strong base that rounds up to an amazing experience.

Difference between Fragrance and Cologne (Table)

The differences between fragrances and colognes have been studied and summarized in the table below.



1. Fragrances are a blend of plant materials or chemical compounds that gives a pleasant scent.

Colognes are fragrances with only 3% to 5% of fragrance oil in them.

2. Fragrances can be incorporated in any base depending on the type of fragrance product to be made.

This involves stabilizing or fixing fragrance in an alcohol base.

3. Fragrances can be made from various flowers, herbs or spices.

Colognes mostly use citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, bergamot and tangerine in their composition.

4. Fragrance depending on its concentration in its product can be used in various weather or season.

Colognes are summer or got weather fragrances as they have a great throw that is enhanced by hot temperature.

5. Fragrances such as perfumes can be rather expensive due to the high amount of fragrance oil in it.

Colognes are cheaper as they only have a small amount of fragrance oil in their make up.

6. Fragrances can come in small or big, sophisticated or simple packaging depending on the type of fragrance.

Cologne are usually packed into big bottles with classic design because of their lower concentration.

7. Some fragrances can last for a day, some 18 hours and some have a short longevity.

Colognes lasts for 3 to 4 hours before their scent becomes to fade away.

8. Fragrance are used directly on the skin and some are used internally.

Colognes are sprayed on clothes because of their high alcohol content which can cause skin irritation.


Colognes are a popular form of fragrances which can be seen in every store and perfume house. They are light, fresh and citrusy which makes them a more refreshing fragrance. They have a great sillage and projection but their longevity is poor. Colognes can be sprayed or splashed on clothes generously to give a satisfying scent.

Depending on how much scent you want and where you are going, pick a fragrance that is suitable. Colognes are very common and can be used for both occasional and daily wear. So, if you are more inclined to fresh and light fragrances, colognes are your surest option.


Is cologne a masculine fragrance or can women also use cologne?

Cologne is not only a masculine fragrance, it can be worn by women also. Colognes are generally marketed as a masculine fragrance because of its citrusy and musky notes. But for women who likes a light and fresh scent that does not overwhelm the room, they can go for colognes.

Colognes have citrus fruits and musk or won't in its composition which makes it a subtle and fresh fragrance which most men prefer. Females tend to like flamboyant and dominating fragrance that attract attention and compliments. However, that does not negate the possibility of females wearing a cologne.

What is the best way for applying my cologne?

The best way to apply a cologne is to spray it in clothes and then dab a little in your lykse points. Cologne have a high alcoholic content and therefore might be irritating to sensitive skin and can trigger allergies. They should therefore be sprayed at a distance to reduce their effect on skin and allergies.

Colognes have a high rate of vapotization and therefore does not last for a long time. Clothes are applied in large amount to increase their longevity and even then have to be reapplied several times in a day as it inky lasts for a few hours.

How is fragrance different from cologne?

Fragrance is not different from cologne, rather, cologne is a type of fragrance. Colognes have fragrance oil in a low concentration mixed with a lot of alcohol. Fragrance can be fixed in different bases but in cologne, the fragrance is fixed in a base of alcohol.

When should I wear a cologne?

Cologne should be worn in the summer or hot weathers. Being a light, citrusy and fresh scent they are perfect for the hot weather and their alcohol content gives them an amazing throw and sillage. They are also suitable as a day to day wear, the kind if fragrance you wear to a picnic or for a visit.

Which one last longer between perfume and cologne?

Perfumes last longer than colognes because if their higher concentration and intensity. Perfumes have a larger amount of fragrance oil in their composition and also a great deal of oil. Their oily base makes it easier for them to adhere to surfaces better than cologne who has an higher alcoholic content and therefore calories quite easily.

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