Perfume vs Body Spray

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People always want to smell pleasant and good throughout the day. Fragrances have been used since the 19th century by royals and monks. In recent times there are different forms and concentration of fragrance in the cosmetic world. Perfumes and body sprays are some of the most popular kind of fragrance used in the perfume industry. These has led to some confusion about the identity of perfumes and body sprays and how they are different.

The differences between perfumes and body sprays mainly stems from the concentration of fragrance oil. Perfumes are more concentrated than body spray and therefore their longevity, sillage and projection differs. Their packaging and quantity also have a marked difference that reflects on their price.

What is Perfume?


Perfume is a mixture of concentrated fragrance oil and natural extracts blended in an alcohol base to give an intense scent. They usually have more than 20% of fragrance oil in their make-up and have strong and intense scent. They have scent that lasts for up to 10 hours to a whole day on the wearer. They are under the luxury category of cosmetics products as they are more expensive and comes in a small designer bottle.

What is Body Spray?

Body Spray

Body spray are liquid fragrance that consists of 2% to 3% concentration of fragrance oil mixed with an alcohol and water base. They are mostly in gaseous form with light and airy scent. Body sprays are short lived as their scent only lasts for about 2 to 3 hours. It usually comes in large bottles to make up for the light scent and makes it easier for it to be sprayed in large quantities.

Difference between Perfume and Body Spray

Body spray are mostly confused with perfumes maybe because they are both fragrances that are sprayed on. But there some obvious differences between these two types of fragrance that should not be overlooked. From concentration to their intensity, their price and availability, they have marked differences. Their packaging is also another aspect where they are different with perfume having smaller and more sophisticated packaging than that of body sprays.


Concentration of fragrance oil in perfume is quite great. It has more than 20% fragrance oil and this could increase depending on the brand making the perfume. Fragrance oil are used in large amount in perfumes and these makes them more concentrated. These makes it one of the most oily and dense kind of fragrance.

Body spray are less concentrated with 2% to 3% of fragrance oil. They instead have more alcohol and water content in their composition. They are more or less a scented alcohol kind of fragrance due to the low fragrance oil in their make-up.


The amount of perfume scent that trails the wearer is generally great. Even for perfumes with lighter notes, their intensity is quite impressive. The scent cloud of a perfume is usually very dense and thick. Sometimes the perfume is intense enough to permeate the surrounding with only a few dabs of it.

Body sprays on the other hand are not very intense, they are usually very fresh and airy. They are soft and normally surrounds the wearer except if it was sprayed on liberally to get a more intense fragrance. They could be only perceived by people in the immediate surrounding and they are mostly easy on the senses.


Longevity is the time duration that a scent clings to the wearer after the initial application. This time varies for different fragrances. Depending on the kind of notes that are in the composition of the perfume or body spray, they can lasts longer or shorter. Citrusy or fruity notes doesn't cling on the wearer as much as musky and woody notes.

Perfumes are generally long lived as they have amazing longevity. After the initial application of perfumes you can still smell it on your clothes 24 hours later. Body spray, however, does not have that much longevity. They fade quickly and after the first 2 or 3 hours, the scent is completely gone. They therefore are supposed to be carried around as they would need constant application.


The difference in the mode of application of perfume and body spray is related to their concentration and intensity. Perfumes are highly concentrated and therefore doesn't have to be applied directly on the skin. A few drops or dabs could be applied on clothing apparrel or sprayed at a distance 

Body sprays as their name implies are meant for the body. They can be applied directly to the skin as they are not very concentrated and are designed to be compatible with the skin. Body spray can be applied generously on your chest, neck and inner wrist as well as other parts of the body.


Perfumes have their own place or functions where they are perfect and even expected. Being a signature fragrance with elegance and sophistication, they are mostly worn to functions that are classy and flamboyant. They give you a regal flair that raise you above the crowd.

Body spray also could be elegant and flamboyant but with a subtler finesse. Body spray are the fragrance to wear to the gym or for a nice jogging down the street. They can be used to a business meeting as they are not too loud and in your face like the perfume. They give a nice and pleasant tone to the atmosphere.

Difference between Perfume and Body Spray (Table)

The differences between perfumes and Body spray are numerous and important. These are some of the ways in which they differ.


Body Spray

1. Pure perfumes generally have more than 20% of fragrance oil.

Body spray do not have more than 2%-3% of fragrance oil concentration in their composition.

2. It has a lesser concentration of alcohol because of the higher fragrance oil.

It has a higher concentration of alcohol and water.

3. Perfumes have a bolder and richer note accords.

Body spray have a lighter and softer scent accords.

4. Perfumes comes in small, designer bottles that look elegant and unique.

Body sprays are packaged in big sized bottles because of their larger amount.

5. Perfumes are costlier and sophisticated.

Body spray are quite affordable and very common.

6. One application of perfume is enough for a long lasting scent. It has a stronger scent and greater longevity.

Body spray lasts for about 2 to 3 hours before it would need a touch up. It evaporates faster and the scent is quick to dissipate.

7. Perfumes are best suited as party or leisure wear.

Body spray are mostly worn by people that have an active or sporty day.

8. Perfumes are more of an oily liquid fragrance.

Body spray are mostly gaseous in their composition.

9. Perfumes are great in the evenings or cold weathers.

Body sprays with their fresh and sweet scents are day time fragrances.

10. Perfumes can be too strong for people with respiratory health issues.

Body sprays do not provoke irritations or allergies as often as perfumes.


Perfumes and Body sprays are some of the common variation of fragrances used in the fragrance world. This has made the two of them classified together and used interchangeably. As they have some similarities so also do they have their differences which makes them unique. After knowing the difference between perfumes and body sprays, there should be little or no problem when it is time to buy a new fragrance for yourself. So make your choice according to your preference.


Do you use body spray on clothes or body?

Body sprays are used on the body basically as they are made to be gentle on the skin than perfumes. They are less concentrated and very light. They can be sprayed on clothes if you are aiming to prolong its scent as the clothes lock the scent down more effectively.

Can body spray be worn everyday?

Body spray can be worn everyday as your own day to day wear. Their pleasant smell makes them suitable for any space and occasion. Their downside is just that you would need to take them around for regular touch-ups every now and then. But they are really good as their light and airy scent uplifts your mood and that of those around you.

How are perfumes stored?

Perfumes are stored in a cool, dark and dry place. These is because the presence of light can affect the composition of oil and alcohol in the perfume. Also alcohol doesn't really do well in the presence of light.

How to make body spray last longer?

Body spray can be made to last longer by rubbing oil on the pulse points of the body before spraying the body spray. This oil helps to adhere the fragrance elements to the skin for some time before the body heat starts releasing the scent. You can also spray on your clothes since clothings retain fragrance for a longer period.

Are body sprays harmful?

Body spray can be harmful due to their alcohol and chemical component. Some body spray are not compatible with some skin and can cause irritations and allergic reaction.

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